1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Strobing a Gym for Volleyball

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by SeanMartin, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. SeanMartin


    Sep 24, 2008
    Watkins, CO
    I've been playing with strobes for volleyball this year. I'm using SB-800s and Cactus triggers(so far no problems).

    My setup has evolved to 3 flashes. I light from one side of the court. Two are corner to corner at 1/4 70mm and one is center court 1/4 50mm. I shoot at 1/250 f4 to f5.6 and adjust ISO to get a good exposure.

    I shoot from the sidelines and the end of the court. I'll try to get you a few different perspectives.

    I know the watermarks suck. If you can ignore them, I'm really interested in any improvements that can be made to the lighting arrangement.

    1. from near the net. Light net shadow on leg and face.

    2. similar vantage across the court. Light shadows from the net again.

    3. from the end of the court. Net shadows again.

    4. A wide one from near the net.

    5. A dig from near the net.

    So does anyone else out there strobe a gym for volleyball? Any suggestions for improvement? I've tried bouncing the flashes off the ceiling, but I loose a couple stops and wind up needing NR.
  2. Our head coach won't even entertain the idea of strobes. He is a good friend but on this subject he won't budge.
  3. SeanMartin


    Sep 24, 2008
    Watkins, CO
    That's too bad. The first time I used a flash I approached the coach and asked. She had no problem with me trying and said she'd let me know if anyone had a problem with them. I rarely shoot in the gym these were taken in. I set up the strobes and shot, never talking to anyone. Nobody said a thing.

    I think most of the other photogs from the paper I shoot for just hit the players with camera mounted flashes. Anything else has to be be easier on them.
  4. tjk60


    Dec 4, 2007
    troy, mi
    Sean, are those strobes pointed at the court? I'd point them at the ceiling to get away from the shadows. seems you have a nice light colored ceiling to help you here.
    Also, they may not be set up to over power ambient enough, you can see ghosting on a few of these. The strobe need to be 2-3 stops above ambient to freeze motion.

    Color is pretty good so WB is good, and action is pretty good, but watch chopping of appendages like in the last one The Dig
  5. Oldtime


    Jul 5, 2006
    Durham, NC
    Strobe's for VB at our school are not allowed:frown: as Tim pointed out try bouncing light- I would think with 3 lights you would get good coverage- There also appears to a cat walk or elevated area on one side of gym- Place your center light on that side bouncing off ceiling- alot less distance for light to travel on that side (closer to the ceiling) and you have that railing to mount to Your colors look great
  6. SeanMartin


    Sep 24, 2008
    Watkins, CO

    Bouncing seems to loose me a couple stops, so I'll need to crank up the power on the strobes to continue using them to get the same results. They may not have the power to bounce and generate more stops to completely freeze the action. Would you sacrifice the freezing action or live with the net shadows?

    I just thought of bringing the corner lights closer to center court, widening their beam, and pointing them across the court. I'd have to limit my shooting more to the side of the court. Perhaps that would limit the shadows and enable me to boost the flash power to stop the action more. Any thoughts?
  7. topher04r1

    topher04r1 Guest

    Sean, I think you may need a combination of the two ..... To kill the ghosting your going to need to get yourself a tad more light ....... why not move the outisde strobes in a few feet on both sides make the beams wider + turn the power up a bit and point the middle strobe up (its going to need more power also) and bounce that one off the roof....I think that would help with your net shadows....
  8. SeanMartin


    Sep 24, 2008
    Watkins, CO
    I'm going to try that next time I'm there. I think it's a couple weeks though.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.