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Old Jan 11, 2007, 7:58 PM   #1
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Well, they're not my best but I felt kinda lax and thought I should post SOMETHING:









no blood, no foul....




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Old Jan 11, 2007, 10:35 PM   #2
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Very nice and clean shots. (the pictures not the foul).

What lens and camera did you use? Settings? Did you use flash?
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Old Jan 12, 2007, 6:27 AM   #3
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Thanks.

All taken with Canon 20D, 85mm 1.8 - manual mode, f2.2, 1/400, ISO 1600 with custom WB (although you can see in shot 1 there is still a color cast - most likely due to a different bulb in one of the lights or simply the cycling of the lights - or the camera gods just like to mess with us every now and then).
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Old Jan 12, 2007, 7:18 AM   #4
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If the last two pictures indicate how the game went, #22 had a rough one! Great shots John.

Since you are shooting in manual mode, do you begin with ISO 1600 and once you reach your desired shutter speed with the lens wide open and you are still overexposed....then I guess you begin reducing the aperature? I am relating this strictly to gymnasiums as that is where I will be shooting.

I have my new camera and my new lense so next weekend I have both a basketball game and a gymnastics meet to attend. Hopefully the pictures will turn out ok.

Chris
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Old Jan 12, 2007, 7:48 AM   #5
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Chris,

On the photos - 22 is the star player for the home team. In the end, she and the rest of the home team had a pretty good game:



She attacks the basket so that's the price you pay for doing so. In the one shot, it was a nice clean block - in the othe she got hacked. I belive she still finished with 19 points.

As for determining settings in a gymnasium, after shooting in about 10 different gyms I have a good idea what will be required when I get into the gym. But here's what I would suggest you do:

1. Start with ISO 1600, 1/400 and f2. Take test shots during warmups - preferably the VISITING team (or the home if they have dark warmups on) - just don't take shots of the white jerseys. Make sure the test shots are at the baskets where you're going to be shooting most. Mid court will be brighter - but 90% of your shots are going to be around the basket so you want to meter in that area not at mid court.

2. Take a look at your histogram and the face - make sure your histogram is balanced and not shifted to the left. If the histogram is shifted too much to the left or you've clipped highlights (and if you have clipped highlights be glad as you have a very brightly lit gym) then adjust aperture or shutter speed accordingly. 1/400 has become my magic number for shutter speed - it freezes most of the action with a little ball and hand blur. So, if you're overexposed at those settings then I would close down the aperture before adding more shutter speed. Don't start adding shutter speed until aperture gets to 2.8. If you're exposing properly for faces however, you're not likely to get back to 2.8.

3. Once you have your settings - try them at the other baske as well. A quick visiual of the lights on the ceiling should tell you whether the light is even or not at both ends but it isn't always.

4. When you have your exposure dialed in, take a shot of a white or grey card and set a custom WB (manual will explain how to set the custom WB). Just for gigles, take a burst of 5 shots after you set the custom WB. Review the 5 shots in your LCD and make sure the WB didn't go crazy. In some older gyms, the lights cycle differently - so in a 5 shot burst you get 5 different colot temperatures - it's immediately evident if you set a custom WB. If this happens you either switch to auto-WB or use RAW (raw will give you the best results because you can set WB of each shot in post processing but it takes more card space and adds steps to your pp workflow). Still, don't forget this step - a custom wb if the gym lights allow it (about 75% of gyms it should work fine in) will save you a lot of hassle in your post processing.

5. Shoot AI-Servo, center focus point only.

6.My experience with my 20D is that the servo really starts to have problems in low light/ wide apertures. With the 85mm 1.8 in servo mode - expect to shoot subject 20' or closer. When you get beyond 25 feet focus accuracy of a moving subject really goes down. So remember that. With the 85, shoot from the corners of the baseline if you want action by the basket - if you want action at the 3 point line or the wings, slide in more - about half way between the arc and the basket to shoot the opposite 3 point line. It's also great from the first few rows of the stands to get shots of the defense or players in transition (by the time they cross half court they start looking back so shooting transitions from the baseline with the 85 is really hit or miss - you get much better shots from the stands around half court).

Good luck!!
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Old Jan 12, 2007, 12:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the tips and information! It sure does speed up the learning curve. I was wondering in fact about the center point focus mode but now I know. I will study the custom WB tonight in my manual. I have actually read about this many times but I have never done it. I will reserve the questions floating around in my head until I read the WB portion of the manual again.

Oh...I guess #22 and the home team DID have a good night!

Thanks again

Chris
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Old Jan 12, 2007, 6:15 PM   #7
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Hi John, nice to see something from you as we have not seen much recently (apart from the great essays you have written in different sections LOL).

Although not your best these are still very good (as would be expected) and I personally like number 3 as it is sharpand dof is nice!!

I'm out shooting some hockey this weekend (weather permitting) which will be cool as I have not done any for a while.
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Old Jan 12, 2007, 8:54 PM   #8
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JohnG wrote:
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5. Shoot AI-Servo, center focus point only.
I have been told to use one-shot and you state that you use AI-Servo any resons why?

Also what metering setting do you use.
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Old Jan 12, 2007, 9:05 PM   #9
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RP33 wrote:
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I have been told to use one-shot and you state that you use AI-Servo any resons why?
You haven't been told that by any sports shooter. DOF is too shallow to use one-shot. At 20 feet with an 85mm at 2.0, DOF is only 1.27 feet - with only 0.6 feet of DOF in front of the focus point - 7 inches - think a face can move 7 inches in a second? When using one shot the subject is still moving so by the second shot of any burst there's a good chance at shallow DOF they'lll be out of focus. And single shot only focuses once - for the first shot.

There isn't a competent sports shooter out there that advises one-shot for a sport like this. And I submit to you, ask anyone advising you to use it to show you a gallery of basketball shots taken in that mode.

I back up my advice to sports shooters with my photos. Ask the others giving you sports shooting advice for their basketball photos and after viewing them, decide whose advice you wish to follow.

Feel free to look at my sports galleries - all of them except for the GOLF were shot in AI servo (the golf were not because the subject isn't really moving so AI servo wasn't called for):

www.jagsportsphotos.com
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Old Jan 12, 2007, 10:19 PM   #10
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You may have answered my poor focus problem I have been battling!!!!

Wow I can't wait to shoot my next basketball game and try this out!!!!!
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