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Old Oct 4, 2007, 6:35 PM   #1
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I took my first volleyball pictures last night. Thanks to everyone who answered my questions the last couple of weeks. I did not take many (if any) good ones. All of the difficulties that everyone mentioned are true. White balance was a nightmare. I custom WB and every picture is different. The 50mm 1.8 lens that I used was great for pictures on my side of the court. Beyond that, focus was soft. Just as other forum members said it would be. I shot the pictures with aperture priority at 1/500-1/600 (1600 ISO). I was happy with that shutter speed. Blurring of the action was not too bad. Most of the blurring came from out of focus pictures. I was using normal focus settings. Should I be using the dynamic focus are of my Nikon D50? I will go back next week with a little more experience after studying my current pictures.

I will post some pictures after I color balance and de-noise them. Photoshop's auto levels did not seem to work well. I am having to go into curves for each picture.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 6:44 PM   #2
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stevem1928 wrote:
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White balance was a nightmare. I custom WB and every picture is different.
OK, you're in a very unlucky position. The lights are cycling at a slow rate and custom WB is impossible. I've only shot in a couple gyms like this and it stinks. The best solution is to shoot raw and correct the WB on shots individually - just set the camera to auto WB.

As for focus mode I still prefer servo-focus. If the players are close enough (within 15 feet) to get a good shot, the dof will be shallow - so slight movements by the players will get you a number of out of focus shots. Remember you want to give your focus system a chance to lock on - so you want to get focus lock before the ball arrives. If you do that in regular focus and the player moves slightly within the focus plane (which may be only a few inches in front and behind) you get softer shots. The one type of shot where regular focus works pretty well is shooting over the net for blocks / kills. You can pre-focus on the net and when the player jumps focus again on them. With the pre-focus and the fast lens this works well. But with only a 50mm lens you're not going to be taking those kinds of shots. Keep at it - it takes a good amount of practice - but within 3 games you'll be getting some good shots.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 7:43 PM   #3
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Here are a few shots of the game.

The first picture is a bad one. I included it to show how a lot of the focus turned out on so many.


C & C welcome.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 7:45 PM   #4
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I found setting easy to take a picture of.
Most of these pictures are cropped a lot.
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 7:49 PM   #5
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another
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 7:49 PM   #6
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another
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 7:50 PM   #7
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last one
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 8:00 PM   #8
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This one has been worked over in Photoshop.

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Old Oct 4, 2007, 9:37 PM   #9
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Steve, I also have a D50 and shoot volleyball with an 85mm 1.8 lens and have experienced the pain of the cycling gym lights. I agree with John. I started shooting raw instead of JPEG this season and my results have improved considerably. The WB is not a problem at all anymore. There is still the soft focus problems, but I do manage to get quite a few keepers.

You have some useable shots here (better than my first attempt). You'll only get better.

Greg
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Old Oct 4, 2007, 10:04 PM   #10
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Can I get around the soft focus issue by closing down the aperture by one stop when I shoot subjects on the opposite side of the court? I am not sure if I cn get away with a shutter speed slower than 1/500.
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