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Old Mar 18, 2010, 12:58 AM   #11
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Certainly the glass and camera will help. The other thing to consider is where you are positioned and when to take shots. Volleyball is tricky as there is no one courtside position that will let you take all the shots you want, so I move around and take a few different types of shots. It's also difficult because unlike most sports the moment where the ball and the player are in the same frame is much more fleeting. Rapid fire helps, but really needs to be in the 6/sec range, not 3/sec and even then, trying to get the action with the first shot is the best.

1. Shots where you know where the ball will be and when it will be contacted - serves and a pass by the setter. Be at or near floor level, mid court. Depending on the positions of the service side players, move around a bit, prefocus on the server or the spot where they end up when the contact the ball and be ready - the easiest safe shot - you know exactly where the ball will be and can anticipate when.

Setters are the next easiest in my opinion. The ball is still moving slowly, they should be getting the ball after the first pass and are generally facing the power hitter. Again, near midcourt and on the power side of the team you are shooting. Prefocus on the setter and watch the eyes. You'll know when to start shooting. Even with slow shutter speeds it may turn out fairly well as the arms are fairly stationary as the ball hits the hands and the ball almost stops.

2. You can also get some shots of the first pass off a serve from the same position. Focus on the middle backrow player from your midcourt position and watch the eyes. Either the ball is coming to them or you'll see them look left or right. You can try to swing the camera to the correct side or if the server is isolating one receiver, and they often do, just stay focused on that one. Body language will tell you when the ball is almost there and you can take the shots.

3. Net play requires a different position. Depending on how long the lens is and how the gym is set up, stand just off the sideline and deep down the baseline and prefocus on the top of the net. Moving a bit left and right depending on the blockers and you can get shots of the hitters and blockers facing you. You can also move up high on the bleachers diagonally across from the team you are shooting and if you are lucky, you will be high enough to shoot over the top of the net. This position really only gives you the middle hitter and the hitter across the net farthest from you. Good action shots, but fewer shots/minute depending on where the action is. I save this for later in the game once I have some of the safe shots.

4. An end court mezzanine is great, more likely in the bigger field houses. Getting high on the end court gets alot on net shots but since you are well over the net, you can also get backrow passes.

I'd suggest trying the different locations with whatever camera you have. You'll at least get practice getting the action captured even if it's not perfect lighting. Great light and fast exposures that show mostly the backs or sides of the players will still not keep your interest.

Kevin
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 6:45 AM   #12
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Hi Kevin,

Just wanted to welcome you to posting at Steve's. Looks like you registered a long time ago then didn't post anything so good to have you here. Seems that you've shot some VBall so if you have some shots to share for each of the examples this would be a good help.

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Old Mar 18, 2010, 6:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mark1616 View Post
Eric, it will depend on the sports, but it certainly will be possible to do it. Using f5.6 in normal light and ISO400 should give enough shutter speed so no need to worry there. The problem can be with AF and the shutter lag so getting it pre focused can be really helpful.

Give it a bash, I'm sure you will get some keepers.

"so getting it pre focused can be really helpful."

The above is the bottom line of these cameras.

I'm not familiar with your machine, but some P&S cameras have little or no shutter lag when they are focused manually. Perhaps you can check this out? -

In which case you will need some (not that much) practice.

Dave
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 8:18 PM   #14
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hey kevin, thanks for the info! very helpful. It sounds like you play volleyball maybe too? I do. There was one other person with a camera and lens actually quality enough to shoot great pictures. He was all of those places you described, moving around exactly like you mentioned. (Was that you? hahaha! Springfield MA?)

Id love to see some of your sports photos, volleyball if you have them, It is my favorite sport ever!

-Eric
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 11:27 PM   #15
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Thanks,

I did some posting a number of years ago but wonder if the count disappeared when the format/look of the site changed. Work and other commitments meant I drifted away from this site. I learned alot from various members in the sports and action forum as well as the post for critique. That's really why I wanted to add some comments - so much of what I learned came from this site.

Almost all of my shooting is for my kids' teams. I had the good fortune of doing some for the university here when a friend was interim VB coach. I was also fortunate to do some for the basketball team but both have had coaching changes and I haven't really pursued doing more for them. Other commitment again. Maybe next year.

I'll try to attach a few shots here. Apologies for adding to someone elses thread. I'll get around to starting one myself soon.

The first two are in the university - great light. The next three - high school, marginal light. You can get a bit of an idea of the different court positions. (I post pics at www.kevinfriesen.smugmug.com/Sports - mainly to share with the teams.)
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:48 AM   #16
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hey, i really like the angle of the second picture. I see what you mean.

(and np, posting these on my thread... i did ask to see them after all.)
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