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Trojansoc Nov 29, 2007 10:20 PM

A few shots from my most recent attempt at high school basketball. Trying to get my best white balance/exposure combination, girls' shots were taken in Aperture priority mode with manual white balance. Overall, the combination produced too much of a bluish tint. These are after balance correction in Paint Shop Pro. First shot taken from the side of the court.

BTW, the jump shooter in this one can shoot more than three pointers. She was also my photo assistant during football season and shot all of our home games for me when I was tied up in the press box. Just couldn't help but be jealous when she used my equipment and got better shots than I, lol.

Between the girls' and boys' games, I switched to manual exposure at 1/500th with slight lengthening of DOF by going to f1.8 with ISO at 1600, then going with Auto White Balance. The combination required less correction in PSP, although I would have liked to have had the shooter's face a little lighter in this one.

The ball wasn't present in this final one, but I liked the level of action and how much it portrayed the hard contact going to the boards.

JohnG Nov 30, 2007 8:41 AM

Definitely getting some better shots now. Big improvement over your first bball shots. I really think you're improving quite a bit. Before you read on, don't get down because of my comments here. I point them out only because I think you're ready to hear them and consider how to take your photos to the next level. These are good, but my comments are geared toward what you need to do to get even better.Some speciic comments:

1. The biggest thing with this image is: what is your story? The image is framed so the defender draws the viewer's attention but she's not in focus - your player is. There's no action on her part, but there's potential to have her concentration be the story. But to really achieve that the photo would need to be framed much tighter on her with more facial clarity. The sad fact is - because we're stuck using short primes that's not usually possible. That's the type of shot where the news photogs around me would use a 300mm 2.8 for. And I think the noise reduction combined with the cropping has removed too much detail for the facial expression to show intensity. It's a reasonably sharp photo and if there were action it would be good.

2. Background!!! This is the other problem with overreaching with a lens. You've got it in reasonable focus although there's a loss of detail due to cropping and noise reduction - but the background is very distracting. As compared to the first shot where the background is more blurred.

3. Watch your level - this is cropped a little crooked. I like the concept of the shot. The challenge here is the defender really distracts from your subject. He is more prominantly featured in the frame. This is the type of shot where the framing should be up and to the left - bringing your player more to the forefront and dropping the defender to the bottom right of the frame to lessen the distraction (current framing could work if there was no defender or defender wasn't in that exact position). THIS IS TOUGH in basketball.

4. Best of the bunch. Good peak action. But noise levels still appear pretty high. Unfortunately it's a tough tightrope with the K10. It has high noise levels and if you remove all the noise you remove too much detail. So it's an unfortunate catch-22. But I also think a big part of the noise problem is because you're forced to crop so much. Cropping really accentuates the noise (or the loss of detail when you remove the noise). Still a trade-off given your current lens' focal length.

5. I like the concept of this shot too - because of the expressions. But the focus is on the wrong player - it's back-focused on #22 in the back rather than on your player.

So, good job. Keep at it and good luck with your next time out!

Trojansoc Nov 30, 2007 4:28 PM

John, thanks for taking the time for a detailed analysis. I'm certainly not offended by your criticisms because they're well thought out and can lead to better shots in the long run. On the shot that is crooked, it wasn't the crop that was crooked, but the shot itself. This one picked up some noise because the face was really dark in the original shot and had to be lightened.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I like your comments on how better framing could enhance. One of your earlier comments that I agree with more and more as I shoot more sports is that each sport presents a unique set of challenges. I think I really like shooting basketball better than volleyball and find it easier to get high quality shots, however, it's definitely a work in process. As long as I continue to improve, I'll be happy.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Paul

bhammitt Dec 1, 2007 8:05 AM

Trojansoc, You are on your way to taking great bb photos!!!!! I really appreciate John G's critique also, this was one of the best examples of the right way to help each othe become better photographers! I look forward to seeing many photos from the rest of the season!


Trojansoc Dec 1, 2007 8:14 AM


I took a few minutes this morning while having morning coffee and went back to theunedited photos from this game to see what I could do with your suggestions for a couple of them.

On shot #1, was this more what you had in mind in terms of shifting the focus? This one obviously had to be a much tighter crop with subsequent loss of detail. After crop, it left me with an image of 1037 X 859 (downsized for posting)

The photo that was shot out of level was nearly a full-frame shot in the original posting (just a little of the floor had been cut off at the bottom). I reprocessed it, straightening the image (unfortunately I lost the top of the ball in the process), cropped it more in line with your suggestion, although I was limited in how far I could move the defender down because I was already at the top of the frame with the shooter, and used a screen layer at 80% for lightening rather than a simple levels adjustment. I used Noiseware for reduction on both shots.

Trojansoc Dec 1, 2007 8:18 AM

bhammitt wrote:

I really appreciate John G's critique also, this was one of the best examples of the right way to help each othe become better photographers!
Thanks for the kind comments, Bob. I agree wholeheartedly with your comment on the critique. I know my shots have become better because of the advice I have gotten in this forum, and I always appreciate the help.


JohnG Dec 3, 2007 8:48 AM


From an end-product framing perspective those are closer to the mark. Keep up the good work!

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