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  • Sports/Gym Pictures

    Hello,
    I am looking for some advice on taking pictures in gyms during volleyball & basketball games. I am using a Sony a330 lens right now, just got it earlier in the month. I had the opportunity to take some basketball pictures over the weekend. I used different settings each time to see what the results were, not really happy with any of them. My questions are: flash/no flash, auto, sports or P setting, change the ISO? Any advice at all will be very helpful.
    Thanks!
    photo*girl
    Sony a330

  • #2
    Originally posted by photo*girl View Post
    Hello,
    I am looking for some advice on taking pictures in gyms during volleyball & basketball games. I am using a Sony a330 lens right now, just got it earlier in the month. I had the opportunity to take some basketball pictures over the weekend. I used different settings each time to see what the results were, not really happy with any of them. My questions are: flash/no flash, auto, sports or P setting, change the ISO? Any advice at all will be very helpful.
    Thanks!
    Flash/No Flash: Using a flash, at least as the official photographer is frowned upon as the players may be distracted. As an observer in the stands, they won't care, but the pop up flash on board the camera body will likely not have the power to make much impact from the stands. Its power and thus its range is rather limited. If you have the gear, cross lighting with some zoomed in speedlights from opposite stands and triggering them with wireless triggers will give amazing results.

    auto: I never touch auto. The camera doesn't know what I want my pictures to look like. I find it much more of a struggle to get my ideas expressed when in auto rather than manual mode. The camera may choose to use a longer shutter speed in the low light of a gym resulting in a massive blur of players as they quickly run around during the game. In auto, you have no creative control.

    sports: Like auto, it chooses the camera settings automatically. The difference is, in sports mode, it prioritizes shutter speed. So, this will be a good mode to use since you want to have as fast a shutter as you can to stop the motion of the game. You don't have to use this mode. You can do the same thing in manual mode. Simple open the aperture, raise the ISO and then see what you can do with the shutter speed. Thats all the camera is doing in sports mode.

    ISO: You are going to need to raise that ISO as high as it will go in order to get a fast shutter. In sports mode, the camera will likely raise it for you. At 1600 or so and above, you will be getting some bad noise entering the picture. If you can shoot that high or higher and use some 3rd party noise reduction software (topaz denoise, noise ninja, etc), you will all but eliminate the noise.
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    • #3
      learning

      I was reading the post just to see what I can learn from other peoples post, what does open up the apature mean? Does that mean you want the number to go higher or lower just want to be sure I am on the same path.

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      • #4
        A smaller number means a larger hole for light to enter. Smaller = more light = faster shutter or lower ISO
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        • #5
          I shoot a lot of hockey, which has a lot of similarities to basketball and indoor volleyball, photographically. You are dealing with generally low light levels with "odd" light and fast action. Here is how I handle that.

          First, the odd light. Indoors, you are probably dealing with tungsten or other weird-toned lighting. What looks white to you will not be white on your sensor, so you have two options. On my Nikon, I can set white balance manually. For hockey, I set it with a picture of the ice. The second option is to shoot RAW and fix the color cast in post processing.

          Now, regarding the low light levels. You will need a fast shutter speed. I set my ISO to 800 or 1600, and shoot in aperture priority mode, wide open.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Litchfield Hills View Post
            Now, regarding the low light levels. You will need a fast shutter speed. I set my ISO to 800 or 1600, and shoot in aperture priority mode, wide open.
            If you need a fast shutter, why not use shutter priority mode?
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            • #7
              Originally posted by i speak in math View Post
              If you need a fast shutter, why not use shutter priority mode?
              It is a trade off - If I go in S mode, I risk getting no shot because of the low light. If I go in A, wide open, I will always get a well exposed shot, although it may end up with motion blur. Next time out (we are a long way from hockey season) I will give S a try.

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              • #8
                For action work I'm usually in manual. I set aperture and shutter speed to my desired settings and let ISO go where it needs to (with upper limit set)....I can very easily trade Aperture or SS at any time to regain a lower ISO or for a desired result.
                Steve
                the Photographic Academy.com
                SharpShooter Industries
                My 500px, My Flickr, My Blog

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Litchfield Hills View Post
                  It is a trade off - If I go in S mode, I risk getting no shot because of the low light. If I go in A, wide open, I will always get a well exposed shot, although it may end up with motion blur. Next time out (we are a long way from hockey season) I will give S a try.
                  Low light can be fixed by increasing the exposure later and applying some noise reduction, motion blur can't be fixed later.

                  Originally posted by sk66 View Post
                  For action work I'm usually in manual. I set aperture and shutter speed to my desired settings and let ISO go where it needs to (with upper limit set)....I can very easily trade Aperture or SS at any time to regain a lower ISO or for a desired result.
                  I usually shoot manual, but I really like the hyper-program mode on my K20d. It's set to try to remain sharp according the MTF data in the lens, but I can turn the front wheel to immediately switch to Av or the rear to switch to Tv. And with auto ISO, its really a useful mode.
                  My Portfolio | My 500px | My Photo Blog | My Picasa Albums
                  K-5, Q, K20D, Pentax DA 15mm f/4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, DA 55-300mm, DA 18-55mm WR, Vivitar Auto-Extension Tubes, Metz 50 af-1, Yongnuo YN-560ii, Cactus v5

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by i speak in math View Post
                    I usually shoot manual, but I really like the hyper-program mode on my K20d. It's set to try to remain sharp according the MTF data in the lens, but I can turn the front wheel to immediately switch to Av or the rear to switch to Tv. And with auto ISO, its really a useful mode.
                    Never heard of that...sounds really cool.
                    Steve
                    the Photographic Academy.com
                    SharpShooter Industries
                    My 500px, My Flickr, My Blog

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