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View Full Version : Help on shooting indoor volleyball games…flash/no flash?


Hall_Of_Fame
22nd of October 2008 (Wed), 15:17
Hello, I'd like a little detailed info on shooting indoor volleyball games at a local college gym. I have been shooting for a while without a flash and the shots are adequate but contain a lot of grain when blown up. I'm shooting with a Canon 1d Mark 2 and have the ability to shoot with 2 580EXs. I would probably prefer to use only one for mobility sake. I have several lenses available: 70-200 is L 2.8, 135 L 2.0, 300 is L 2.8. I'd really like to hear what you think the settings for the flash and camera should. I can tell you that I normally shoot at iso 1600 (sometimes 3200 or H) and at 2.0-2.8 (depending which lens I have on) and the shutter speed varies between 1/250 and 1/800, which is fine…just a little too much grain and not a lot depth either. I'd like to hear exactly how to set up the flash to be most effective (i.e. settings, ETTL, manual, angles, fill, full, etc.). And the camera…M, P, Av or Tv?? Thanks,Peter.

Chris
22nd of October 2008 (Wed), 16:31
No advice from me, just wanted to say welcome to the forum!!

divinemethod
22nd of October 2008 (Wed), 17:04
welcome to the forum... your best bet is to use flash.. since you have two that would give you the best control for freezing action. How hard is carrying the extra flash to your events? it should fit in a jeans pocket! Why buy gear if you aren't making use of them? Use them both wireless off camera - you'll need pocketwizards or radiopoppers if you want to keep TTL control. ST-E2 would also allow for both flashes to be off camera.

When using flash - your aperture controls the effect of flash while your shutter and ISO control your ambient light. So you would have to play around with the settings depending on the scenario. I would recommend going through lighting 101 and 102 at strobist.com if you haven't already.

coacht
22nd of October 2008 (Wed), 21:22
Do you get complaints about shooting flash close up?

Hall_Of_Fame
22nd of October 2008 (Wed), 23:09
I haven't had any complaints yet because I haven't used my flash yet. I have noticed several parents using their flashes and they haven't made any announcements about not using flashes. I recently watched a Michigan volleyball game on tv and you could clearly see a flash going off on almost every point. I'm thinking that if I set up a couple of remotes with nothing on camera, they might be okay with it…so, until they say no, I'll give it a try. But, I'm only going to set it up if it's going to be worth the effort. It's a big gym without a lot of places to fix/set up/place a few strobes without them being in the way. I would still like to know what settings people think I should consider. Thanks.

Hall_Of_Fame
22nd of October 2008 (Wed), 23:18
I do have an ST-E2 and have used it on other interior settings, but never to shoot a volleyball game. I trying to avoid "playing around with the settings" in the gym, I'd like to have it narrowed done before I get there. I have checked out strobist.com, but his comments seem to more humorous and very general than specific. Thanks.

scot079
23rd of October 2008 (Thu), 09:49
I just started firing my 2 flashes (580 II and 540 EZ) remotely. Puting them up at the top of the bleachers on either side of the net. Using PWs to fire them and CP-E4s for juice.

See this (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=585285) thread

Then after I got some great advice I took these (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=588890)

Also, read D. Hobby's method (http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04/on-assignment-prep-basketball.html)of lighting basketball, it's where I got my initial education on strobing a gym

Edit: and for the settings the first time I used f/5.6 or so, 1/250 ISO 3200. the second time I dropped it down to around f/4 and ISO 1600 keeping the shutter @ 1/250. Flashes on manual @ 1/2 power, 50mm zoom, gelled green to match the flouescent overheads. Shot 2 games straight each time and never came close to running out of power, gotta love battery packs...

stathunter
23rd of October 2008 (Thu), 09:55
I have never used a flash shooting volleyball. I have been warned by several refs that I can't use a flash however.

One minor note-- I would focus on getting faces of the players-- typically I shoot at the net but capture the faces of the action -- the media organizations that I shoot for would frown if I had too many butt shots.

scot079
23rd of October 2008 (Thu), 10:03
Yes i think that keeping a low profile w/ the flashes is key. I haven't been warned YET but I expect it someday, I'll keep carrying my 135L for when it happens.

I think that if you march around the place w/ a flash mounted on the camera they'd definitely tell you to stop, but for some reason when the lights are in the bleachers it's less noticeable.

Hall_Of_Fame
23rd of October 2008 (Thu), 11:51
I have never used a flash shooting volleyball. I have been warned by several refs that I can't use a flash however.

One minor note-- I would focus on getting faces of the players-- typically I shoot at the net but capture the faces of the action -- the media organizations that I shoot for would frown if I had too many butt shots.

I have shot from many other angles, and I do have a lot of face shots, kill shots, digs and sets. If you'd like to see more, they can be found at: gallery.mac.com/peterhalldesign and just click on the volleyball albums.

Hall_Of_Fame
23rd of October 2008 (Thu), 12:09
Yes i think that keeping a low profile w/ the flashes is key. I haven't been warned YET but I expect it someday, I'll keep carrying my 135L for when it happens.

I think that if you march around the place w/ a flash mounted on the camera they'd definitely tell you to stop, but for some reason when the lights are in the bleachers it's less noticeable.

The other problem I have is, the only bleachers are located on the same side as the players and the top of the bleachers are quite far away from the action. I shoot from the opposite side where there is a big blue divider in the gym. Here is a shot of the gym from the top of the bleachers.

mpeters
27th of October 2008 (Mon), 00:23
With the stands that sparsely filled, I'd be tempted to shoot so that the blue wall was your background.....

I would also be tempted to shoot from the balcony with a 300/2.8L but I'm seeing alot of good places to clamp lights shooting from the far side.

I've lit volleyball with 2-3 small speedlights (580ex and vivitar 285 HV's.) but I bounce them and still keep the ISO pretty high.

If you can get ISO 1600 and shutter speeds 1/500th and above shooting ambient, I'd likely stay there.

Hall_Of_Fame
27th of October 2008 (Mon), 18:32
With the stands that sparsely filled, I'd be tempted to shoot so that the blue wall was your background.....

I would also be tempted to shoot from the balcony with a 300/2.8L but I'm seeing alot of good places to clamp lights shooting from the far side.

I've lit volleyball with 2-3 small speedlights (580ex and vivitar 285 HV's.) but I bounce them and still keep the ISO pretty high.

If you can get ISO 1600 and shutter speeds 1/500th and above shooting ambient, I'd likely stay there.

I just shot a game this weekend at this gym ($15 fine for parking on the grass) and there was a guy from SportsPix.biz setting up with four remote flashes, but he hasn't posted them on his site yet…it'll be interesting see how much light he had. I know the girls were pissed(!) at all the flashes going off, but it didn't stop him from shooting. I think I'll stick with a little motion and a little grain for now…really don't want to upset the girls. Thanks for all your help. Peter

disneydork06
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 07:13
Hello, so how large are you printing these shots to see the grain? I've haven't seen a lot of grain in my shots unless I really crop them tight. using a similar setup of 1dmk2 70-200 2.8IS. I try and shoot at iso1600 for the most part to stay away from the noise, especially from 3200. I also keep my aperture at its largest so 2.8 and the adjust shutter speed there. I usually get 1/250 which is fine for me cause it at least covers focal length shakes. I've captured enough sporting shots with that speed. as long as you expose the shots correctly you should be fine with grain.

also, if you will shoot with strobes I'd ask either the coach or maybe even the AD on site to make sure it is fine if you were to strobe the place. anyways, good luck!

MDteX
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 08:32
I have never used a flash shooting volleyball. I have been warned by several refs that I can't use a flash however.

One minor note-- I would focus on getting faces of the players-- typically I shoot at the net but capture the faces of the action -- the media organizations that I shoot for would frown if I had too many butt shots.


I've been told by coaches and refs to not use flash. I have seen the refs go in the stands looking for the parent with the little P&S with a flash and tell them to stop or they will be escorted out of the building. That has happened many times this season with different schools and different refs.

My advice---don't use flash. My high ISO shots have some grain but they are good enough. Not as good as outdoor sports but you do the best you can.

Also a pass through Noise Ninja does wonders.

scot079
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 09:11
Does anyone have refs/coaches getting upset about flash during basketball games? Just curious...

PhotosGuy
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 10:50
Some refs won't allow flash. Some refs only allow bounce flash. Some refs will allow you to shoot from the side of the court. These guys I tell to just push me out of the way if they need me to move. Most are pretty good about it & I've never had a problem with any that I've introduced myself to before the game & asked where they would like me to be. I usually do that with the biggest lens I own hanging off the cam, even if I'm going to shoot from the back of the court with the 85mm f/1.8. ;)

Curtis's excellent thread: No more excuses about high ceilings and bounced flash (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=451770)

Strobes in a Gym - Questions.... (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=100620)

Arena Lighting (http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/81)

Pocket Wizard basics and then some! (Part 2) (http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1367)

PhotosGuy
3rd of November 2008 (Mon), 11:51
Oh, & if I were you, I'd shoot more with the 135 L 2.0 And the camera…M, P, Av or Tv?? I only use manual + RAW & used the 85mm f/1.8 for these:
SLHS V-ball tournament (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=594045)

mpeters
5th of November 2008 (Wed), 15:40
Does anyone have refs/coaches getting upset about flash during basketball games? Just curious...

Not once. But I also refrain from triggering flashes during free throws. Whether it actually affects them or not (and I have strong opinions on that) there is no reason to give them an excuse to blame you.

MJPhotos24
6th of November 2008 (Thu), 15:16
Does anyone have refs/coaches getting upset about flash during basketball games? Just curious...
I almost threw a photog out of my gym for his horrible set up that the players were complaing about during timeouts instead of listening to the play. Most don't have a problem with those that know how to use it and respect the game, but those that obviously have no clue I've seen and told to stop taking pics.

steveaggie
6th of November 2008 (Thu), 21:01
I usually do that with the biggest lens I own hanging off the cam, even if I'm going to shoot from the back of the court with the 85mm f/1.8. :wink:

LOL!:lol:

PhotosGuy
7th of November 2008 (Fri), 09:51
LOL! Well, if I look like a pRofssiONal, then I probably are one? :D

PhotosGuy
13th of November 2008 (Thu), 11:17
I shot a tournament a week ago & ran some strobe sync tests. Maybe they will be something that you can use:
Strobe sync @ 1/400: Pushing the limits. (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=599450)