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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 12 Nov 2012 (Monday) 18:40
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College Basketball --- white balance?

35 posts
Joined Dec 2010
Nov 12, 2012 18:40 |  #1

I've been shooting for my school's paper, and I'm not sure how to handle the white balance in these conditions (there's a lot of variance due to the flickering lights, as I'm sure many of you know). Here are some of my shots, I'm thinking they're a bit on the "yellow" side. Does anyone have any suggestions for this environment?

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Nov 12, 2012 19:32 |  #2

These are not bad... I have seen worst.. Mine... LOL
I guess you can shoot off a gray card or maybe someone's white T-shirt, how about using the Kelvin adjustment maybe at K3300 or 3500.. try it our next time you go to shoot in that gym..
I sometimes have my Kelvin @ 3300 and it works for me..
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Nov 21, 2012 13:32 |  #3

I shoot Raw and here's what I do. I use a grey card to make a Custom WB (CWB). I take a shot of a grey card on the court (in the same light as the game) at 1/60, wide open and fill the frame with the shot; it doesn't even have to be in focus. Use manual focus for the shot only. I apply the CWB in post processing. After selecting the best images, I open the CWB image in LR3 and place the white balance dropper (don't recall the name at the moment) onto the center of grey card image and then sync all images using the CWB. I think this can be done the same with Jpegs, too, but not sure. Give it a try.

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Nov 21, 2012 13:49 |  #4

Those shots are just fine! A lighter cast is good for darker faces - shows more detail.

Shooting for a school, always try for the action - but remember to get some good face shots for the kids to use on facebook. Also, get some shots of the coach, the crew, the special rooting section. If you can get close to the bench, get a shot of the coach with the players grouped around him.

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Nov 21, 2012 16:30 as a reply to  @ bubbygator's post |  #5

Since you shoot for the school paper you will be shooting plenty of games in that gym so you need to get your white balance dialed in. You really cannot do anything for the flickering lights so just concentrate on getting a good white balance to begin with. You can shoot a card or you can just shoot raw and then change your white balance setting in post processing until you hit it right. Then just dial in that kelvin setting in your camera the next time you hit that gym.

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Nov 21, 2012 21:19 as a reply to  @ RCB's post |  #6

RAW is a must for the best results. Custom white balance is a great place to start but light cycling can wreak havoc with that. Additionally, some of the larger venues are using those high intensity billboards that change every 30 seconds or so and that can change both the exposure level as well as the white balance. If you shoot RAW, you have much greater leeway in adjusting to the changing conditions.

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Dec 07, 2012 00:26 |  #7

I am shooting a bball tomorrow..should I just K for my WB? Also, what lens would people recommend? I have a 85mm F1.8, 70-200mm 2.8, and a 300mm f2.8. I have 7d bodies.


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Dec 07, 2012 10:45 |  #8

#1's WB is pretty close. #2 is way too warm.

As for the game tomorrow, I would throw the 70-200 on one body and the 300 on the second body.

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Dec 07, 2012 13:22 |  #9

If I use the Kelvin Setting for WB while shooting Basketball what should I set it at? Also, what metering is the best to use?

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Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Dec 08, 2012 22:02 |  #10

seaninsa wrote in post #15338516 (external link)
If I use the Kelvin Setting for WB while shooting Basketball what should I set it at? Also, what metering is the best to use?

Set your WB to 4000k and take some test shots. Usually while players are warming up is a good time. Check your histogram. If you find the entire image is still too yellow (ie. warm) for you, then dial down your WB 100k or 200k at a time until you're satisfied. When it comes to basketball indoors, I stick to manual exposure, so my meter doesn't matter.

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Dec 11, 2012 13:09 |  #11

I have tried nearly everything and get best results with an Expodisc to set the custom white balance. Then I shoot RAW and adjust in Lightroom. There is no "blanket fix" you are going to do that will make them all look the same because the lighting is changing color as it cycles. That is why you have two images that look completely different. I've seen some folks insist that using auto white balance is better in these situations, but I prefer to have a known reference point to adjust from. The Expodisc leaves me with the least post work to do.

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College Basketball --- white balance?
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