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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 06 Feb 2013 (Wednesday) 11:00
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Shooting HS Basketball in a cave

 
V4her
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Feb 06, 2013 11:00 |  #1

At least that's what I felt like. My second HS basketball game - on the road. The pictures I've posted of the DIII Women's BBall made this place look glamorous. OK. It had two sets of bleachers instead of just one.

The lights! OMG! DIM, half yellow, some florescent. I almost walked out and went home :( .

The Girls game was it the last quarter when I arrived, so I did some test shots. I figured ISO 6400 was going to be too dark...
ISO 8000....
ISO 10000...
ISO 12800

I ended up shooting the game 1/640s f/2.8 ISO12800 with the 5D3. Most of them read about +1/3.

I' ll post pics after, 'um post.

Oh, Remember why you're there when shoot your old school. Are you a fan or a photog?
I muffed the winning shot - a break-away lay-up as the clock wound down to 1.2 sec and I momentarily became a fan instead of a photog :o


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Feb 06, 2013 14:21 |  #2

V4her wrote in post #15579167 (external link)
At least that's what I felt like. My second HS basketball game - on the road. The pictures I've posted of the DIII Women's BBall made this place look glamorous. OK. It had two sets of bleachers instead of just one.

The lights! OMG! DIM, half yellow, some florescent. I almost walked out and went home :( .

The Girls game was it the last quarter when I arrived, so I did some test shots. I figured ISO 6400 was going to be too dark...
ISO 8000....
ISO 10000...
ISO 12800

I ended up shooting the game 1/640s f/2.8 ISO12800 with the 5D3. Most of them read about +1/3.

I' ll post pics after, 'um post.

Oh, Remember why you're there when shoot your old school. Are you a fan or a photog?
I muffed the winning shot - a break-away lay-up as the clock wound down to 1.2 sec and I momentarily became a fan instead of a photog :o

For reference, high school basketball images in indifferently-illuminated gyms. All images at ISO 6400 and using available light, with a non-stabilized Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.


IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Camera Model: Canon EOS 60D
Lens: 70-200mm
Focal Length: 118.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500)
ISO equiv: 6400
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Manual
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
Software: Imagenomic Noiseware

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Camera Model: Canon EOS 60D
Lens: 70-200mm
Focal Length: 70.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure Time: 0.0025 s (1/400)
ISO equiv: 6400
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Manual
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
Software: Imagenomic Noiseware

A few years' experience demonstrates that the way to handle these situations is to not complain but to adapt, then take pictures. The first step is to use a light meter to take incident readings to learn the optimal shutter speed that provides the best balance of exposure and action-stopping ability. Since that setting changes with each location's lighting, the only way to be certain of those settings is to use a meter. Of course, that's followed by a custom white balance.

The main adjustment is to use noise reduction software. Programs such as Imagenomic Noiseware, (external link) which was used in the above examples, eliminates any reason to be concerned about high ISO noise, because the program also eliminates the noise.

So, having adapted to less than ideal situations, there's nothing left to do but concentrate on photography and capturing the most intense and dramatic instants during the game.



  
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V4her
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Feb 06, 2013 14:40 |  #3

:oops:

A few years' experience demonstrates that the way to handle these situations is to not complain but to adapt, then take pictures. The first step is to use a light meter to take incident readings to learn the optimal shutter speed that provides the best balance of exposure and action-stopping ability. Since that setting changes with each location's lighting, the only way to be certain of those settings is to use a meter. Of course, that's followed by a custom white balance.

The main adjustment is to use noise reduction software. Programs such as Imagenomic Noiseware, which was used in the above examples, eliminates any reason to be concerned about high ISO noise, because the program also eliminates the noise.

So, having adapted to less than ideal situations, there's nothing left to do but concentrate on photography and capturing the most intense and dramatic instants during the game.

Sorry, I guess I did come across as whiny. :oops:
I am getting used to dark venues, just not that dark!. I added Noiseware after my first two Diii Women's games with the 7D, then dropped the 7D for indoors and now shoot exclusively with the 5D3. It's why I bought it. These shots will get full treatment.

I am shooting RAW + jpeg, but have spent no time on RAW yet. I am actually having a lot of fun shooting these games.

I really do appreciate all of the solid advice that more experienced shooters have offered here. I didn't mean to whine - just share one of those days.

Hey, the coach was happy!:lol:


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JeffreyG
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Feb 06, 2013 14:46 |  #4

My home gym is exactly that level - f/2.8, 1/640 and ISO 12800. The majority of all of my indoor sports work is in that gym.

Granted, I do shoot nearby road games when I can just to find better light, but even the best HS gym is only about one stop better. I do prefer banks of flourescents over the vapor discharge light at home.


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Feb 06, 2013 22:37 as a reply to  @ JeffreyG's post |  #5

I'm used to being at f/2.0, 1/640 and ISO 6400. Don't think I ever had to go below 6400 though.

Surprising thing for me was that I just got back about an hour ago shooting my first big college basketball game, at the only major arena here in RI. Thought the lighting would be pretty awesome, ended up mostly shooting at ISO 4000, f/2.8 and going between 1/800-1/1000. I wanted to try to get the shutter speed as high as possible. Just thought it being a big place that the lighting would be better. Oh well...


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Feb 07, 2013 11:17 |  #6

DC Fan wrote in post #15579933 (external link)
For reference....

Hey DC Fan (Not trying to highjack...but) what's your schedule for the Girl's Sectionals? Looks like I'll be at Speedway on the 16th and possibility Richmond on the 23rd. Might not be able to hook up until the Boy's Regional.


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Feb 07, 2013 11:58 |  #7

dwarrenr wrote in post #15583156 (external link)
Hey DC Fan (Not trying to highjack...but) what's your schedule for the Girl's Sectionals? Looks like I'll be at Speedway on the 16th and possibility Richmond on the 23rd. Might not be able to hook up until the Boy's Regional.

The Heritage Christian sectional on Friday and maybe Lawrence Central on Saturday.




  
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geoff5093
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Feb 07, 2013 12:36 |  #8

I was also in the worst gym I've ever been to yesterday, the lights were dim and spaced out way too far, dark walls, etc. The types of lights caused half the photo to be green, half purple, or half extremely underexposed. I walked out at half time as well, it was horrible.


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Feb 10, 2013 16:56 as a reply to  @ geoff5093's post |  #9

The frequently-ignored flip side of this discussion covers a situation where the lighting was actually improved in a high school gym. This location, at Lawrence Central High School in Indiana, had lights that already allowed an exposure of 1/500 at ISO 6400 and f/2.8, good conditions for high school basketball. Since the beginning of the season, the lights were reworked and two additional parallel rows of lights were installed longitudinally above the center of the court.

The impact of the new lighting was a dramatic improvement, as shown from EXIF.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Camera Maker: Canon
Camera Model: Canon EOS 60D
Focal Length: 135.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure Time: 0.0008 s (1/1250)
ISO equiv: 6400
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Partial
Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Camera Maker: Canon
Camera Model: Canon EOS 60D
Focal Length: 81.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure Time: 0.0008 s (1/1250)
ISO equiv: 6400
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Partial
Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB

Standard strategy here for high school gyms is to start with ISO 6400, meter for that setting and then use Imagenomic Noiseware to control the resulting high-ISO noise, which was used with these images.

It was a major and pleasant surprise to see that a correctly-exposed image at 1/1250 was possible at a high school gym. That sort of exposure is in the territory of NBA and NCAA Div. 1 arenas. Unfortunately, a late arrival (had to photograph the first half of another game a few miles away and these images came from the final four minutes of the game) prevented any further exposure experiments with different ISOs or apertures. I made sure to thank the person responsible for the additional lights and let him know that photographers will appreciate the improvement. This lighting will definitely be missed at the next state tournament game, which will be played at a gym where the best possible is 1/400 at /f2.8 and ISO 6400.



  
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Feb 12, 2013 09:24 as a reply to  @ DC Fan's post |  #10

The darker the venue, the better the results of strobing.

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Oct 04, 2013 08:37 |  #11

Strobing during any high school sports inside is a big no-no in this state. Each school I have shot in (and there were plenty) all have had a standing rule of no flash allowed for obvious reasons. Flash in the eyes of the players make them lose the ball, miss a pass, etc. A friend of mine got ejected from a game using a strobe. But I was wondering if using a studio strobe on a light stand pointed up to the ceiling and letting it bounce downward would work. no shadows in the eyes because the light would be reflecting off the floor. At least that is how the pros do it at pro games but our high school gyms have no rafters to attach strobes :(




  
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Oct 04, 2013 13:18 |  #12

Shooting wrote in post #16345406 (external link)
Strobing during any high school sports inside is a big no-no in this state. Each school I have shot in (and there were plenty) all have had a standing rule of no flash allowed for obvious reasons. Flash in the eyes of the players make them lose the ball, miss a pass, etc. A friend of mine got ejected from a game using a strobe. But I was wondering if using a studio strobe on a light stand pointed up to the ceiling and letting it bounce downward would work. no shadows in the eyes because the light would be reflecting off the floor. At least that is how the pros do it at pro games but our high school gyms have no rafters to attach strobes :(

A successful friend (external link) uses paired White Lightning X1600 strobes (external link) to illuminate one end of high school gyms. He'll mount the strobes in a convenient location at balcony level, and point them toward the ceiling, triggering them with Pocket Wizards and using the light reflected from the ceiling. This method works so well that he only needs to use the strobes at half-power. And since the entire ceiling is a light source, no one complains about being blinded by shoe-mounted flashes - after all, the gym's illumination already is coming from above. Also, since the entire ceiling is used as a diffused light source, there are no shadows from trusses.

Of course, this technique means hauling a rolling case of equipment from game to game and it also means arriving at a gym an hour ahead of game time for setup.




  
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Oct 04, 2013 16:14 |  #13

V4her wrote in post #15580028 (external link)
dropped the 7D for indoors and now shoot exclusively with the 5D3. It's why I bought it.

I use a 7d to shoot dance comps and the venues are much like the gyms. Poor ,uneven lighting. I have been considering purchasing a 5d mrk3 after reading how good its high ISO performance is. I would have thought shooting a high ISO would be no problem. Were you unhappy with the results and noise or just surprised you had to jump to 12,800?




  
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Oct 04, 2013 20:26 |  #14

DC Fan wrote in post #16346018 (external link)
A successful friend (external link) uses paired White Lightning X1600 strobes (external link) to illuminate one end of high school gyms. He'll mount the strobes in a convenient location at balcony level, and point them toward the ceiling, triggering them with Pocket Wizards and using the light reflected from the ceiling. This method works so well that he only needs to use the strobes at half-power. And since the entire ceiling is a light source, no one complains about being blinded by shoe-mounted flashes - after all, the gym's illumination already is coming from above. Also, since the entire ceiling is used as a diffused light source, there are no shadows from trusses.

Of course, this technique means hauling a rolling case of equipment from game to game and it also means arriving at a gym an hour ahead of game time for setup.

Well all I can say is congrats to your friend. Wish I could do that but the top of the gym is full of blue painted beams and the ceiling is gold. (school colors blue and gold). I may try that this year. Hard to mount it and then walk off and leave it to shoot and not expect some snotty nose high school kid doing something to it. Maybe a lightstand near the bleachers pointed at the ceiling hummm...we'll see..thanks for the info.

BTW, I have not been to a gym in WV that allows hot shoe strobes. I have a photogenic 600W strobe that I trigger with a yongnuo remote.




  
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Oct 05, 2013 09:30 |  #15

flashpoint99 wrote in post #16346408 (external link)
I use a 7d to shoot dance comps and the venues are much like the gyms. Poor ,uneven lighting. I have been considering purchasing a 5d mrk3 after reading how good its high ISO performance is. I would have thought shooting a high ISO would be no problem. Were you unhappy with the results and noise or just surprised you had to jump to 12,800?

Just surprised that I had to go to 12,800.


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Shooting HS Basketball in a cave
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