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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
Thread started 04 Dec 2017 (Monday) 07:41
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Girls Volleyball Team - First time using strobes - thoughts?

 
DrMitch
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Dec 04, 2017 07:41 |  #1

I was "volunteered" to take some team shots of my daughters vball team this past weekend.
Overall, I'm pleased with the results (especially given the time constraints) - but always looking for critique / advice.

I only had about 15minutes before practice, so I wasn't able to spend much time setting up and testing lighting etc. So some shots were a little rushed.
Used a Speedlight flash and a 300W strobe for the team shot and just the speedlight for the other shot on the ground (I didn't realize at the time, but someone unplugged my strobe!).

It was fairly well light gym, and this was the second time I've used strobes (the first was last week in the gym doing a couple of test shots)...

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4571/38113457894_e99cf78b24.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/214X​rbo  (external link) 102A6629.jpg (external link) by dr mitch (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4586/38799199592_cc3b244ebf.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/227y​3i7  (external link) 102A6641.jpg (external link) by dr mitch (external link), on Flickr

I have a photographic memory, just wish I'd remember to take the lens cap off more often! :oops:
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rjharris
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Post edited 8 months ago by rjharris.
     
Dec 07, 2017 06:19 |  #2

somebody probably unplugged your strobe so they could plug their phone charger in:-)

I teach at a high school and charging your cell phone is the all important factor for school aged children.

The first shot #8 could have been moved camera left as well as the 2 girls kneeling to center things in the frame better. The team picture seems a tad dark on my calibrated monitor as well. The hardest thing I find when shooting teams is light vs dark skinned people as dark skinned people don't reflect the light as well. I usually end up in light room with a 20-30% increased exposure brush on them to brighten them up some. I've tried exposing for the dark skin but it seems that light colored skin then gets too murky or pasty.

I really like the second one though. Here's one that I did recently. The dark skinned girls had 20 - 30% exposure brush in lightroom and #34 might have even gotten a bit more.


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DrMitch
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Post edited 8 months ago by DrMitch.
     
Dec 07, 2017 09:15 as a reply to  @ rjharris's post |  #3

Thanks for the input! I agree with the positioning - with more experience I hope I'll pick up on spacing more instinctively. I played around with the LR exposure brush which I'm really loving - used it a bit to take down some o the seen from the numbers on the jerseys as well as to lighten and darken some of the players. I was trying to go for a kind of dark moody shot. I would have liked to have less shadow on the floor behind the players.

For your BBall team shot - did you have to lighten up the shadows at all on the back row players?
How many stores did you use and rough position?

Thanks again!

Mitch


I have a photographic memory, just wish I'd remember to take the lens cap off more often! :oops:
7DII - Canon 70-200 2.8 II - Sigma 10-20 - Sigma 17-50/2.8OS - F-Stop Lotus Backpack - ThinkTank Speed Racer V2 - Tamrac Velocity 8x - Peak Design Slide & Capture Pro
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rjharris
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Dec 07, 2017 20:44 as a reply to  @ DrMitch's post |  #4

I used two cheetah light 360's in 48 x 32 inch soft boxes with grids for some directionality and no, I didn't soften the shadows any. I just used my adjustment brush on the darker skinned faces to kind of even things out.




  
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sfinkernagel
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Dec 28, 2017 08:54 |  #5

Just a few more thoughts on the original post-

In the second shot, it looks like there is no ambient light in the shot. That's a distinctive, and cool (IMO) effect. The background is totally dark, the only detail is in the lit area provided by the speedlight. The opposite effect would be to light the whole gym- either with the ambient light (which is usually horrible) or the strobe (might be asking a lot of 300 w). If that is done properly, then the light would look very even- the exposure on the players would be close to the exposure on the background. In your first shot, it looks (to me) like you have the worst case scenario on the background. You aren't underexposed enough to go dark, but there's not enough light on there to make it look balanced. I would try to go one way or another with that. Either drop the exposure and let it go dark, or light it enough that you can see where the team is.

Lots of ways to do either one. If you are relying on ambient light, you can control that with the shutter speed. Longer will let more ambient in the shot, without affecting the flash exposure. Shorter will make it go darker, but you probably want to stay below the sync speed. If you are using the strobe for the background- turn it up or down as needed.

All of that is just my opinion- take it for what it's worth!




  
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DrMitch
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Dec 28, 2017 10:33 as a reply to  @ sfinkernagel's post |  #6

Thanks for the feedback! If the gym was nicer, I agree, having it lit up would be a good option.
I played around in LR with the pics since posting and have darkened the background more.
In my mind, I'd like to have the net visible (as well as the players of course!) and a very dark background.
I would love to be able to try the shot again but with the main court set up so I've got a lot more distance between the net and the back wall / stands.
When I get a chance, will post up the revision with the background, but currently, it's looking too artificial...


I have a photographic memory, just wish I'd remember to take the lens cap off more often! :oops:
7DII - Canon 70-200 2.8 II - Sigma 10-20 - Sigma 17-50/2.8OS - F-Stop Lotus Backpack - ThinkTank Speed Racer V2 - Tamrac Velocity 8x - Peak Design Slide & Capture Pro
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sfinkernagel
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Dec 28, 2017 12:59 as a reply to  @ DrMitch's post |  #7

Sounds cool if you can make it happen!




  
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DrMitch
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Dec 28, 2017 20:28 |  #8

Before:

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4571/38113457894_e99cf78b24_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/214X​rbo  (external link) 102A6629.jpg (external link) by dr mitch (external link), on Flickr


Here is a quick attempt at playing with the background;
Needs hair highlights next time! (I now have 3 lights!)

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4589/39331985722_2ec1590b0e_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/22VC​H3S  (external link) 102A6629.jpg (external link) by dr mitch (external link), on Flickr

I have a photographic memory, just wish I'd remember to take the lens cap off more often! :oops:
7DII - Canon 70-200 2.8 II - Sigma 10-20 - Sigma 17-50/2.8OS - F-Stop Lotus Backpack - ThinkTank Speed Racer V2 - Tamrac Velocity 8x - Peak Design Slide & Capture Pro
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rjharris
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Dec 28, 2017 22:10 |  #9

I almost always use hair lights in mine. In the example I gave above, I couldn't get the ladies standing still long enough to get a hair light set up. Here's a couple with a hair light though. The best suggestion I could give you on team photos would be to ask the ladies what they want the background to look like. Sometimes they'll want it really dark and sometimes they'll want it to be seen. I've also done some with almost black backgrounds at their request.


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sfinkernagel
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Dec 29, 2017 14:42 as a reply to  @ DrMitch's post |  #10

I like the second one better, but I agree about the lights... some separation would be great!




  
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CoachB
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Jan 06, 2018 23:05 as a reply to  @ rjharris's post |  #11

Amazing Team Pictures. I like the Lady Bulldogs Basketball one. What is your light set up for lighting the team and the background? Thanks




  
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pixelcount
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Feb 01, 2018 21:55 as a reply to  @ CoachB's post |  #12

Both team photos look great. I like the 3D pop in the 2nd one. What was your lighting setup for the Hornets? The player in the middle back has rim lighting to the right and left. Did you have a light positioned behind her?




  
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rjharris
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Feb 02, 2018 06:21 as a reply to  @ pixelcount's post |  #13

They both have a single speed light on the center girl in the back. The second one shows more rim lighting because it's darker. I always work with the team and the coach to see how dark they want the background. Some schools are very conservative to their approach on team images and some take it up a notch. I just purchased a fog machine I'm hoping to utilize soon.




  
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pixelcount
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Feb 02, 2018 14:56 as a reply to  @ rjharris's post |  #14

Do you use a modifier to spread the light? Is the speed light on a stand or mounted onto something in the back?




  
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rjharris
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Post edited 6 months ago by rjharris.
     
Feb 02, 2018 16:55 as a reply to  @ pixelcount's post |  #15

On the front I used 2 32 x 48 inch soft boxes parallel to the ground for spread. One single speed light on a stand set at 24mm for the back with not modifier.




  
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Girls Volleyball Team - First time using strobes - thoughts?
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