Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 20 Sep 2007 (Thursday) 07:54
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Tips for shooting volleyball

 
ddphoto
Member
Avatar
97 posts
Joined May 2007
Location: Puerto Rico
     
Sep 20, 2007 07:54 |  #1

I'll be shooting along with my daughter a middle school volleyball game. She'll be using her XT with the 18-55 kit lens and I'll have my XTi with my lenses (18-55, 28-80, 70-300) and monopod.

She has permission to shoot court side as long as she stays out of bounds and away from the referee. I plan to shoot from the stands with the tele lens.

Any tips/suggestions on setup? This will be our first attempt at this.


ddphoto
Canon 400D, Canon 18-55, Tamron 28-80, Tamron 70-300
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/dd_photo/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
joe20d
Member
131 posts
Joined Jun 2006
     
Sep 20, 2007 08:05 |  #2

good luck, with that equipment its gonna be tough, assuming the lighting will be pretty bad like most gyms. i usually just keep my eye on the action the whole play, look at the faces to see who is gonna get the ball and set on them.
-joe




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
convergent
Goldmember
Avatar
2,209 posts
Gallery: 34 photos
Likes: 8
Joined Jan 2006
Location: Raleigh, NC
     
Sep 20, 2007 09:21 |  #3

I think you are going to have a very hard time with your equipment (I was going to say impossible, but I hate to use that word). Volleyball is one of the hardest sports to shoot because by definition (volley), the players never take possession of the ball. Second, every high school or middle school gym I've ever shot in was a dungeon with horrible lighting. The lenses you have are not capable of providing enough light to stop the action, and most volleyball venues frown greatly on the use of any flash. So my first suggestion would be to try and aquire an 85mm f/1.8 lens, or if that is out of budget, at least a 50mm f/1.8 (around $100) if you can shoot from court side.

Once you have a capable lens, you'll want to shoot in Aperture Priority mode. I am not sure about the XT, but this should be doable with the XTi. Set your ISO to 1600, aperture to f/2, and hopefully you'll be able to get a shutter speed of at least 1/250... 1/400 is really better, but you may not have enough light. And set the camera to AI-Servo as well. If you have the option in your custom functions to move the focus start to a button on the back of the camera (I think its the * button), then you may also want to try that. It takes some practice, but gives you more control to prefocus by using your thumb, rather than the half press of the shutter. A lot of sports shooters use this. Don't know if the XT/XTi have this option.

If you can shoot with the 85mm, then I'd sit in the stands, a couple rows up, and as close to the line of the net as you can. This will give you a good vantage point for the blockers and hitters. One big challenge you are going to have is that in a lot of middle school volleyball, its mostly a "serve and miss" contest. If the receiving team manages to dig a serve and return it, often the serving team misses... so there isn't a lot of action. You can try to take shots of the serves... probably this is the easiest shots in volleyball, but also the most uninteresting. Digs are great shots to get, and the 85mm should give you a good angle on those from where I suggested sitting.

If you had a 135mm or 200mm, then I'd suggest standing behind the serving line to shoot the hitters coming up over the net, but a) you won't get a lot of that at middle school level probably... and b) you probably won't have that range. You can try to stand along the sideline to try some of those. What you have to do is pre-focus on the net, or the player at the net when they line up and are standing right at it. Then time the shot so you focus as they are coming up to hit. If you get in the right spot, and prefocus on the right spot, you can actually take the shot and not have to focus at all because they will often go straight up... but at f/2 you have to be sure of your distance to the subject.

If you aren't able to get other lenses and such, you are going to have very, very slow shutter speeds. In that case, go to the highest ISO available and go to Aperture Priority and go to the lowest number (wide open) available and try to time your shots at peaks. There is a peak when they toss the ball up to serve, when the ball is at the top. There is a peak when they jump up to hit, but the arm will be blurred. There is a peak when they jump up to block. Unfortunately, there is no peak for digging, and at middle school, digging is probably the best action you'll get.

So, the goal is to be able to shoot at f/2 if you want to get reasonably close to stopped action. I think you can probably get something at f/2.8, but it will be difficult. Anything over f/2.8 is going to be near impossible in the lighting I'm guessing you will have. Your shutter speeds are going to be so low that you'd be hard pressed to get a good shot of someone standing still, let alone jumping and hitting. So I'd look into getting an 85mm f/1.8 - http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_f_1_8_USM_Auto​focus.html (external link) . I shoot volleyball primarily with a 135mm f/2 and a 200m f/1.8 (1.26 crop body vs. your 1.6 crop bodies... so longer focal lengths translate), so I think the 85mm would do you well... its a great indoor sports lens that is relatively fast, sharp, and affordable.


Mike - Victory Photo (external link) | Full Gear List | Feedback
5D3 gripped - 7D2 gripped - 17-40L f/4 - 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM - 24-70L f/2.8 II - 70-200L f/2.8 IS II - 100-400 L f/4.6-5.6 IS II
135L f/2 - 300L f/2.8 IS - Siggy 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, 100 f/2.8 Macro - TC1.4 II - TC2 III - (2) 600EX-RT - ST-E3-RT

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ddphoto
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
Avatar
97 posts
Joined May 2007
Location: Puerto Rico
     
Sep 20, 2007 12:56 |  #4

Never thought it seems to be this hard with my equipment, we'll give it a shot to see what we get.

Thanks for the comments.

PD: That lens is nice but can't afford it, I make nothing on my photography.


ddphoto
Canon 400D, Canon 18-55, Tamron 28-80, Tamron 70-300
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/dd_photo/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Gatorboy
Goldmember
Avatar
2,483 posts
Likes: 2
Joined May 2005
Location: Bel Air, MD
     
Sep 20, 2007 13:01 |  #5

I hope the game is outside.


Dave Hoffmann

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
dmwierz
Goldmember
Avatar
2,376 posts
Likes: 2
Joined May 2005
Location: Chicago Area, IL
     
Sep 20, 2007 13:27 |  #6

Here's a decent tutoriall for shooting V'ball:

http://www.digital-eos.com/PDF/Volleyball​.pdf (external link)

dd, as the old saying goes, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Without a fast lens, you are going to be very, very disappointed in the results you may get, unless you manage your expectations.

My stepson's middle school actually PAID somebody to shoot their volleyball and basketball teams a couple years ago (before I made the break to full-time photography, and while I was gainfully employed elsewhere) and at the end-of-season banquet, they showed a slideshow of this person's images during the student-parent dinner. He had shot with a Rebel XT (nothing wrong with the camera, btw), a kit lens and a EF 75-300/4-5.6 lens. From our seats we were able to easily watch the presentation, and as we sat through the 15 minute show cleverly put to music, I counted 2 images where we could actually recognize the subject. This was out of hundreds and hundreds of photos. All the others were either grossly under-exposed or way, way out of focus. He tried to take action shots at shutter speeds of around 1/80s and 1/125s, with nowhere near enough light, and with focal lengths of 55mm. Even when he used his telephoto, the aperture was so small and the resulting shutter speed so slow that he got horrible motion blur in the players and awful camera shake from his own inability to keep his rig steady (the old 1/(focal length) = shutter speed rule for maximum shutter speeds), and the players were all dark and unrecognizeable. Every so often an image would come up where he shot with a window in the background (installed high on the wall in the gym) and in this case, all you could see is the window, and you couldn't even tell where the image was shot. In fact, in many of the images, we had trouble figuring out if it was basketball or volleyball that was being photographed.

I'm not trying to be a smart aleck - see, the thing is, like Mike said, indoor gym sports are not that easy to shoot even with the best equipment, and even with some experience. In our case, the school wasted their money and time, somebody wasted his/her time putting together the slideshow, and even the photographer, who photographed 6 basketball games and 5 volleyball matches to accumulate enough images to make up the slideshow, should probably have spent their time doing something else.

So, now that I've rained on your parade, what DO I suggest? Give up any hope of getting action shots unless you want to spend a little money to get a faster lens. Concentrate on getting photo's of players standing around on the court, preferably close to you. Shoot Av as suggested, and set your aperture to the lowest value, and set your ISO as high as it will go which will keep your shutter speeds at their fastest levels. Get shots of kids after the play, congratulating each other, or between plays. Shoot the player getting ready to serve. However, you probably will struggle to maintain shutter speeds > 1/160s so beware of lens/camera shake, especially if you're using your 70-300 at the long end.

Hope this helps and doesn't discourage you. Just trying to be realistic. Looking forward to seeing your images.

Dennis


http://www.denniswierz​bicki.com (external link)
http://www.sportsshoot​er.com/dmwierz (external link)

Dennis "
Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand."

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
superdiver
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
9,862 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Jan 2006
Location: Ketchikan Alaska
     
Sep 20, 2007 13:50 |  #7

You most likely will need the 85 1.8 Its probably the best lens for htis application and unlike most this requireing specific grear, it is the most affordable as well...LOL


40D, davidalbertsonphotography.com
Newbie still learning

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
convergent
Goldmember
Avatar
2,209 posts
Gallery: 34 photos
Likes: 8
Joined Jan 2006
Location: Raleigh, NC
     
Sep 20, 2007 14:48 |  #8

dmwierz wrote in post #3971863 (external link)
My stepson's middle school actually PAID somebody to shoot their volleyball and basketball teams a couple years ago (before I made the break to full-time photography, and while I was gainfully employed elsewhere) and at the end-of-season banquet, they showed a slideshow of this person's images during the student-parent dinner. He had shot with a Rebel XT (nothing wrong with the camera, btw), a kit lens and a EF 75-300/4-5.6 lens. From our seats we were able to easily watch the presentation, and as we sat through the 15 minute show cleverly put to music, I counted 2 images where we could actually recognize the subject. This was out of hundreds and hundreds of photos. All the others were either grossly under-exposed or way, way out of focus. He tried to take action shots at shutter speeds of around 1/80s and 1/125s, with nowhere near enough light, and with focal lengths of 55mm. Even when he used his telephoto, the aperture was so small and the resulting shutter speed so slow that he got horrible motion blur in the players and awful camera shake from his own inability to keep his rig steady (the old 1/(focal length) = shutter speed rule for maximum shutter speeds), and the players were all dark and unrecognizeable. Every so often an image would come up where he shot with a window in the background (installed high on the wall in the gym) and in this case, all you could see is the window, and you couldn't even tell where the image was shot. In fact, in many of the images, we had trouble figuring out if it was basketball or volleyball that was being photographed.

Dennis

Dennis, I had a similar experience at a sports banquet a few years ago. In this case it was soccer, and the coach had pulled still images out of his video that he shot. Of course, his video source was an old VHS-C camcorder which in no way could produce good stills. The girls on the team appreciated his efforts, and I'm sure he spent countless hours working on it, but it really wasn't much to look at. Like you said, it was real hard to even tell who the players were.

I don't think people appreciate how hard it is to shoot indoor sports. Every year, the first couple of weeks in january the gyms are full of people with their new digital cameras taking pictures... flashes and red-eye reduction strobes going off all over the place. Within two weeks, there isn't another camera in the gym except for the pros. It is just a simple matter of physics... not enough light to work with.

dd, I hope you don't think we are being snobby jerks here... I am tying to be as genuine as I can. I took a look at your gallery and you obiously have some skills. If you were shooting something outdoors, then it would be a different story... you'd be able to do pretty well... but indoors without very fast lenses won't work. I realize you said you don't make money from your photos... which is why I suggested a $300 lens (85mm f/1.8) instead of the $4000 lens (200mm f/1.8) that I use for volleyball. The 85mm would be good for a lot of indoor sports, so if you are shooting pictures of your kids, then you need to consider the value of capturing them doing something that they love. You could use this lens for concerts, plays, volleyball, basketball, and pretty much anything indoors that you needed a medium telephoto for. Perhaps you could split the cost with the other person that was going to shoot with you and you guys could share it.

Here are a few examples in an average high school gym to illustrate the point...

This was shot with a 135 f/2 lens on a 1D Mark IIN ... so the focal length would be similar to an 85mm f/1.8 on your body. This was shot at f/2, ISO1600, and I just got 1/400s shutter speed, which is marginal to stop action... notice that there is still some blur.

IMAGE: http://www.northeastfoto.com/gallery/files/3/2/2/web_TS1_0005.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.northeastfoto.com/gallery/files/3/2/2/web_TS1_9842.jpg

And you could end up with even worse light... this was in a much bigger school, but horrible gym lighting. This was shot at f/1.8, ISO3200, and I could only get 1/320s shutter speed. The lens was the 200 f/1.8, but I couldn't get courtside for this, so needed the extra range.

IMAGE: http://www.northeastfoto.com/gallery/files/3/2/2/web_TS2_2075.jpg

So think about the largest aperture your lens will go to. If its f/4, then that's two full stops slower than f/2. So if my math is correct, and if your gym has the lighting of that last image, you'd be done around 1/80s, if you are able to get f/4, and most consumer zoom lenses don't hold f/4 at the longer ends. Bottom line is you'll have a lot of very blurry images. The images I posted is what you shold be able to get with an 85 f/1.8. If that is too expensive, then even the 50mm f/1.8 would work if you can get courtside. That lens is about $100.

Mike - Victory Photo (external link) | Full Gear List | Feedback
5D3 gripped - 7D2 gripped - 17-40L f/4 - 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM - 24-70L f/2.8 II - 70-200L f/2.8 IS II - 100-400 L f/4.6-5.6 IS II
135L f/2 - 300L f/2.8 IS - Siggy 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, 100 f/2.8 Macro - TC1.4 II - TC2 III - (2) 600EX-RT - ST-E3-RT

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
KirkHMB
Senior Member
677 posts
Joined Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
     
Sep 20, 2007 15:13 |  #9

dmwierz wrote in post #3971863 (external link)
Here's a decent tutoriall for shooting V'ball:

http://www.digital-eos.com/PDF/Volleyball​.pdf (external link)

Nice link. I'll be reading that between games over the next few days.

I've got parents shooting the same games I'm shooting, with big slow zooms, or short slow zooms, with flash. They're taking lots of sportraits, very little action. What action they're shooting has lots of blur. They pick their subjects well, so the blur isn't awful (just the ball), but drives me crazy.

Loaned one mom my 30d 85f1.8. lots of blurry shots, since she kept trying to zoom with the focus ring. Oh well, better some shots than no shots.


shooting club VB and club soccer, hoping to get back to landscape work soon.

Gear List

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
dmwierz
Goldmember
Avatar
2,376 posts
Likes: 2
Joined May 2005
Location: Chicago Area, IL
     
Sep 20, 2007 15:36 |  #10

The 85 f/1.8 is a wonderful investment, and it makes a fabulous portrait lens on a 1.6X body. And if you need to sell it, the thing maintains its value well. I know people who use this lens in their studios 75% of the time, preferring it over the 70-200 f/2.8L even.

There was one in "mint" condition for sale on the Fred Miranda forum yesterday for $300.


http://www.denniswierz​bicki.com (external link)
http://www.sportsshoot​er.com/dmwierz (external link)

Dennis "
Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand."

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ddphoto
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
Avatar
97 posts
Joined May 2007
Location: Puerto Rico
     
Sep 20, 2007 16:36 |  #11

Just arrived from the gym, it was very dark. Don't know why they only lit half of the lights and the heat was unbearable.

Have over 100 pics of the JV game, nothing great but was a great exercise for me. Was my first time doing any sport other than cycling and believe me it's not easy.

Will post some after all download and are processed.


ddphoto
Canon 400D, Canon 18-55, Tamron 28-80, Tamron 70-300
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/dd_photo/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Gatorboy
Goldmember
Avatar
2,483 posts
Likes: 2
Joined May 2005
Location: Bel Air, MD
     
Sep 24, 2007 11:03 |  #12

ddphoto wrote in post #3973162 (external link)
Will post some after all download and are processed.

Do you have any to post yet?


Dave Hoffmann

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Steve-M
Member
210 posts
Joined Jan 2007
Location: Minnesota, USA
     
Sep 24, 2007 11:18 as a reply to  @ Gatorboy's post |  #13

I've shot VB all season long using a flash with zero complaints. The athletes don't even know you're using a flash because they are focused on the game. After you shoot a few VB games it becomes apparent that VB is quite predictable and you can zero in on whose going to be getting the ball just by the way the game is set up to be played. Of course, shooting in low light without a flash requires a fast lens using a flash has worked well for me.


Canon 20d/30d, Canon EF 28-105 II USM 3.5-5.6, Vivitar 283 Flash x 2, Wein Safe-Sync.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Midlife ­ Crisis
Member
77 posts
Joined Nov 2006
Location: Michigan
     
Sep 24, 2007 12:42 |  #14

I am not a pro but an advanced amatuer. I shot HS Football last week with my 30D with 70-200 2.8 IS. I shot everything in RAW and the images started out fine but as the light went down I was at ISO 1600, and 1/320 at f2.8 in manual. By the end of the game these images were around 1 stop underexposed so since I shooted in RAW when I pp them I gave them 1 stop more and when I was in PS if they needed to be fine tuned I adjusted it in levels and they came out fine. It's just a thought...


30D
17-55 IS
70-200 f2.8 IS
Leica M3 :p

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
XTi ­ Guy
Member
125 posts
Joined Sep 2006
     
Sep 24, 2007 13:21 as a reply to  @ Midlife Crisis's post |  #15

This post contains excellant advice.As does the link provided.I`ll be refering to this a lot.
I`ve been shooting High School VB for about a year now and have so much to learn.Everything those before me have said about shotting this sport are so true!I did break down and bought the 24-70 2.8L and that did make a differance for me.Being able to be court side helps also.And when lighting gets real poor all the games I shot at they ALLOW you to use flash!
dd post up some pics so we can see how things are going for you.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

22,077 views & 0 likes for this thread
Tips for shooting volleyball
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is Zochor
785 guests, 154 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.