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Thread started 01 Jan 2010 (Friday) 01:27
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High School Basketball Tournament using strobes and a remote camera

 
MT ­ Stringer
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Jan 01, 2010 01:27 |  #1

I shot a 3A High school tournament Mon-Wed, 21 games in all. Some girls, some boys and a couple of JV games.

My main body has over 2500 shots on it and the second has 300 or so. I have a Skyport transmitter on both bodies to fire the strobes.

No complaints from anyone about using the strobes. Actually I got the A-OK to shoot a local 4A public high school once classes resume next week. :-)

The strobes were set up basically at the sideline/baseline intersection positioned about 12 feet up and aimed at the ceiling. I did have some uneven light as the light stand against the wall bounced light off the white wall also. I cut the power on it to 1/2 (3/4 on the other one). The other strobe was mounted on a light stand set up in the bleachers but it didn't have a wall to help with any bounce. So, with all that said, I found the best spot to be was to the left of the basket if you were standing under it and facing to court. I tried the other side several times but got a lot of extra light so I gave up and stayed where the results were best. I know I lost a few faces and maybe a little better action, but I'll take the good light over the bad.

Note: There was a stage directly behind the basket about 4 feet from the baseline. That didn't help at all.

Most of my pics were taken at ISO 320, f/3.5, 1/250 sec on a 1D MK III w/70-200 f/2.8l IS. I took some with the IS on and some with the IS off. I can't tell the difference in any of the pics. For the mid court action and beyond I would open up to f/3.2 and then f/2.8. Once or twice I raised the ISO to 400 and f/2.8 to shoot action at the other basket. You can probably figure out what happened next. The ball came back to my end of the court in a fast break and I got caught (or forgot) with the wrong settings. I missed several good shots that way so I finaly quit trying to get fancy.

Remote camera mounted behind the basket
I set up my 40D with a 17-40 on a ball head mounted on a polypropylene cutting board and positioned it on the stage behind the basket. The camera had the Skyport transmitter in the hot shoe and thePhottix Cleon (external link) camera trigger was plugged into the side of the body. I triggered it with the wireless remote. It worked from the far end of the gym if I had the antenna extended on the wireless remote. The Phottix would trigger the camera and the Skyport would trigger the strobes! :-)

The wide angle pics I have included in this thread haven't been cropped or anything. Just resized for web display. The camera didn't get damaged (whew!) and got a few pics I wouldn't have got because the dang ref kept getting in my way. So triggering the remote caught the action under the basket.

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :-)
Mike

1) Remote camera setup. 40D, 17-40 prefocused with the focus ring taped down. 1/250 at f/4, ISO 400. Phottix receiver plugged into the camera body. Skyport transmitter mounted in hot shoe (and taped in place with gaffer tape).

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2)Remote Camera sample pic.
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3)Remote Camera sample pic #2
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4) Remote Camera sample pic #3
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MT ­ Stringer
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Jan 01, 2010 01:33 |  #2

Pics from the tournament.
1) You're not getting my ball!

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2) Driving to the basket
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3) Easy lay-up
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4) They sure make it look easy
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5) Warning, slow traffic ahead!
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6) Tip off
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7) Going to the basket
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MT ­ Stringer
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Jan 01, 2010 01:37 |  #3

A few more...

1) A true red head!

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2) Driving in heavy traffic
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3) Ruh-Roh!
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4) Open lane to the bucket
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5) Ruh-Roh #2!
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Jan 01, 2010 07:08 as a reply to  @ MT Stringer's post |  #4

Solid stuff with very nice skin tones. The remote is a nice solution for a problem that is all too common. Lots of other applications too!

Mike, any worries about a ball hitting your camera?

Phil


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MT ­ Stringer
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Jan 01, 2010 12:30 |  #5

Mike, any worries about a ball hitting your camera?

Yessir, I was constantly watching (and hoping) it didn't get hit. Any thoughts on how to protect it? This is the third school I have shot in that has a gym/auditorium combo and I'm sure there will be others. These are private/parochial schools 2A-3A seems to be the typical class size.


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Jan 01, 2010 12:50 as a reply to  @ MT Stringer's post |  #6

Nice action




  
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Jan 01, 2010 13:50 as a reply to  @ Shonuff's post |  #7

Let us know how the wide angle shots sell.


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Jan 01, 2010 17:37 |  #8

Nice work Mike. My suggestions would be to move the camera to the right just a bit so the rim is centered in the frame and zoom out just a touch so you don't cut off the tips of their toes.


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Jan 01, 2010 17:42 |  #9

I agree with Kevin, Mike, but nice shots overall!


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MT ­ Stringer
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Jan 01, 2010 20:04 |  #10

Thanks guys. This tournament gave me the opportunity to experiment with the wireless remote trigger. After discovering a dead battery in the receiver, I finally got to give it a try on the last day. I may have to look for another option to trigger the camera, especially if I set up one at softball/baseball games. Since I had both Skyport triggers in use, I might have to get another set or maybe try the cybersync model just to trigger the camera.

I haven't done any research, but the length of the basketball court plus about 15 feet may be the limit for the Phottix remote.

Using the remote gave me the chance to get a shot or two when the ref was standing right in front of me and the action was under the basket. I think I can get a keeper or two by cropping a few of the pics. May not sell any of the wide angle pics but as far as I am concerned, the experiment was a success.

Next up will be to make something to allow me to rotate the camera vertically. This may require some pvc pipe fittings and some JB Weld Epoxy to make a riser. I think I would rather have it vertically mounted and aimed at the left side of the basket to capture driving layups.

My remote set up is modeled after the OverExposed product (external link) but considerably less expensive.


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Big ­ K
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Jan 01, 2010 20:19 |  #11

MT Stringer wrote in post #9305048 (external link)
Next up will be to make something to allow me to rotate the camera vertically.

You might consider a cheap ball head or possibly a cheap tripod head.


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Jan 01, 2010 22:23 |  #12

What kind of strobes? 580s? Or studio strobes?


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MT ­ Stringer
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Jan 01, 2010 23:30 |  #13

I have a 486 ball head. All I need is a riser, maybe no more than 2 inches so the camera will rotate to vertical and not bottom out on the plate. I have enough spare stuff laying around that I will be able to come up with something that will work and be easy to remove. Most likely a PVC coupling and a couple of plugs drilled for a bolt on one end and nut on the other. Fill the plugs with epoxy and glue them and screw them into the coupling.

Charles those are AB 1600's


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Jan 02, 2010 04:55 |  #14

MT Stringer wrote in post #9302483 (external link)
Yessir, I was constantly watching (and hoping) it didn't get hit. Any thoughts on how to protect it? This is the third school I have shot in that has a gym/auditorium combo and I'm sure there will be others. These are private/parochial schools 2A-3A seems to be the typical class size.

I haven't done it yet but I've thought about trying to mount the camera inside a milk crate. I'm not sure but hope it would be possible to put the camera close enough to the opening to allow the use of a wide angle but still far enough back to protect it from a soccer or basket ball.


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Jan 02, 2010 06:25 |  #15

I must be missing something in the OP, why do you have a remote there? In most arenas I've shot at I simply am physically there if I want pictures from behind the net. I only use remotes in areas that are absolutely physically impossible to shoot from. Does the stage really make it impossible for you to be around there?

Try to remember that just because you can't shoot from somewhere physically doesn't mean it's worth sticking a remote there. I don't really see anything special with those photos IMO.

Nice shots otherwise though.


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High School Basketball Tournament using strobes and a remote camera
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