Shooting indoor sports isn’t always easy, but you can get professional quality results with some proven real skills.
1/180, f / 4,80mm, ISO 1250, flash. A few weeks ago, we asked our DPS Facebook fans about the topics they wanted to see on their blog, and some were looking for in-house sports photography tips. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on high school basketball, because it brings all the challenges of shooting indoor sports;
Bad lights, quick action, rude coaches, inconsistent referees and, of course, the unpredictability of the sport.
The right equipment for the job I don’t spend a lot of time here talking about camera bodies. As long as you shoot with a reliable DSLR camera, your greater focus should be on the glass. Fast glass.
That doesn’t mean I’m advocating all the money for the most expensive shots you can’t afford, but the long zoom of the large aperture is a must. Unfortunately, while many gyms may be fit for exercise, most do not have lighting for photography. Many high school sports use flash, which adds to the challenge. You must do your homework. In my experience, I have never had a problem with using flash for basketball.
As long as you shoot from an eccentric angle, you should be fine. However, you have to be careful because you don’t want to let the player face an explosion when the flash is full and may change the outcome of the game. This is the best way to make sure they never let you use the camera again. Flashing on the floor? It shouldn’t be a problem. Does the player flash at the penalty line before the ball leaves? Not so much. As with any type of shooting, make sure you have all the necessary backups: batteries, memory cards, etc.,
Contrary to popular belief, you can travel lightly while filming sports.
Shown: Nikon D90, 24-70mm f / 2.8, 70-200mm f / 2.8, SB800 flash, as well as spare batteries, memory cards, etc., all packaged as the modular components shown in think Tank Pro Speed Belt.
Get there early. When I tell you you want to get there early, trust me. Pre-match warm-up games offer some of the best opportunities for individual players to shoot high quality. For beginners, players tend to be a little slower in warm-up games than in actual games. You can capture actions more easily and have the opportunity to isolate individual players in the framework. You can move closer during the warm-up, but be careful! Each half of the court will consist of players, coaches, managers, officials, and others. The players are big, very quickly, and don’t notice you.
Their job is to play basketball – not to give you the best photos. Learn about sports
The most eye-catching shots will be offensive, defensive and ball-handling. You can get good balls without them, but they’ll be better. Left: 1/250, f / 5,80mm, ISO 2000, flash.
Right: 1/320, f / 2.8, 80mm, ISO 1250, flash. The biggest key to getting high-quality photos of any sport is to have a good understanding of the game and how it plays. Each sport has its own rhythm. Are they regional defenders or people-to-people? Is it a crazy gun, or are they burning bells? or did he throw it into the open center for the lift? Do you need to stand on the sidelines or under a bucket?
Which side is best: the home of the grandstand or the visitors? Keep in mind that there is a big difference between shooting as a media photographer and shooting as a parent. As a journalist or school photographer, you’re there looking for the big picture. As a parent, your primary concern is taking pictures of your son or daughter, who can easily track the number on their backs.
In either case, the more you understand the nuances of the game, the better you will do.
I once saw a photographer standing on the sidelines of a football match, despite the fact that a player was being pushed out of bounds. I looked at his camera, lens and monopod all flying in three different directions – when he flew to the fourth. His face was cut and one leg was broken in two places. He lost six months’ commission. No photos are worth it. Be aware of safety.
Focus on where you are and what’s going on around you. Now let’s turn to another focus. Obviously, it’s an active movement and you want action photos. Some of the best sports photos are photos of the eye. However, things are going fast, your subjects don’t always stand long enough to focus on their eyes. The autofocus of your camera works by looking for contrast. Uniforms usually have a lot of contrast between the color of a sweatshirt and the color of the number. If you can get eyes, that’s fine. If not, your best bet is to try to lock the numbers or balls when the player starts moving.
Most professional sports photographers use the back button.
If you’re not sure where you can find this feature in the camera menu, check your manual.
Try to back button focus Another focus option you may want to try is the back button focus. Most DSLR cameras have an option that allows you to assign automatic focus to the buttons on the back of the camera.
When AF is connected to the shutter button, the camera remains focused as long as the shutter button is pressed halfway. As players pass between you and the players you’ve been watching, your focus shifts to new players in the frame. Pressing the shutter button halfway to refocus the original target starts the process again, which may mean missing the expected shot. However, when using the back button focus, all you need to do is remove your finger from the button when other players enter the frame.
Press the back button again to restore the original focus as the distracted player leaves the frame.
Continuous focus mode Part of the secret to shooting motion is the use of artificial intelligence servo (Nikon AF-C) autofocus mode. Use “one-time” of focus (Nikon’s AF-S) focus is locked at one point and cannot be moved until the AF is released and the AF is restarted. However, in artificial intelligence servo (AF-C), the shutter button is continuously focused whenever the focus button is pressed (or if the shutter button has not been reassigned.
Not only can it help you lock your focus, but it also helps you stay focused while trying to shoot your body in motion.
Camera settings As with any type of photography, exposure is not necessarily “correct” or “wrong”. But after all, it’s a sport, and if you go home with 300 blurry photos, you won’t be happy – your editor or your daughter won’t be the MVP. Keep in mind that the faster the shutter speed, the greater the chance of freezing the action, because the shutter speed controls the exposure of the environment. I usually like to start at 1/500 shutter speed and adjust my settings accordingly until I get the way I want it to be. Since this is an indoor exercise, unless the gym has windows, your lights may be consistent throughout the game.
But don’t forget that “consistent” can also be “consistent.” If you’re using a flash, it’s important for you to determine the maximum shutter speed allowed by the flash (usually 1/250, check the Flash Sync Speed in the manual). From there, adjust the aperture and ISO accordingly. This requires some practice, so be prepared for some experimentation and errors. The good news is that the camera is getting better and better shooting in low light.