A sports-shooting practice tip

Started Dec 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Re: A sports-shooting practice tip
In reply to John Daley, Dec 19, 2011

John Daley wrote:

One more question - you mention "in accordance with state rules." I am not aware of any specific rules concerning stobed/flashed arenas. I know our travel league has a "no baseline" rule for photgraphers but, AFAIK, there is nothing specific on strobing.

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Sure. I shoot in the state of Alabama, where the official rules (AHSAA - Alabama High School Athletic Association) allow the MEDIA (and only the credentialed media) to strobe arenas with the official's permission. No courtside flash is permitted. So I set strobes up out of line-of-sight and strobe to light the ceiling when necessary. I have to admit that my new D7000 seems to have about a full stop of advantage over my D300, so I strobe less than I used to. Sometimes I will strobe with my old D70 for slower moving sports (due to focus speed) because I can sync faster.

I generally strobe at gyms where I am fairly familiar and have a good working relationship with the officials. For some away games, I will may some remotes with some budget or old hot shoe flashes and mount them on a tripod on an upper level or similar. I'll just feather touch single shots and change batteries at the half, which they usually last that long if I set the flashes in manual mode at 1/4 or 1/2 power.

The key to me is to introduce yourself to the officials - they are 100% in charge. I usually strobe during warmups, and then go introduce myself a couple of minutes before the game. And say the following points -

1. I need to strobe this arena/gym due to lighting. It's really dark in here, isn't it? (get them to agree with you)

2. The state rules permit the media to strobe with the official's permission, and I am a man under authority. So I want to tell you what's going on before the game starts.

3. Oh, BTW, I have been strobing during warm ups. You didn't see anything too unusual, did you? (they never do if I set the lights up well)

4. I will NOT be using a camera flash at court level. All I'm doing is making the ceiling brighter and helping out the lights that are already here.

5. Do you guys want any shots for your official's association or your own personal facebook page? I'd be glad to help!

It usually doesn't take to long for the officials to get to know you. Go in with a good, appreciative attitude and you will have very few problems. My biggest problem is not the officials but "I-think-I'm-smarter-than-the-guy-who-does-this-a-lot" parents getting in my way.

Hope this helps.

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