Indoor Basketball Pictures Help????????

Started Jan 24, 2011 | Discussions
JOHN JR SNYDER
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Indoor Basketball Pictures Help????????
Jan 24, 2011

You guys really helped me out with the indoor hockey pictures and I'm now taking wonderful pictures using your suggestions. I have a Canon 50D and will be shooting some indoor girls basketball this coming Friday. I can only assume the lighting will not be as good as my hockey rink is. I'll be using a Canon 70-200 2.8 lens for this venture. Any suggestions on what type of settings I might start with as a guide. Thanks for any help or input you can provide me!

Silverwind
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Re: Indoor Basketball Pictures Help????????
In reply to JOHN JR SNYDER, Jan 24, 2011

I haven't shot BBall in a while, but here is what I used to shoot with. Your Canon lens should be a lot better. Turn off IS. it won't help at all.

I use the 40D, Sigma 70-200/2.8 and Tamron 17-50/2.8.

Here is a link with some contact sheet samples. All the shots were taken with the above combo.

http://flickr.com/photos/54281548@N00/

If lighting is not all that great, you will need to shoot at ISO 3200 and do some PP later. For basketball and wrestling, most places will allow a flash. Gymnastics, most places will not.

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John_A_G
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basketball settings
In reply to JOHN JR SNYDER, Jan 24, 2011

Arrive early so you can get your settings down during warmups.

1. Set a custom WB - use a white or grey card and make sure you're standing on the court when you set it (you want the color temperature on the court not in the stands). When you take the shot, use a shutter speed of about 1/60 - this will allow the lights to cycle during the exposure and give you an 'average' WB. Or use an expodisc if you have one.

2. You'll want to shoot a manual exposure - lighting is poor but it's pretty consistent. The only time I would NOT use manual is if the gym has windows / skylights and there are hot-spots on the floor. I've not seen a HS gym with this but I do see rec centers and such with them. Start with ISO 3200 f2.8 and 1/400. During warmups take some close-up shots of torso/head and look at the faces. Adjust your exposure accordingly so faces look properly exposed. I don't recommend a shutter speed less than 1/400 so only drop below that if the above settings underexpose the shot (i.e. don't drop ISO to 1600 and shutter to 1/250. Noise is better than blur

3. Set focus mode to AI-Servo

4. Set focus point to center point only

5. Set shot to continuous

6. Shoot from baseline - just inside the 3-point arc.

7. Shoot in portrait orientation (90% of action is more vertical than horizontal so shooting landscape orientation leaves too much dead space in the frame).

8. Make sure you frame such that your subject fills at least 3/4 of the vertical frame. If you're on the baseline you'll be able to shoot the whole floor but resist the urge to frame loose and crop later - you'll lose too much detail to noise/cropping.

9. Make sure you're taking 3 shot bursts - lots of extraneous arms/hands etc that you can't predict.

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Boomanbb
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I used John's exact process Saturday and it worked great!
In reply to John_A_G, Jan 24, 2011

I had not shot basketball since I was in High School 32 years ago! Follow John's steps and you should get some great shots. Parents really liked these shots below.

Ben

 Boomanbb's gear list:Boomanbb's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS M Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM +8 more
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JOHN JR SNYDER
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Re: Indoor Basketball Pictures Help????????
In reply to JOHN JR SNYDER, Jan 24, 2011

Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I'll give them a try and hopefully Saturday will have some good basketball pictures to post on here!

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Old Coach
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Re: I used John's exact process Saturday and it worked great!
In reply to Boomanbb, Jan 24, 2011

I shoot wrestling in poorly lit gymnasiums. The mats absorb a lot of the available light, especially the dark colored mats. I use my 85mm 1.8 Canon portrait lens on my 7D. I set the ISO to 1600. This lens is just the right focal length to fill my viewfinder when the kids are in the center of the mat. If I sit matside that is 20 feet. From the front row of the bleachers it is 30 feet. 1600 is not a grainy setting on the 7D. You can preset the camera to remove various amounts of grain from high iso setting shots so you don't have to deal with that later. My Tamron 17-50 2.8 is just a little too slow and just a little short for indoor sports. I shot the state tournament last year with good lighting using my Sigma 18-200 on an xti with iso 800 and got nice results. The XCell Center in St. Paul has some really bright lights however. I tried the new Tamron sp 70-300 lens for indoor sports one day, but it is way too slow. Nice reach, but not the lens for this work.
One example of the 85mm set at 1600, 1.8, 1/400:

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Kinni Kinnik
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Match-ups and other elements...
In reply to JOHN JR SNYDER, Jan 24, 2011

John,

I usually set my camera so that the highlight alert flashes just a little bit on the shoulders of the players wearing white.

Usually, center court is about one stop brighter than the baseline area.

Shoot manual mode, AWB or custom and in some gyms you can use one of the other white balance presets. I turn the ISO up. Shutter speed is more important to me than noise.

About the elements;

In the picture below, these two girls have matched up against each other every time they have played.

On the back wall is the school logo. Sometimes you can get a very good shot as a player crosses in front of it.

If the official had been more in back of the players, focus may have locked on him.

In some gyms, you can position yourself so that the scoreboard or flag or something meaningful appears in the background.

Roger

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lacey1
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Re: basketball settings
In reply to John_A_G, Jan 26, 2011

4. Set focus point to center point only

I'd like to ask John_A_G a question about his recommendation of setting the focus point to center point only. If centerpoint expanded (7D) were an option, would that be a better choice?

Thanks,
Betty

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John_A_G
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Re: basketball settings
In reply to lacey1, Jan 26, 2011

lacey1 wrote:

4. Set focus point to center point only

I'd like to ask John_A_G a question about his recommendation of setting the focus point to center point only. If centerpoint expanded (7D) were an option, would that be a better choice?

Thanks,
Betty

Betty - the recommendation was based upon the OP using the 50d and on that model, the center focus point is the only high precision / cross type point.

I know all 19 points on the 7d are cross-type but off the top of my head I don't know how many are high precision. I shoot with a 1dIII so I'm not all that familiar with a 7d. But I use a non center point that's higher up in the frame (because it's both high precision and cross type) and I do enable focus point expansion. But again, I'm not that familiar with the 7d and which points are high precision and how it's expansion works (as compared to the camera I use).

Sorry I can't give you a definitive answer but hopefully I've given you some information as to the thought process so either your own knowledge of the 7d or research will help you determine how to select the best focus point

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lacey1
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Re: basketball settings
In reply to John_A_G, Jan 26, 2011

Thank you, John A_G!! Heading me down another path to study.

Many thanks,
Betty

John_A_G wrote:

lacey1 wrote:

4. Set focus point to center point only

I'd like to ask John_A_G a question about his recommendation of setting the focus point to center point only. If centerpoint expanded (7D) were an option, would that be a better choice?

Thanks,
Betty

Betty - the recommendation was based upon the OP using the 50d and on that model, the center focus point is the only high precision / cross type point.

I know all 19 points on the 7d are cross-type but off the top of my head I don't know how many are high precision. I shoot with a 1dIII so I'm not all that familiar with a 7d. But I use a non center point that's higher up in the frame (because it's both high precision and cross type) and I do enable focus point expansion. But again, I'm not that familiar with the 7d and which points are high precision and how it's expansion works (as compared to the camera I use).

Sorry I can't give you a definitive answer but hopefully I've given you some information as to the thought process so either your own knowledge of the 7d or research will help you determine how to select the best focus point

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