Need advice on lights set up for large gym

Started Mar 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
cedy Junior Member • Posts: 41
Re: Three head arrangement..

I was party to the state basketball championships a few years back, and the lights were all placed high up in the cat walk area. It gave good separation between the subjects near the basket area, and that is really what counts in this type of work. Trying to light a large area is a waste, and I suspect this same train of thought would work here too.

However, I have shot tae-kwon-do tournaments, and the action was all over the place, every corner of the court was filled with action. There was no center ring to speak ok. I handled the situation like most us do, I  opened up, dialed it in and used no strobes. Like sports usually works, you use the camera to its limitations.

Flash and sports is not the best combination, you may startle a competitor or somehow affect the event. The last thing in the world you want is to blind somebody, so having strobes anywhere near eye level is a huge no-no. So get them as high as you can, or if possible just forget strobes.

Contrary to many peoples beliefs, strobes are terrible at stopping action, continuous light is far better. You pump up that shutter to ridiculous amounts and stop a bullet (well not that fast), make it up with ISO, and and aperture. ISO is the key in this case. A lot of sports shooters throttle the ISO, and leave everything else the same. You can't do much with the shutter as you have to stop the action. Messing with the aperture is ok, but such a hassle, it's better to set it and forget it. ISO is the one. Fast glass is an important aspect of it too. I would hate to go into a half-lit-dim-wit venue and expect to perform with anything less than f/2.8.

Lots to think about for sure, but whatever you do, keep those lights out of the contestants eyes.

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