Am I doomed or is there something can be done? - Sports Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wheelhot, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well here is a problem, in a few hours I will be going to a basketball match to take some photos. Problem is, I haven't own my very own DSLR yet and my best bet is my PnS which I have use a lot of time.

    I usually take Mountain Bike photos but that is easier because the rider going down the hill is not as fast paced compared to a basketball game.

    So if I were to play with the settings, which settings would you guys recommend me playing with and should I increase or decrease.

    Oh yea and another nightmare, increase ISO on my PnS is not a good idea but its the only way because the grains will kill the picture. Oh well I don't expect the photo quality to be good but any way not to make it look very bad or am I doomed?
  2. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    A little more info would be helpful. What kind of camera are you bringing exactly? What types of manual controls does it have? Is the game indoors or outdoors? Where will you be taking photos from? How far away from the action?

    Depending on what you're willing to accept, you may or may not be doomed.

    I would think that mountain bikers going downhill would be going pretty fast. In that situation, you might be saved assuming that they're outdoors in good light. If this game is outdoors in the sun, it might be very similar.

    Probably your best bet is to set the camera to the "sports" mode. Otherwise, increase your ISO until you become unsatisfied with the grain or if you can, set yourself up for the fastest shutter speed or largest aperture the camera will allow.

    Good luck!
  3. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well, Im not sure how far will I be but I heard its going to be indoor. This is a nightmare cause if its indoor, then the lighting will be poor which means that I will likely get blurry shorts.

    Well I guess in MTB my camera can take fast pictures with less possibility of blurring is cause its bright but this is the opposite.

    Hmm, so far I can only play with the exposure +-2.0 and ISO.
  4. H2Ockey macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    Can you mess with the WB or is it all auto? If its indoor you may be left with very yellow blurry shots depending on the gym lighting. Typical gym lighting is bad, very bad for photography. I would say just as above try and set the shutter speed as fast as you can and still get an exposure and ISO as high as you can stand it, hopefully adjust the WB for flourescent lights and cross your fingers.
  5. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well I just came back, changed the exposure and WB, but because I cant adjust the aperture the image still turn out blurry even with ISO1600 which produce a very poor image.

    I end up using sports mode and change the WB and ISO to 100-400, the shots if don't magnify will look okay (haven't upload it onto my mac yet) but if its magnified then its real bad, as in REAL BAD!.

  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    1. is it a paid job?

    2. why would you do something without the proper equipment? and why would you wait until few hours before the event to ask questions?

    3. Fact there are camera rental houses, but from the sound of it you probably don't have the budget / credit for rentals
  7. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Erm no, its not a paid job. Erm, I ask questions few hours before the event because I only know that I must take those photographs a few hours before the event. And I don't think there is camera rental houses at the place Im living.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    They can ship anything world wide over night. There are several rental outfits who would ship via FedEx or the like if you give them a credit card number and an address.

    But you say this is just for your own use so you may not care to spend the money.

    With a P&S at a basket ball game that is not much you can do unless you are very close. That means with feet on the floor. From the stands it will not work at all. But yuo can still do pictures of the stadium and of the crowds and close ups of the crazy fans and capture the "atmoshere" if not close ups of the sports action.
  9. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well thanks for the tip, I managed to get some action shots while the ball is in mid air or when the players is just about to shoot and I managed to get some pics where the ball entered the hoop but then the picture isn't that clear so its kinda frustrating. And then there was this shot where a player shoot from almost middle of the court and scored!!!, its a pity during that time my PnS is out of battery :(
  10. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    That sucks that you ran out of battery.

    What were you planning to do with the pictures? Just for your use, publish on a blog/website/newsletter, sell?

    Just curious.
  11. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Ah nah, I just do it for fun, cuz my college team was in the basketball finals so they ask me and a few other photographers to take photos.

    Although I do feel a bit odd cause Im the only one using PnS whereas everyone else is on DSLRs. :(

    Not that I mind, just you get this kind of "Im alone" feeling.

    Oh yea, the D40 is the smallest Nikon DSLR rite? How about the D60? Is it bigger or about the same size as a D40? Cause I saw this man holding a Nikon and it look so small for a DSLR. Maybe its because his hand size or something. Hmm.

    Well if you guys want me to post some pictures, I wont mind but be warned that its not that nice :(
    Cause when I zoom using the camera to take the photos, the grains become much worse.
  12. apearlman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    Red Hook, NY
    Doesn't seem like such a crisis. Learn for next time.

    if it's just for fun, then I don't see what the big crisis is. Do your best, try to get some decent shots, mess around with settings and techniques, and then when you get home see what worked well and what didn't.

    With poor gym lighting, fast action, and a P&S camera, you might not have any chance at good photos. But if you've shot action before (biking), then you must know enough principles to make an attempt at the basketball game and learn from it.

    One suggestion: if your camera can shoot raw, do it. (Don't laugh, some compacts have this feature.) It will give you more leeway to adjust white balance and exposure later.
  13. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Yeah, its not a big crisis but I always want to take a good shot, I don't like when my photo doesn't look nice, I will like whine to my self about my poor shots :rolleyes:

    Yeah, some of the photos I managed to get the moment the player is going to release the ball, when the player jumped shoot and when the ball entered the net and also when the ball is exactly above the net. Thank goodness the stadium is well lit cause if its not then I might ended up with very bad unusable pictures of my college annual dinner.

    Good experience though.

    And Im not laughing about RAW in PnS, in fact I find it better to have RAW in a PnS so that at least the photo won't look as bad as JPEGs. Oh yea, I know that people says that RAW give you more freedom over your pictures. Why is it so?
  14. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    If you have a tripod, and a position at the back, or up high, long exposures at very very low sensitivity are also worth a try, you might get some good shots of the players blurring right across the court. Paste the court section onto an other shot from the same position (with same framing) showing the expanse of the audience (with clearer definition). Play round with variants on that.
  15. wheelhot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Good idea, I'll try that next time. Haha, I got a tripod a pretty old one but still very much useable (carried it on my mountain bike pack to make a panaromic photo :D)

    Oh yea, how to get a good blur shot? Sometime I do get blur but I feel its just too much blur. What kind of blur are we talking bout here. Its been awhile since I see a good blur shot :D

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