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Thread: How do I take good photos of an indoor basketball game?

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    Member skittles7571's Avatar
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    Question How do I take good photos of an indoor basketball game?

    I have to take photos at a basketball game soon and i was wondering if anyone could give me some advice,
    I only have very basic lenses and the flash that comes with the camera so i don't have a lot to work with.
    Thanks

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    What level basketball and what's the lighting like ?
    What lens and camera do you have ?
    Do you know much about actio photos

    Personally I don't like using flash in indoor sport.

    So many factors here.
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    You need to stop the action, so set your lens to the widest aperture it can go, ramp up the ISO so it gives you a shutter speed of at least 1/800 sec or faster and follow the action. Don't use a flash - too off putting for the players. You need a fast lens, a 85mm F1.8 prime is an ideal size as you can cover the court from the sideline with this on a crop frame camera, and the USM allows fast focusing. Set the camera to centre point focusing as it is more accurate in low light. I take pics of my son playing and depending on the Stadium, generally I use ISO 1600 with the 85mm at between F1.8 to 2.5, which gives me a shutter speed faster than say 1/500. Good luck.

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    Interesting point re flash putting players off, there was quite a discussion on this over at sportsshooter and the consensus was the players didn't even notice.

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    You also will need to get the OK from both Coaches before the game if it is Under 18's playing. In VIC the Coaches sign the score sheet to say that it was OK for pics, but when it comes to the Grand Final that goes out the window and no-one seems to care as most parents have their camera!
    I personally wouldn't use my flash as last thing I want is backlash from my son & his mates if it blinded any of them at a critical time, but have seen parents use their pop up flash and wonder what's the point, just how effective it would be anyway as they shoot action at the other end of the court?
    Last edited by Old Skool; 16-08-2011 at 7:48pm.

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    Member crf529's Avatar
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    The flash on your camera is useless (nowhere near powerful enough), but even if it was when your playing your never looking at a photog on the sidelines to be blinded....

    If you only have the kit lens unfortunately you are going to struggle...alot...

    The new stadium up here is fairly bright for a basketball stadium and makes some of the older ones seem like the dungeons they are. Even then shooting at f/2.8 and ISO 800-3200 will only give you 1/500 - 1/640s shutter speeds. To get these speeds, which are really minimums, with a kit lens your ISO will be maxed out which may still not be enough.

    If you can look at getting your hands on some fast glass, otherwise you may be rather disappointed with what you are able to capture.
    Some Pentax stuff and junk

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    Ausphotography Veteran salnel's Avatar
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    I asked this very same question a while back and had some excellent advice. I tried with my 18-200mm which was pretty hopeless and then I got a 50mm and had another go...that was better but I took hundreds of shots and got a few keepers. What standard of basketball are you trying to shoot? If you are looking at Under 18 or higher, it is very difficult as the play moves so fast. Have a look at this thread, as there is a heap of good advice in it and good luck
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...etball-stadium
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    I have the same problem shooting indoor sporting event with poor lighting, my formula seems to work for me, I use a Canon 50d with a YN480 flash and a sigma 70-200 f2.8.
    I set to manual, Shutter 1/250, f3.2 iso 1200 and let the canon do its own noise reduction, on the flash I set to TTL and reduce output to -1 to -1 1/2 also I shoot raw and below are the results I got from last weekends comp were quite pleasant.

    Damn wont let me upload images.
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    Here we go, thse are the reults of the days action with those settings.

    6.jpg1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg

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    I find a lot of post processing will do the trick. Exposure and noise reduction.

    Otherwise keep it on manual or shutter priority and keep bumping the ISO up until you get a valid shot.

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