Jan 252012

Game Info
Date: January 24, 2012
Score: Kamiakin Braves: 80 -vs- West Valley Rams: 49 @ Kamiakin

Photos at Smugmug
Girls Basketball: Kamiakin vs West Valley – Girls Basketball Photos
Boys Basketball: Kamiakin vs West Valley – Boys Basketball Photos
Around the Court: Kamiakin vs West Valley – Around the Basketball Court Photos

Favorite Shots:
Girls Basketball - Kamiakin vs West Valley Girls Basketball - Kamiakin vs West Valley

Still learning how to shoot indoor sports. I am writing up my experience so that I, hopefully, won’t repeat the same mistakes (too many times) as well as to help others who venture this same path.

During first half I used only my Canon 60D in aperture mode with the 17-55mm f/2.8 lens set to f/2.8, ISO at 640, exposure compensation set to 2/3 underexposed, and the shutter speed left to the camera to decide. The shutter speed fluctuated between 1/60th of a second and 200th of a second. At the low end it was way too slow; way too many blurry photos. Many more were blurry when I accidentally bumped the aperture to f/3.5.

I decided to bump up the ISO from 640 to 1250, doubling the light sensitivity thus allowing the camera to use a faster shutter speed. The camera adjusted the shutter speed and I was amazed how much the exposure fluctuated. What this ends up meaning is that I will spend quite a bit of time in Lightroom adjusting photos since the lighting never really changed except possibly shadow detail.

At half-time I also decided to pull out my second camera, a Canon T2i with my 70-200mm f/4.0 zoom lens attached so I could get better pictures at the far side of the court. This camera I set up in ‘manual’ mode; the aperture wide open at f/4.0, the shutter speed set at 1/200th of a second to try to stop action, and ISO at 800. All the photos came out a bit dark, which was expected, but in Lightroom I just bumped the exposure up about 2/3 stop and only had to do some minor shadow filling.

Lesson Learned: In these indoor situations, it appears best to shoot manual mode since lighting is not really changing that much. When the boys play next, I will have set both cameras to manual mode and will see if I am right.

Other Camera Settings:
– Focus: AI Servo (continuous focus), using only the center dot. Camera set to use back button focus. Back button focus will be the subject of another post some day. With practice, I will be able to keep a player in focus even though others come between me and the subject. I just need to learn to ‘think’ while taking pictures so that I remember to release the focus when someone does come in between.
– Exposure Meter: Spot Metering. I think this was my problem in the earlier photos since the camera would adjust to the center spot even though the subject was not there. Using manual mode it will not matter as much, but will change the exposure metering to the Evaluative Metering mode so that I can keep an eye on my overall photo exposure while taking pictures.

Enjoy the photos!