I was asked to shoot a charity basketball game between the seniors and the staff to benefit scleroderma victims. I like this kind of event. The kids have fun and so does the staff. Plus, it goes to a good cause. Here are a few images from the evening and a short analysis of the problems and possible solutions follows that.
You can see all of the images at The Nature Light Photography Gallery.
What Did I Learn?
This was a new challenge. I have never shot sports inside before. Water polo and swimming? Yes. Softball? Yes. Rodeo? Yes. But never indoor basketball.
I have read where the lighting situation inside most high school gyms is difficult. JEEZ!! Is that true!!!! My plan was to take my SB600 and shoot with a fairly fast piece of glass, the 70-200 f2/8. It worked. Kind of.
While the flash did freeze the action fairly well, focus was a bit of a problem. The lens wouldn’t lock on to subjects well and fast enough. I think this is due to the very low light conditions and the difficulty of following the subject.
I basically planted myself under one basket and shot from a seated position. The length of the lens made it difficult to keep the subject in the viewfinder as they came closer to my end of the court and the proximity of the players made good composition difficult. You can see my results here.
You can see the limited field of view and difficulty of composition.
I brought my 50mm f1.4 also, but it limited my ability to isolate the players or what I wanted to shoot. I also had the D70 kit lens, a 18-70mm f3.5-4.5, but I didn’t think that it was fast enough. But I wasn’t getting the shots I wanted or needed, so I tried it.
I was surprised. It focused quickly, the flash froze the subjects well, and the images were usable!! The subjects weren’t too close for a good composition and I could compose fairly well.
With a wider lens, the composition is better.
The only problem was that the on camera flash left some weird shadows behind the subjects. It’s not the lens, but me not utilizing the flash well.
Harsh shadows caused by on camera flash.
I think I really need a better flash, something like a SB900 and some sort of remote to fire it off from a distance. I have seen sports shooters utilize two flashes mounted on stands placed at the corners of the floor and triggered by remotes such as Radio Poppers or Pocket Wizards. I would like to try that set-up next time.
The bottom line is that next time I WILL get the flash off of the camera and try to get two flashes that I can work together to improve the lighting situation.
All-in-all, I think it was a good shoot. OH, and the staff won!!!
Posted 4 years, 1 month ago at 11:19 am. Add a comment
Jeez!! Who would have thought that such a simple thing such as business cards could be such a difficult decision?
Other than the website, Nature Light Photography, I don’t think there is anything more important than your business card. Every get-together/networking event I have been to has required business cards. I have noticed that the people who are most respected seem to have memorable cards. Hence, the search for a good card is in the works.
Having said that, I am leaning to the ones at Moo.com. Why? Because the are reasonably priced and I LOVE the ablilty to put up to 50 different images on the cards. I think it is a way to get a sample of my images out to people.
I’m still looking, but I’m getting close to making the leap.
Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 2:00 pm. Add a comment
This website/blog has me stumped. I have no idea where to go next. I should have said had no idea.
Now I think that I am going to use it to do two things. One, document my attempt to start my portrait business and, two, document my learning on my trip through a photographic life.
Why start a business when I have a great job teaching biology and AP environmental science in high school? Because photography is a great passion, but an expensive one. I figured that I could combine the passion to feed the passion. I could use photography to help pay for the photography.
I have been told that I take good images, but the images are of nature, wildlife, and landscapes (with a little of everything else thrown in). Working with people scares the hell out of me. It’s WAY outside of my comfort zone! So, why portraits? Because I think working 36 different high school students every hour gives me a unprecedented access to potential clients.
What are my limitations? It’s against school policy (and maybe ed. code) to sell in the classroom. Besides, I think it would be unethical. That doesn’t mean that by being available to individuals is wrong. But I don’t want to be limited to students. I need to be reachable by the parents also and by limiting myself to one school, I limit the possibility of expanding my reach.
To do that, I plan on to treat this as a true business. After following many different individuals, both online and in other areas. The first thing I want to do is establish two things. An identity and a reputation.
The identity is in the works and the reputation comes from getting my work out and having people see it. That is the purpose of this website. To let others see my images and what I am thinking. Nature Light Photography is my site that I use to market my portraits and let clients know what is going on. (I still need to set it up.)
Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 10:30 am. Add a comment