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Indoor Sports Photography

carissawv
Occasional Contributor

Hello,

 

I'm seeking advice on indoor sports photography, equipment, and software. I have 60D and use the 70-200 2.8 IS III.  I have LR 4 and Photoshop Elements 13 and I'm trying to figure out if upgrading my equipment and software would help or if this is purely skills that need to be improved. I shoot in RAW.

 

1/5400 2.8 2500 WB fluorescent

IMG_5150 copy.jpg

1/500 3.5 6400 WB fluorescent

IMG_5222 copy.jpg

19 REPLIES 19

Welcome to the forum.

 

You've got an outstanding lens.  The 60D isn't the latest, but it is a capable camera.

 

What are you unhappy about with the images?

 

Can you post a link to a DropBox or One Drive folder with the two RAW images? The images look soft when I check them in FastStone Image Viewer, but they are only 1.5MB jpegs.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

wq9nsc
Respected Contributor

As John stated, you have a great lens and a capable camera.  The EF 70-200 f2.8 is always going to be on one of my camera bodies at sports events both indoor and out.  The 60D is quite capable and its biggest weakness compared to current bodies is a little less ability in low light which is important for indoor sports but a lot of good sports photos have been taken with that body so you will be fine with it.

 

For basketball, you are pushing the envelope at 1/400 shutter speed.  Basketball is one of the sports where you need about the same shutter speed for younger players as you do for older.  1/640 is as low as I like to go with 1/800 being preferable if there is enough light but you do have to account for less light.  I wouldn't go below 1/500 for basketball.  For sports action shots, your shutter speed has to be high enough to freeze action and the image stabilizer isn't going to help.  I generally leave it turned off.

 

Location becomes more critical when you are in a difficult area of ISO speed for your camera with the less cropping the better.  At ISO 100, you can crop severely and still retain good detail but as you push the ISO near the camera's limit you want to crop as little as possible which means in most cases getting as close to the action as possible. 

 

Basketball works best when shot from a low position so if you can't get on the gym floor, try to sit in the first couple of rows and stay as low as possible shooting out and preferably up.  With the lens at f2.8, depth of field becomes pretty shallow and you will probably find your best results are keeping a single focus point where you want it on the player but experiment between single point and a very small array of focus points to see what works best for you.

 

For sports, I shoot in manual mode with aperture generally wide open and shutter speed at 1/640 or better depending upon the light and sport.  I set ISO to auto to let the camera choose the exposure. 

 

The attached shot was from a really lousy game, the team I was shooting for was never in the game so there weren't a lot of good photo ops.  Hopefully things improve after their opener!  Shot at f2.8, 1/800, ISO 6400 with 1DX III and EF 70-200 f2.8 IS III

 

Rodger

 

AS0I9457.JPG

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Tintype_18
Super Contributor

Rodger, thanks for your reply. I find it interesting as to your experience along with various settings and advice on what to do in different situations. Shooting from a low position at basketball brought to mind many photographers sitting in the floot around each goal area. Hazardous is a couple of those players take a tumble and wind up in your lap. Had a request to photograph local high school games. Might contact the local editor to see if the offer still stands. They are local and the credits would look good on teh resume. I might be limited as I'm down the ladder with a T7, lenses are 18-55mm and 75-300mm.

Edit: I have taken lots of photos of my two grandson's baseball games. Had a time focusing on the player through the safety net.

wq9nsc
Respected Contributor

Tintype,

 

You are welcome and I am happy to share what I have learned through experience.

 

Basketball is the sport where photographers and fans are often in the danger zone so you have to stay highly alert at all times.  I really don't like having fans so close to the playing area because things happen and it is often the player who gets hurt.  One of the high school teams I shot for in the past puts their band on portable bleachers right behind the goal and every game has at least one player ending up there; it is a bad accident waiting to happen.

 

With every sport I shoot, I pay constant attention to the action AND I always know what is around me so that I can quickly get out of the way.  With HS basketball, there are going to be cheerleaders just out of bounds at both ends and you will have to contend with limited space and some of them paying little attention to the game.  It makes things more difficult in staying out of the way of the action.

 

But don't worry too much about the odds of injury because if you pay attention, you won't have an issue.  And basketball is a lot of fun to shoot even when the team you are supporting is having a horrible night.  I will be shooting another game for them Monday evening and hopefully the outcome will be better; I shoot the girls' team Thursday night and I think they are going to have a good season.

 

If lighting and lens force your camera into an ISO level beyond your comfort zone, think about getting some free throw shots where you can drop the shutter speed considerably.  I don't bother to do this with the 1DX series bodies in this level of light because they handle high ISO well but with a slower lens this may be the sort of shot you want to emphasize.  This free throw was shot with a 1DX II and EF 300 f2.8 at f2.8, 1/800, ISO 12,800 but a much slower shutter speed could have been used since the player was frozen while setting up his shot.

 

Rodger

 

AQ9I6761.JPG

 

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

carissawv
Occasional Contributor

Thank you, Rodger! I don't know why I hadn't thought of sitting closer to the court.

 

There was not enough light when I increased the shutter speed...hopefully sitting closer will help that.

carissawv
Occasional Contributor

There seems to be a download block on the gymnastics image, but I could download the basketball shot.

 

I suggest you download and use the free Canon DPP software to process your RAW files, then if you want to do more you can send to Lr or Ps.

 

Here is a quick edit just in DPP.

 

I will also send to Lr and see what that can do.

 

IMG_5150.JPG

 

I sent a TIFF from DPP to Lr and did a little more work.

 

IMG_5150-2.jpg

 

I have a Lightroom plugin (can also be used as a standalone app) the uses artificial intelligence for image sharpening (called Topaz AI Sharpen). Here's what it can do:

 

IMG_5150-Edit.jpg

 

Noise is much easier to deal with than motion blur, so when i doubt aim for a higher shutter speed and deal with the noise in post.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

carissawv
Occasional Contributor

Thanks, John! I love those edits! I'm going to work on getting more familiar with LR.

 

I may have fixed the other link??

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19JVeKE6ilIt4HEysxoKDz_1G1K7i_0mH/view?usp=sharing

"Give DPP a try."

 

2nd that. Smiley Happy

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!