Players Complaints about Gym Lighting

Discussion in 'Sports' started by russell_t, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. Hey all,
    I've been shooting for a local adults sports league for about a year and a half now, some sports are in indoor gyms (basketball, volleyball, etc...) and after a lot of research I am about to purchase a couple Einsteins to help out with ambient lighting, amongst other uses. My question is, even with the flash bulb completely hidden behind a reflector, do players ever complain about the change in ambient light when a picture is being taken? It seems it could be quite distracting, quite honestly.
  2. I have to admit I am very surprised the event staff would allow you to use flash at all from the floor.
  3. There is a track that is above the basket level where I plan on placing the strobe, so it'll be very high.
  4. Not sure what the current practice is but strobes in the rafters used to be standard practice for NBA and playoff-level college hoops. I have a lighting handbook at home where a photographer describes spending a couple of days whiring an arena with two dozen Speedotrons for Sports Illustrated. On the web site, he talks about doing the same on a smaller scale in high school gyms with speedlights.
  5. Hey Russell,
    the problem I see is that if you are strobing the venue everything might be fine for you, the players and officials for some games, until one player or official has a really bad day and complains about the strobes. I shoot a lot of indoor-sports for close to 20 years now and "does" and "donts" are always changing.
    Please excuse my English, Georg.
  6. "until one player or official has a really bad day and complains about the strobes"

    What that really comes down to is the player or official screwed up and he's looking for anybody to blame but himself so he blames the photographer.
  7. The pros aren't using rafter lights as much anymore. Twenty years ago it was annoying in NBA arenas. I didn't notice them at all at a game this year. I'm guessing there are three reasons.
    1. Many games have multiple photographers. Flashes will interfere with other shots.
    2. Modern digital cameras have enough low light capability to shoot action in poorly lit gyms.
    3. Photographers would rather shoot in burst mode at 5 to 8 shots per second. I don't know of a flash that will keep up with that rate.
    If you don't have to use a flash, why bother?
  8. Craig, Strobist has been one of my main sources, and he's been helping me on Twitter.
    Georg and Craig, that's what I'm worried about... looking to be the scapegoat because someone screwed up. People LOVE to bitch about nothing in this league, it seems.
    Ron, Impressive! What did you use in post to pretty much eliminate grain in that image at ISO 5000?
  9. I shoot basketball and night football at ISO 6400. I couldn't afford the 1Dx so I tested a 7D and a 5D mkIi. The 5D was
    way better at high ISO. For newsprint I didn't need to do any post process noise reduction, other than downsample the

    I agree with the earlier poster. I've had my shots ruined by some lunkheads shooting strobes from the other end of the
    court. Not talking on camera flash, but powerful flash heads. You would think at 1/500 second they wouldn't hit at the
    same time -until the slam dunk shot gets ruined by huge backlight.

    Your own image quality will also suffer from bad color balance. Your 5000 K strobes and maybe 3200 K gym lights. Invest
    in better lens and camera.

    At pro games the light is great. Good constant color and bright enough I can go down to 3200 at high speed.

    The audience and other shooters will HATE your strobes. Players will likely not notice.

    Save strobes for portraits. Get better lenses and camera for indoor sports.

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