Unorthodox Basketball Pictures

Discussion in 'Sports' started by karl_borowski, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. I'd like to know if anyone can post samples of some "artsy" pictures they've
    taken lately at basketball games. I'm looking for some inspiration.
    Basketball is the one sport that I'm consistently boring when shooting. I'll
    get foul shots, people going up for the dunk, but all my pictures tend to look
    the same, as if it's the same shot just flipped horizontally with different
    players in the frame each time.

    I have access to the typical arsenal of wideangles, primes, and sports zooms
    and a powerful flash, a Metz, but I don't have any F2s, 2.8s for the wide
    angles and primes, and 3.5s or 4s for all of my zoom stuff.

    Also, I have a terrible problem with getting the ball in an appealing spot.
    I'll have shots with it stopped on the floor during a dribble or shots where it
    is a blur. What's a good shutter speed/flash speed for basketball shooting?

    I usually go for 1/500th-1/750th with football, soccer, hockey etc, but
    basketball pictures I take never seem to capture the action effectively. I
    usually shoot right under the basket or near the edge of the paint.

    ~Karl Borowski
  2. Similar to what I posted on the other thread. Delvon Roe is one of the country's top rated Junior hoops prospect. Can you will find Tar Heel coach Roy Williams sitting in the background? 35mm f/1.4 prefocused on the rim, turned vertical and level to the floor.
  3. I like wide angle as it gives a different perspective. A little more dramatic IMHO.
  4. Here is one with either the 17-55 Nikon or the 28-70 Nikon f/2.8 taken at a similar angle, but a little wider. When I'm bored, I go wide and play around. Getting a drive to the hoop near the baseline with a wide angle is a nice shot.
  5. There was one "unorthodox" picture of a basketball game I saw years ago in Sports
    Illustrated, back when Michael Jordan was still on the court. It was an image of Phil Jackson,
    then coaching the Bulls. In the foreground, MJ is blurred, but you can tell its him - and
    Jackson is pointing in the direction in which MJ is headed. Great photo.
    Instead of concentrating on just the action elements, try looking at the players and the
    coaches. Look for their expressions on the sideline or on the field. A lot of times the best
    sports shots aren't about the action at all, but of the people who play the game, and the
    people who make it run. At least that's my feeling on sports photography.
  6. Thanks for the posts Robbie, your picture from the other thread piqued my interest. I take it most of your shots are from behind the end line of the court, near the edge of the 5-second zone when you're shooting? Do you move around much during games or just camp out under the hoop? Maybe it helps having good players in front of you too. IDK actually how good my school's team is, but let's just say we're no OSU when it comes to our athletic program. Are those shots full frame 35mm or crops from a D-APS sized sensor? Also, you have nice crisp subjects in the frame, ball playeers everything, what short of shutter speed/flash duration are you working with? I'm thinking I need to use the Metz at full power at the slowest synch speed (1/125)

  7. Artsy, unorthodox hoop pics may mean different things for different people. FWIW, aside from typical action shots, I agree with Matt that you can also get rid of boredom by shooting non-game action.
  8. ...another coach rage...
  9. ...don't forget the cheerleaders...
  10. ...and friends...
  11. ...the crowd's reaction...
  12. ...the supporting cast...
  13. ...action from different point-of-view...
  14. Since the 5D is pretty forgiving compared to Nikon, I shoot all my sports at ISO 1600. I've even started bumping it up to 3200 because the newspaper doesn't complain. But 1600 generally gives me 1/500 or better.

    My lens are set at f/1.4 or f/1.8 of course.

    Image #1 and #2 are both Canon 5D shots wih the f/1.4 35mm lens. However, the 85mm f/1.8 gets the vast majority of the work. probably 95% or better. The fast 50 never gets out of the bag, though it is equally capable.

    Image #3 is either the 17-55 or 28-70 f/2.8 attached to a Nikon D200. Same arena about a week earlier than #1 and #2.

    I use no flash, because I just don't like the look of flash and it's one less thing to carry. If my newspaper hasn't complained of noise, why should I bother giving up light?
  15. Probably my favorite of the past few months was this image...
  16. Thanks for all of the great pictures sofar everyone. Keep 'em comin'.

    What are the best spots for a basketball photographer to be besides under the rim for these pictures, assuming you have all-access to the court for shooting? What setup would you recommend for lense lengths/bodies (35mm full frame SLRs), assuming that I am shooting flash (I'm pretty sure they have those damned icky fluorescents where I'm shooting, so that makes available light decidely unappeasing).

    I guess, to be specific, what I am after is what you folks do time-wise during the game. Do you devote one quarter to under the rim with such and such a lens, another to midcourt with another lens, or is it more spontaneous? It's easy with football or soccer to kind of plan out where the action is going and move around to set up for optimal shots as play progresses, but with basketball the court is so small and action so fast paced that I really don't know how to best go about documenting a game efficiently.
  17. Well folks, I took your replies to heart, and, while not a wide-angle shot, this is what I took to
  18. Robbie,

    Did you notice how different the image rendering is between your D200 and 5D? :)
  19. Only just started shooting basketball, but i try for the different angles other than just the standard dribble, shoot etc
  20. Excited Coaches
  21. still excited
  22. Crowd reaction - i've always loved Jordan's "Last Shot" in Utah... looking down the court straight into the crowd with all the mixed reactions....
  23. one of my favorites

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