From: Steve Cutchen on
In article <MbOdnSwjdvTKJjbYnZ2dnUVZ_t-mnZ2d(a)>, John
McWilliams <jpmcw(a)> wrote:

> Now, when I have to do volleyball, I'll take a flash along and use it
> unless there is protest. Most gyms have lousy lighting.

I shoot volleyball a ton. I've NEVER seen a flash allowed. is last season.

I'll respond to Eric directly in another post.

From: Cynicor on
acl wrote:
> Eric Babula wrote:
>> "Mike Fields" <spam_me_not_mr.gadget2(a)comcastDOTnet> wrote in
>> news:op6dnUkEPISxRzbYnZ2dnUVZ_qemnZ2d(a)
>>> There are a number of things you can do to get the best possible
>>> pictures:
>>> 1) as indicated above .. FAST GLA$$ (expensive low light lenses)
>>> 2) boost the ISO (which you indicated you have done) there is some
>>> software such as neatimage to help reduce noise in the image
>>> from the high ISO
>>> 3) use a tripod or monopod to help reduce camera movement
>>> 4) work at taking the pictures when there is minimum movement
>>> like right at the peak of a jump to spike the ball where the
>>> player is "hanging" in the air (takes a bit of practice). If
>>> you get it just right, you get one of those cool shots where
>>> things are mostly sharp except for the blurred arm etc.
>>> 5) use the highest shutter speed you can for the exposure (which
>>> takes us back to #1 again - a lens that is 2 stops bigger
>>> (lower number) than what you have now means you can multiply
>>> your shutter speed by 4 for the same shot - there is a big
>>> difference between 1/125 and 1/500 when you are talking action
>>> shots.
>>> mikey
>> To your point #3: Cynicor mentioned that I should turn off the IS,
>> "because the speeds at which IS makes a difference are too slow to
>> freeze the play. So there won't be any hand shake, but there'll be
>> action blur." I've read that before, too. Does this make sense to you,
>> too?
> Hi again. Cynicor was talking about shutter speeds fast enough to make
> IS irrelevant (which would also presumably be necessary to freeze
> player motion). In your case, shutter speeds are slow enough that IS is
> needed to reduce camera shake (but it won't do anything for subject
> motion).

Do you think the IS will really make a big difference if he's shooting
at 1/125? I always turn it off when I'm shooting ice hockey now.
From: John McWilliams on
Cynicor wrote:

> Do you think the IS will really make a big difference if he's shooting
> at 1/125? I always turn it off when I'm shooting ice hockey now.

It could make a difference.

OTOH, do you really gain anything by turning it off?

John McWilliams

There is a television ad for M$ Outlook with the sequentia "Confutatis"
from Mozart's Requiem (K 626) rising in the background.

"Where do you want to go today?" flashes on the screen while the chorus
sings: 'Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis,' ["The damned
and accursed are convicted to the flames of hell."]
From: Steve Cutchen on
In article <Xns98B96DBEC6409ebabulacare2com(a)>, Eric
Babula <ebabula(a)> wrote:

> Ok, I got my DSLR (Pentax K100D) with the kit 18-55mm lens (f3.5-5.6)
> and a Promaster 70-300mm lens (f4-5.6), and started playing with it,
> trying to shoot pics at my daughter's volleyball tournament this
> weekend.

What level of volleyball... what age? That will have some bearling on
how to shoot it.

I shoot high school ball for my daughter's team.

> As expected, I had to do quite a bit of tinkering to try to figure out
> how to get decent shots of this indoor sport! Throughout the day, I took
> 195 photos! Of course, most are going to be dumped, but I hope I got at
> least some keepers.

This is a good first lesson. Lots of shots. When I first started, I
was using an OLY C2020Z P&S. I would get about 20% keepers.

My current setup is a Canon 300D Dig Rebel (1st gen) with the hacked
firmware that lets me shoot ISO 3200.

Use a monopod. It helps with shake, aim (I can take shots without
using the eyepiece if I have to, because I'm used to how the setup
aims) and to really reduce fatigue.

My favorite lens is a 28-105 3.5-4.5 USM. This is shooting from the
sidelines behind the benches, from deep behind the baseline or from the
stand, maybe 5-10 rows up. Another good choice here would be the
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di LD.
In a really dark gym, I'll use my 50mm MkI. Beautifully sharp lens.
I also will move to the top of the gym and use my 70-210 3.5-4.5 USM

I would say currently, about 75%+ are decent shots from a photo
composition standpoint, though not all of the "correct" shots are high
impact. Often the play ends up differenly than you anticipate, and you
get a shot of nothing... heh.

Last season I ended with 4500 photos in my iPhoto library.

> While I was there, I decided to look for someone who also was shooting
> with a DSLR, and ask some questions. I found a guy who seemed to know
> what he was doing, and he was very friendly and helpful. He told me what
> settings he likes to use for indoor volleyball, and how he sets his
> camera to Manual Mode and set it all up. As part of that explanation, he
> pulled out a gray cloth and a white cloth (he used both for his
> settings). I remember the white cloth was used to set Manual/Custom
> White Balance, but I can't remember what he used the gray cloth for.
> Would anyone here know why you would use the gray cloth? Does it have
> something to do with Exposure settings? I can't remember what he said
> about the gray cloth. What should I be concerned with, here?

I shoot in Apeture Priority, letting the shutter speed float. In a
darker gym, I'll open the lens wide to get an acceptable shutter speed.
I think 1/120 is a minimum when using a monopod. In a brighter gym,
I'll stop down a stop or two to get more Depth of Field.

I always shoot ISO 3200. I use NoiseNinja with a custon noise
calibration for my camera to reduce the ISO noise. This works fine for
me since I'm shooting for the web site and for an end of year video. I
would need Great Gla$$ if I was shooting for 8x10s or more. F2.8 would
be a max at ISO 800 for some gyms I shoot in... and even 2.8 is
probably slow at that ISO.

I use a gray card to set a custom white balance. Most gyms are Mercury
Vapor, which is not a stock setting for my 300D. I also shoot some
gyms with skylights. So the Freshman and JV games may be a mix of
Sunlight and Mercury Vapor, and Varsity might be much darker and
Mercury Vapor only. I've got to adjust my Custom WB during the
matches. This is really important if you want good color. I could
shoot RAW, but with 200-300 shots per night, that would really add to
my post processing work flow.

Best shooting positions are
1) near the net behind the bench. Mind the positions of the down ref.
Also, depending on your lens, this can be too close for the front
player on your side of the net. But it gives some really nice angles
for defensive digs and for sets. Also, this is a nice place to shoot
down the bench for some nice candid shots of players and coaches. Move
to about the 10ft line and you get some nice angles for the middle
blocker, right side and outside.
2) behind the baseline, at the right rear corner. This is the opposite
corner from the line judge, so they are not in your way. Really nice
angle of blocking from behind the action. And the shots of the outside
hitter from here are nice. And bench & fan shots can be good from
here. Also, shooting from the "other side" baseline from your team can
give some nice face shots through the net.
3) in the stands, analogous to #1. You are up a bit higher, so the
angles are different, which is good. Can see over backcourt players.
Still shoot with the monopod, just adjust it down to shoot from a
sitting position.
4) Position 1-3 are shot with the 28-105 lends. Position 4 is Way UP
in the stands, with the 70-210 lens. In most gyms I can shoot with the
210 from the top wall. I get some great shots of net play including

(By "shot", I mean photo, not volleyball play...)
You should try to decide what shot you are looking for before each
shot. Maybe a player that doesn't play a lot is in, and you
concentrate on her. Maybe you are hoping to get a good shot of the
setter. Or a defensive specialist...

Anticipate the play on the court. This lets you change your mind on
the shot you are looking for as the play proceeds. Maybe you are
trying to get a good serve receive shot... then the ball is shanked
right. Try to get that dive attempt at the save! Think ahead of the
play. As you become a better volleyball fan, you will get better at
anticipating where the play will go, and can prepare yourself.
If you get a chance, take the fraction of a second before the target
play occurs to "pre-squeeze" and give the focus and exposure a chance
to get ready...

Expect to post-process. You can turn a decent shot into a great shot
with a minor crop and a touch of photo adjustment.

Have fun! Get into the game! The best shots will come as you become a
better, more informed fan.

> Any additional help you can offer would be appreciated, too.
> TIA,
From: Cynicor on
John McWilliams wrote:
> Cynicor wrote:
>> Do you think the IS will really make a big difference if he's shooting
>> at 1/125? I always turn it off when I'm shooting ice hockey now.
> It could make a difference.
> OTOH, do you really gain anything by turning it off?

I suppose not. Maybe slightly longer battery life.