BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Linda L. Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/3/2005
 

Tips on inside gymnasium photographing


I have been asked to photograph a competitive cheerleader competition which will be held inside a high school gym. Any tips on shooting in that kind of light?


To love this question, log in above
10/6/2005 9:45:00 AM

 
Ric Henry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/29/2004
  I'm not sure what type of camera you have, but if it's a point & shoot camera you are going to have problems. All gym lighting is different some darker then others. I would say use 1600 ISO and a 2.8 or faster lens to get some desent pictures. Hope this helps.

Ric


To love this comment, log in above
10/6/2005 10:09:50 AM

 
Bob Fately   Linda, Ric is right - gyms are notoriously varied in both the quality and quantity of light available. Some gyms have big windows so in daylight it's not bad. Some use halogen lighting (a bit reddish) while others use mercury vapor (greenish) etc. Then in a cheerleader competition there probably will be spotlights and the like, adding to the complexity.

So first - unless you have a fancier type camera you're not going to be able to do much. The fastest possible lens will be needed, because not only do you want to expose the chip or film properly - you need to do so at a high enough shutter speed to stop motion (unless you want everything blurry). Setting your ISO higher (though it does mean more noise) or using faster film (more grain) helps here as well.

If you have a digital camera, perhaps setting white balance before you start will be a good idea. With film, you'll just have to fix things later in post.

I'd recommend a monopod - tripod might be too clumsy (if allowed at all) but the monopod at least offers some support (plus helps prevent fatigue of just holding 3+ pounds of camera gear up to your eye all the time).

Flash - a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Understand that none but the most powerful flash units are capable of properly illuminating subjects more than 30 feet away. The great sport shots you see in Sports Illustrated et al are done by shooters who have ginormous flash units rigged up in the catwalks, with wireless triggers on their cameras. In fact, you ened to check with the organizers to see if you can even use a flash - it might prove distracting to the competitors.

Go to the venue a day or two before the event with your camera gear to see what vantage points you can take as well as get a feel for the lighting. Ask the coaches if there will be spots etc., and if you are even allowed to use flash.

And good luck!


To love this comment, log in above
10/6/2005 10:39:05 AM

 
Linda L. Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/3/2005
  Thanks! I guess I should have mentioned what type of camera I will be using...duh...lol. I will be using my Nikon D-70. Usually when I photograph dance productions which are in dark theatres, I set it on Shutter Priority (to capture the movement) and up the ISO a bit (but do hate the noise I get).


To love this comment, log in above
10/6/2005 11:05:59 AM

 
Ric Henry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/29/2004
  I shoot Volleyball in gyms. I shoot in Aperture priority 2.8 at 1600 ISO. And it does pretty good some noise, but it can be cleaned up in Photoshop. I like to get the shutter speed faster then 1/125 to freeze motion and depending on the gym lighting that is hard some times. Make sure you set the white balance for that gym.


To love this comment, log in above
10/6/2005 12:15:13 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.