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| p.1 #5 · Dominican Basketball League C&C please |
Let me start off by saying this is a harsh critique, but it is NOT meant to discourage you, but to make you see things that maybe you did not think of, know, or at least let you know what I see..
#1 thing to remember is know your gear and its limitations. Unlike film days, you can have the best lenses in the world, but if will not save you if your camera is not being used correctly. In these images I see the following:
Image 1: Your settings as posted are "32 mm f/3.2 1/320 sec 1600 ISO +0.7 EV" First thing about the settings that strikes me is, drop the aperture to 2.8 and increase the shutter speed. With indoor sports under constant lighting, your exposure should not change, or it should not change enough that you can not shoot in manual mode. With backgrounds like you have here, I would look at renting or buying an even faster lens like a 1.8 or 1.4 and shoot it wide open. Yes your DOF will get smaller, but when you have ugly backgrounds, once you nail focus it will really help your images pop. Also, a faster lens will help you increase your shutter speed to necessary action stopping speeds. With basketball, unless it is a sportrait, photos of a ref, or a player calling for the ball, a action shot without the ball in it does nothing for me. This shot, with out your "looking for a foul" tag tells me nothing. And, unfortunately, with the 1/320th shutter speed, the image is not sharp. For me, this would be a throw away image.
2. Second image is the standard basketball image. Driving to the hoop. The things I see are - Dead space at bottom and cut off fingers at the top of the frame on the defender, horizon is crooked, and you missed the focus. Another throw away image.
3. Probably the best image of the bunch. looks to be the sharpest. You have the ball, the eyes of the passer, and seeing as you can not see who he is passing to (which is fine) this tells me he is making a leading pass into the key for someone cutting to the hoop. Exposure could use some tweaks, and the WB seems a tad off (tough conditions with the lights and the windows), but best one of the bunch.
4. This shot does not work for me for two main reasons. The first is the player that takes up most of the frame. Back to you, out of focus, and it does not appear that he is ready for the pass coming (if the pass is coming to him), and he is just distracting. Second, is it is just too loose for my taste. The open door in the background with the orange cones is the second thing that my eye is drawn to. Third, the image seems to have (as most of these do) yellowish cast to them.
You said you would have used a higher ISO but even with noise reduction you find too much noise... Is that the in camera noise reduction or is it aftermarket. I would rather shoot at a noisier ISO level to get the shutter speeds you need (bare minimum for basketball is 1/500th. I prefer 1/800-1/1000), at the widest aperture (2.8 or faster), and have in camera noise reduction set to minimum and use something like Noise Ninja to take care of the noise in post processing. Also, in mixed lighting like this, using a expodisc, gray card, or some sort of tool to set your white balance, getting a minimum 1/500th shutter speed, exposing correctly, and processing correctly, even at higher ISO, you should see a great improvement over these images in sharpness, exposure, etc. As for the action, you need to anticipate. I believe you are at 4fps, but get your timing down, anticipate the peak action to start capturing it, pay attention to backgrounds and position yourself where they are less ugly, watch your composure and you will see an improvement.