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Archive 2012 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L
  
 
clarence3
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Basketball isn't one of my favorite sports, but now that football season is over, I've been trying a few games at the request of friends who have kids on the local teams.

Our tiny town just added a new HS a couple of years ago. Since the schools are only a mile apart, the rivalry is pretty intense at every matchup. Last night the new school hosted the Girls Varsity team and trounced them. The second half of the double-header was the Varsity Boys.

I've decided to not even break out the strobes this year. Too much hassle. Too much geeking and tweaking. Much easier just to eat dinner then drive a mile to the gym. No setup. Recycle time of the strobes throws off my timing too much. I'm not a spray-and-pray machine-gun shooter, but I like to follow the action, take a couple of shots in a sequence, then throw half of them away.

With BB, I always struggle with focal length selection. For field sports, I love shooting tight, but I'd also like to include ball, net, offensive player, and defender. That's hard to do at 200mm. But shooting at 28-70/2.8L left me yearning for getting tighter. Tried multiple bodies, but I like to stay agile. I tried 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 - a little better, nice when the plays were in the sweet spot, but too wide to get tight.

So last night, I brought my 200/1.8L with the intention of just trying it for just one quarter. I ended up liking it so much that I kept it on the whole game. I brought the 1D Mk IV, but I decided to use the 5D3... I like the high-ISO, don't need the high FPS, and the full-frame sensor widens up the reach of the 200mm prime just enough.

I amputated more limbs than a Civil War field medic. I got knees when I want to capture the ball and net. But as long as I waited for the ball to cross midcourt, I never found myself wishing I could get a lot tighter.

Too many words... let's get on to too many pictures...

1.





2.





3.





4.





5.





6.







Dec 12, 2012 at 08:53 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


7. A couple of players going after the ball, neither one relented, so a tug turned into a tumble and team mates started helping, then players started restraining the other team's players. Benches started to clear but the coaches sat them back down real quick. I wouldn't call it a "fight", but the refs took 15 minutes and decided to eject 3 players. A bit heavy handed, but they wanted to keep the rest of the game under control...






8.





9.





10.





11.





12.






Dec 12, 2012 at 08:54 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


13.





14.





15.





16. This was the last picture of the game, at the buzzer. I deleted it since it was out of focus, but as I hit delete, I noticed this was my neighbor's kid getting kicked in the forearm. I asked him if he had a shoeprint bruise this morning...






Visiting team (Vikings) won, 79-20. Ouch.



Dec 12, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Aqualung
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


great colors and contrast, don't know about the cutoffs on #3 & #4, but do like #2...

Chris



Dec 12, 2012 at 11:09 PM
mdalby
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Clarence,

Nice job!

I like #9 and #10. It is of course ideal to have the whole ball in the shot but I don't think having the ball cutoff is too big a deal. I think most people know what a ball looks like.

#3 and #4 don't work for me though.



Dec 13, 2012 at 12:50 AM
rdalrt
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Thanks for these Clarence. I am thinking about trying the 200 at some bball this year too. Like you, I try to always be shooting as tight as possible, but was concerned about the 200 being too much. Based on what I see here from you though, I will give it a shot.


Dec 13, 2012 at 03:47 AM
amlsml
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


nice set Clarence, I al going to try my 200 f2 (nikon ) next Bball and try no strobes. You shoot all of them wide open?


Dec 13, 2012 at 04:44 AM
clarence3
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Thanks guys.

amlsml wrote:
You shoot all of them wide open?


No, I used to always shoot wide open, and the 200/1.8L is nice and sharp at f/1.8, but I shot these at f/2.0 - kind of nice keeping a little in reserve... knowing I can turn the volume up to "11" if I want to. Plus it adds a smidgen more to the depth of field.

Same when I add the 1.4x TC... wide open gives me f/2.5, but I bump it up a click to f/2.8 just for a nice round number.



Dec 13, 2012 at 04:56 AM
innaeddy1
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


I am right there with you on the strobes for HS ball, the only time I mess with them for HS ball is when I am shooting a tournament and multiple games, waste of tiime for a couple of games for the return imo......... and the photos here looking good, I am with others on #3 just not doing it for me

andy



Dec 13, 2012 at 09:03 AM
clarence3
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Aqualung wrote:
don't know about the cutoffs on #3


mdalby wrote:
#3 and #4 don't work for me


innaeddy1 wrote:
I am with others on #3 just not doing it for me


OK, the tribe has spoken. #3, you've been deleted. But before you go, here's one last re-crop...

3c.






Dec 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM
 

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MakoShark
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


I think the natural light in this gym with the combo you have working will serve you very well! Some clean crisp shots with great color.

Looking forward to your next set!!



Dec 13, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Russ Isabella
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Nice set, Clarence. I can understand your being smitten with the 200/1.8, though I've never shot with a 5DIII--I'll bet that's a sweet set-up. In spaces where it doesn't quite 'fit,' I liken use of the 200/1.8 to a high-wire act. The payoff is amazing but the cost is not insubstantial. I'd have to go with #'s 1, 8 and 10 as your best shots here, with a number of others that would be added to the list if not for the 'costs' of shooting a bit too tight. #9 really stands out in this category because that would have been a dynamite shot if all ball, hands and arms had been in frame.





Dec 13, 2012 at 03:23 PM
BillP57
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Very nice set, but for me some of these (3, 4 & 9) are just too tight.

Bill



Dec 14, 2012 at 01:55 PM
SCOTT SHIN
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Than you for sharing the photos and your tips.
I have tried with 200/f2 before, but that wasn't easy for me. Now I am back to 85mm/1.4 to shoot BB games in machine-gun style.



Dec 16, 2012 at 02:58 PM
CW100
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


sharp, good colors - nice set


Dec 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Deborah Kolt
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Part of the ball being cropped doesn't bother me any more than cropping a limb. The brain completes the circle and the expression on the players' faces is what draws the eye, anyway. I've experimented this year for the first time with including similar crops with my submissions to the paper, and it doesn't seem to bother our editors, either - first time I sent one, they used it. If the rest of the image is strong, part of the ball missing is not important.


Dec 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM
rob4bama
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


I love how there is hardly any background in any of them. Nice shots.


Dec 19, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Frank Lauri
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Clarence....I'm with you there on shooting "strobe-less". I can recall on the times I did use them...how much extra effort it was from start to finish. Much easier without.

Nice set here but I agree with what others have mentioned regarding the cutting of limbs and cropping and Russ summed it up quite well. You captured peak action and you have your gear dialed in for great colors and sharp images.

I know at times last year I shot BB a bit too tight and after looking back....this is one of the improvements or adjustments I want to make for this year and back off a little and get more with the net and ball in the air type shots.



Dec 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


Thanks everybody.

I think Russ summed it up well... "The payoff is amazing but the cost is not insubstantial"... high risk for high reward.

FWIW, I keep a monthly directory with a copy of all the pictures that actually sell. If you're so inclined, you can really geek out on the analysis... average sales per event, which events/sports/age sell best, which body/lens/aperture combo is used most, etc.

One of the easiest trends that I noticed... faces sell.

If I had to provide a starting point for trying to chart or quantify it, I'd say that the "relative distance between the subject's eyes in proportion to image width" seems directly proportional to sales, i.e., tight face shots (e.g. sportraits) sell better (for me) than wide, editorial action shots. Maybe it's just because when looking at the thumbnails, it's easier for Mom to identify her sports star.



Dec 21, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Peter Jonas
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · HS basketball rivalry with 200/1.8L


I am really impressed with the sharpness of your images. I just moved to a 5d iii from a t2i and I am finding the multiplicity of autofocus options pretty daunting. What autofocus settings and technique do you use for basketball?


Dec 21, 2012 at 05:33 AM
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