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Archive 2013 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.
  
 
southpaw8669
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


When is it ok to use flash at a H.S. sporting event?

for example at a recent wrestling event I was photographing I was hesitant to use flash and just went with faster glass. what's the best way about using flash at some of these HS sporting events? Is it ok? are coaches and players ok with it?

Also I've been photographing track and tried using flash I didn't really like the results so just went with the faster glass again.

Thanks

Eric



Jan 14, 2013 at 09:21 PM
James Broome
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


If you're doing this as a spectator (from the stands or general public area), then do it unless you're asked not to by an official or coach.

If you're doing this as a pro and/or in some official capacity, then it shouldn't come up *at* a game. It should be discussed *before* a game. Talk to the person in charge (AD, SID, head coach, etc.) and let them know what you'd like to do. If they say OK, then no problem. If they say no, then yeah, faster glass.



Jan 14, 2013 at 09:24 PM
southpaw8669
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


Yes, this is in an official capacity.

well for wrestling they hang a single light over the center of the mat and that's all the light there is. If i wanted to use flash for that where would be a good place for this without blinding the participants? I assume i'm bouncing in?



Jan 14, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


I don't have any examples handy, but a good way of doing wrestling when they kill all the lights is to use a speed lite on camera. I have a DIY grid made from black soda straws that I mount to my 580 EX using a neoprene can koozie with the bottom cut out. Then I set up so i am just about a stop too dark and use ETTL. this is shooting with a 70-200 2.8, 1/250, and adjusting the ISO to as low as I can get it to get that exposure, which is usually in the 1600 range. Testing this set up revealed flash power in the 1/128 range, which is very fast to recycle and good T1 times too.

This flash set up puts out very little light and there is no spill. Most people don't even realize you are using flash at all. I like it because if someone does notice, they will comment on how it is barely noticeable, and you can talk about respecting the fans and athletes while still getting great images, etc.

Wrestling is by and large ignored/overshadowed by basketball, so any photographer who is willing to work with them will almost always be well received. You can use this to your advantage; I have yet to be told to move back from the edge of the mat or stop flashing. I usually park my butt right near the scoring table and move a few feet side to side to get different angles.

I suppose that is way more than you wanted to know, but I hope it helps!

Paul



Jan 14, 2013 at 10:24 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


Paulthelefty wrote:
I have a DIY grid made from black soda straws that I mount to my 580 EX using a neoprene can koozie with the bottom cut out


For anyone who doesn't want to go the DIY route, you can also buy these speedlite grids on amazon for <$10...
http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-OSG14-Universal-Honeycomb-External/dp/B004BFXBXI



Jan 14, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Carl Auer
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


There are a few things to consider. Check with your high school athletic/activities association to see if they have photo rules. Here in Colorado there are rules. But it states that unless the officials have issue with the use of flash/strobe, it is ok to strobe any sport (exception being diving and the start of a swim race). With wrestling here, I checked with both teams coaches and they were cool. They did the same thing, turn off the lights, one light hanging down (metal halide) and while it looks cool, and can make for dramatic images, it also sucks. Some schools that have not had strobes before can be very hesitant on allowing someone to use them. Once they start seeing the photos they are ok.


Jan 15, 2013 at 02:34 AM
 

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southpaw8669
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


Thanks guys for your input.


Jan 15, 2013 at 03:14 AM
ggreene
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


Definitely check with the school officials for any restrictions. The university that I shoot for has never allowed flash at gymnastics or swim meets. A few years back they also forbid it at basketball and volleyball games as the athletes requested it (at least that's what the media relations director said).


Jan 15, 2013 at 03:23 AM
jmcaverly
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


Eric,

I have pasted an excerpt below about using flash from the Michigan High School Athletic Association Media Guide. I think that it has some nice guidance. I have this printed out and in my camera bag with me at basketball games. I always talk to the Athletic Director ahead of time to arrange for approval. I have also attached the link below to the entire media guide.

http://www.mhsaa.com/Portals/0/Documents/Media/13-Multimedia-Regulations-8-28-12.pdf

Jeff

From the media guide.

1. USE OF ELECTRONIC FLASH/STROBES – Photographers MAY use electronic flash/strobe
cameras during the progress of a sporting event as long as, in the opinion of the contest officials, the flash
does not hinder the actions of or endanger the contestants. The final decision as it relates to electronic
flash/strobe equipment rests with the judgment of the site management and contest officials when MHSAA
staff is not present at an event.
IMPORTANT -- When determining whether or not the use of electronic flash/strobe equipment represents a
hindrance to an event, do not evaluate the situation while looking directly at the strobe, but rather by taking
the view of the game participant or the official who is focusing on the action, not the strobe, and is not
aware of when the strobe is about to go off. Strobes properly positioned DO NOT pose a threat to the
conduct of most contests. If, after careful consideration, the strobe is determined to be a problem, game
management should work with the photographer using the strobe to review the strobe’s placement, flash
strength and direction. Sometimes, adjusting a strobe so that the flash bounces off the walls or ceilings will
correct any potential problems.
a. The only sports in which the use of electronic flash/strobe equipment is prohibited are: competitive
cheer, gymnastics and diving.
b. Requests to use strobe lights mounted to fixed positions shall be made well in advance of the
contest.
c. As a courtesy, contest managers or the MHSAA should inform participating coaches and contest
officials that photographers have been approved to use strobe lights in fixed positions.
d. Strobes should be placed in corner or ceiling positions, and should never be placed in the direct line
of a basket in basketball or focal point common to that sport. Effective August 28, 2012 9
e. Camera-mounted strobes must always be positioned similarly as fixed strobes. A camera operator
with an on-board strobe shall shoot outside the edges of the free throw lane in basketball, for example.
2. PHOTOGRAPHER PLACEMENT – Photographers for other sports shall be placed in positions in
accordance with National Federation of State High School Associations National Rules. In the sport of
football, for example, photographers shall be positioned behind the restraining line, which is two or more
yards from the sidelines and end zones. In addition, photographers shall not be positioned in the team
boxes between the 25-yard lines. Also, in the sports of baseball and Softball, photographers are prohibited
from being in live ball areas. If a designated media area is used, it shall be established before the game
begins, shall be a lined area and shall be considered a dead ball area. In soccer, photographers should not
be positioned within two yards of any sideline or endline. Some venues and events will have designated
areas where photographers may shoot from. Game officials and host management have the authority to
remove any member of the media for not staying in their designated area in any sport.



Jan 15, 2013 at 04:05 AM
clarence3
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


jmcaverly wrote:
I think that it has some nice guidance.


+1

That's the most concise, yet appropriately detailed guideline that I've ever seen for proper coordination and placement of flash that I've ever seen. Even better than the NCAA guidelines.



Jan 15, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event.


For the record, I did ask the state athletics folks after an official on site was unable to answer my questions. In Washington, for wrestling, there are no specific protocols for flash, which in the eyes of the state body mean it is allowed except when deemed hazardous, etc. by the on site officials.

Paul



Jan 16, 2013 at 12:40 AM





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