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Archive 2013 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes
  
 
db20d
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


I currently have 2 strobes that I put on 13 foot light stands. I shoot with a Nikon D3 and use a 24-120 F4 lens. Does anyone have suggestions on light and camera setup shooting HS basketball? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Donovan



Feb 05, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Scott Sewell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Can you tell us what specific information or suggestion you are looking for? This topic has been covered extensively on the forum and it might help us help you if we know specifically what you need.


Feb 05, 2013 at 09:04 PM
db20d
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Thanks for responding. I have spent a month looking through and tried all the suggestions I think what I am missing now is flash placement I have tried on the end lines at the corner of the end line and the sideline at the end of one basket. I guess my big question is how does the flash cover the end of the court you are setup on so that the light looks natural most of my shots the players knees and above look lighted but below knees is darker. I am using 2 older quantum flashes set to half power. Camera 250shutter speed, 500 ISO, f4. Is it recommended to use better flashes such as the einstein e640's?


Thanks

Donovan



Feb 05, 2013 at 09:22 PM
drbob
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Donovan...

HERE is a post I put up here showing the strobe location in the HS gym where I shoot. I shoot from the behind the baseline (of course), ranging between the 3-pt. arc intersection points with the baseline. Exposure is in the neighborhood of ISO 640, f/4.5 @ 1/200. The strobes I use are Norman ML 400's.

bb



Feb 05, 2013 at 09:24 PM
db20d
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Thats perfect, I will try that. Thanks all for the help.

DB



Feb 05, 2013 at 09:26 PM
drbob
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Donovan... you and I were typing/posting at the same time. "... but below the knees is darker." Not sure what you mean, but with my strobes, if I shoot faster than the sync speed (which for my camera is 1/200), there is a 'darker' (i.e. less exposed) band across the bottom 1/4 or less of the frame (shooting horizontally). Light from strobes or flashes, wouldn't 'stop' at the knees.

bb



Feb 05, 2013 at 09:28 PM
db20d
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Your pictures looks bright from top of their heads to the floor. For some reason mine is darker closer to the floor. I will try a slower shutter speed tonight when I shoot. Thanks for the suggestion.

DB



Feb 05, 2013 at 09:37 PM
drbob
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


It would help to post an example of what you're seeing.


Feb 05, 2013 at 10:23 PM
db20d
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


I don't have the rights to upload photos.

DB



Feb 06, 2013 at 03:25 PM
db20d
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Here are examples I shot last week. Shot at ISO400, F4, 1/250, with 2 off camera flashes setup behind the baseline. Any comments or suggestions greatly appreciated.

DB

































Feb 11, 2013 at 03:12 PM
 

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thebmrust
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Each gym has it's own characteristics. Ours is very small.

I set mine at the corners (catty-corner of each other), up in the bleachers. So the flash/strobe is about 12 feet off the floor, slightly behind the board. They are zoomed for more direct lighting towards the free throw line. The light covers most of the 3point zone.

Note: Last week I set up a 3rd light/slave (with optical sensor) across the end line from one of my main lights. It was set at about 1/16 to fill in some shadows. Works well. Might try it again tomorrow.

I use Vivitar 285's at 1/4 or sometimes 1/2 power running off a 6v toy car battery.

Canon 5dII or 60d
1600 or 3200 iso
f2/8 or f/4
85mm, 70-200mm, 17-50mm and occasionally a 300mm



Jan 30, 2014 at 10:10 PM
Marty Bingham
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


I bounce mine off the ceiling and walls to get even distribution.






The camera needs to be a few stops below ambient. A dark or near dark frame without strobes works well for me.






This is the result.






No matter where or how you set up strobes you are at risk of causing damage. You owe it to yourself and every one else to have insurance before setting them up in public.

Hope that helps!

Marty



Jan 30, 2014 at 11:15 PM
Fish On
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Put your lights at each corner and aimed at the top of the 3 point arc. You might want to start with these settings, ISO 500 to 800 and ss@250 at F4, manual mode and also the power of your flash. Take a couple of test shots and adjust accordingly.

I hope you have insurance.



Jan 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM
chrisbergmann
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


You definitely don't need to invest in the most expensive strobes out there either. I use 2 AB 800's with PocketWizard TT1/TT5/AC3/AC9 bounced off of the ceiling. Works like a champ for me. Each gym is lit differently but I'm normally around 1/2 power on my AB's and my 1DX at f/4, 250th @ ISO 800. As stated above, I hope you have insurance coverage. Also make sure your light stands are clamped to the bleachers or held down with some heavy sand bags.
Here are some examples from the suffolk county challenge a couple of weeks back:
http://www.chrisbergmannphotography.com/Sports/Basketball/Elmont--DeerPark/



Feb 03, 2014 at 02:13 PM
timgangloff
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Mostly what Marty said. Bounce off ceiling or maybe mix some bounce and direct. The key is to try to avoid the heavy shadows direct can produce. The "dark" frame Marty shows above is good, but I try to go even a bit darker if possible. Any light in the image is ambient light that will leak onto your strobe shots and will result in some ghosting.

You try to minimize it as best as possible and it may not be possible to eliminate it entirely. If the settings you are using result in a completely black frame (ideal), but the frame with the strobes turned on is under-exposed, you have an issue. You need more light from your strobes. You can do this by moving your strobes, changing the strobes from bounced to direct or getting more strobes.

If you just change your camera settings to let more light in, you are going to let more ambient and increase risk of ghosting. Sometimes, that's all you can do and you just have to live with a bit of the motion blur.

I disagree with what Chris Bergmann writes when he says to dial down the AB800s to 1/2 power. With most strobes, the less power you put at them, the slower their T-times are. T-times are how long does the flash duration last. Surprisingly, some flash durations are very fast 1/2000 or faster, but some can be relatively slow, like 1/300 or so. With AB800s, less power = slower T-times. Full power gets fastest t-times and we want this. On the other hand, some strobes, like the Buff Einsteins use technology more like flashes you find in a Canon 580exII or the equivalent. The less power you throw at them, the faster the T-times. In that case, what Chris writes makes sense, as long as you don't need the extra power to properly expose your image. It's the rare gym where I don't need more power and the fastest duration times. If the strobes are giving me too much light, I'd rather change my ISO or aperture than dial down the power setting. Maybe Chris wants/needs a faster recycle time and then the 1/2 power option may be better.

Because the flash duration is acting as your shutter speed (remember, we are trying to eliminate ambient light - so the only light hitting the sensor is from the flash). The longer the flash duration, the better chance of getting motion blur. Buffs website says AB800s have t-1 times of 1/1100 second (at full power) and 1/550 second (at 1/32 power). I am not sure what it is at 1/2 power, but maybe that is still fast enough. Like I said, in my local gyms, I need, as Captain Kirk would say, all the power you got.

As for strobe placement, I look for a few things. Where is their electricity? I have a portable battery, but an outlet is almost always a better option. You don't want to run cables all over the place though...

Second, where can I secure them. Some like light stands with sand bags. I don't think they give enough support. I've seen them almost knocked over. I prefer super clamps tightly fastened to a solid railing. I also prefer to mount them as high as practical. You may want to look into safety cables in case your clamp fails or someone un(intentionally) messes it up.

Once you get that done, you can look at going direct or bounced. My preference is a mix. Direct gives me more light and bounce evens out shadows. Sometimes, you get a ref/AD/fan/parent who doesn't like the direct hitting them, so you may be forced to go bounced. I speak from experience and not anecdotally.

Typically, I only try to light up 1/2 to 2/3 of the court. I don't have enough strobes to light up the whole court most of the time and by shooting 1/2 the court, you can get each team on offense for 1/2 the game. I've rambled on pretty long and hope that you find something useful here.

Here are a couple of images from last night's game. These were 2-3 AB800s bounced off the ceiling (1AB had some issues either with the wireless remote or portable battery and did not make it through the double OT)






















Feb 04, 2014 at 07:05 PM
BillyHurst
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Dang Tim, those are some STICKY SWEET images and you provided the OP with all the info he should need to make successful strobed images.

Billy-



Feb 04, 2014 at 08:26 PM
rddayton
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Read the post of @timgangloff. Listen to what he says. Try it yourself. Don't be disappointed when yours are not that good at first. He's simply one of the best. Thanks for sharing your expertice Tim.


Feb 06, 2014 at 12:28 PM
finster1018
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Tim, from your post, I believe you bounced all your AB's; am I correct? In your illustrations, where are the strobes placed on the floor , and how do you have them aimed. Are they angled toward the ceiling or straight up. Also, what size reflectors do you recommend on the AB's? Thank you so much for sharing!


Feb 08, 2014 at 03:31 PM
timgangloff
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Shooting HS basketball with 2 Strobes


Finster- for the above images I had 3 ab800s mounted in the 2nd level of the gym super clamped to solid railings. They were aimed at ceiling at an angle to try to bounce light onto court. I was using stock reflectors. I have the other reflectors but don't see a difference in this setup. 2 ab800s are near corner. One is pointed towards basket and one towards top of key. The 3rd ab800 is near mid court. I also have a 580ex2 on the 1d4 to get Max sync speed of 1/300. I don't know of any other way to get to 1/300 on the camera. This flash is pointed towards ceiling with slight angle towards court. It is at 1/2 to full power depending on how my batteries are holding out. Hope this helps.


Feb 12, 2014 at 01:47 AM





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