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Archive 2013 · Indoor Volleyball - How?
eric chang
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

Hey Guys,

Been shooting for awhile, but havent tried tackling VBall at all. My wife is playing in a church league, and I just started going to her games and trying to take pics...

I'm having trouble focusing on the action, since my camera seems to lock in at the net, and I lose focus on the faces/action I want.. Do you guys have any pointers or suggestions so I can start?

I'm not posting anything worth critiquing since pretty much every picture is OOF...

24-70 F2.8
70-200 F2.8
85 F1.4

Feb 14, 2013 at 03:38 AM

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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

Looks like you have the right lenses for the job. I would recommend using the 70-200 2.8 and open it up all the way at 2.8 assuming lighting is your biggest issue. Also set the focus point for the center only to give you better control. So, aperture priority, set to 2.8 and ISO to whatever it takes to get the shutter speed to at slowest 200th of sec. the faster the better. I would not go past a 1600 ISO.

Good luck

Feb 14, 2013 at 03:52 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

I've recently started shooting volleyball badly myself so here's my best advice. Seek out FM member Rolette. Jay is awesome!

Feb 14, 2013 at 04:04 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

My method for when I'm standing behind the back line shooting the hitters. I prefocus on a players legs the center hitter and switch to manual focus. That means that the hitter on the other side of the net will be in focus not matter where I point the camera. If you stand in the middle of the back line you can shoot the center third of the net easily. I move from side to side every now and then to get all of the hitters. I shoot a horizontal frame for this.

If I shoot the hitters from close to the net I use a vertical frame.

When I'm shooting the back court, "diggers", I try to sit or kneel and try to follow the ball using AI-Servo on. If the game is too fast, I will choose one person to concentrate on. I shoot a horizontal frame for this.

For the setter, you need to be on the left side of the court if you are facing the same way as your team. That way the setter is facing you 90% of the time as he/she sets. I use a vertical frame for this.

Getting up high in bleachers or some other way can give you another set of views and you can get good shots this way also.

Have fun!! It's a great sport and one of the hardest to shoot because of the random motion of the ball and the fact that it doesn't stay with any player at all.

Feb 14, 2013 at 04:05 AM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

i use my 17-50 more than my 70-200.i love to shoot vb but man high school has about 6 to 8 games a week here.

Feb 14, 2013 at 04:22 AM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

I move the focus point so that it is under the net and focus on the legs, the center of the picture is still on the bodies. For the most part, the face and legs will be fairly close to the same plane of focus. I found that my keeper rate was much better when I did this.

Feb 14, 2013 at 05:49 AM

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

It will depend greatly on the level of play, but some things that can be done no matter the level. First sit on the floor, get low, if you cant, get as high as you can and shoot down. Focus on a player and stay with them for some frames then switch to another player. In a gym and what you have described being in a church league my guess would be poorly lit HS or MS gyms or even worse church gyms, use your fastes glass, and center point. Dont be afraid to crank up the ISO you need at least 600 or higher on the SS. Sit on one side and shoot under the net for the far side, the teams usually switch sides after each game. For the most part VB is a vertical sport so shoot in the vertical position, switching to horz. for the enviroment shots. Here is an old link of some VB shots of mine to get an idea......... .http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1068010/0#10159314


Feb 14, 2013 at 07:32 AM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

Lots of good suggestions above. Vball is a very challenging sport.

I rarely get below 3200 ISO to maintain a 1/500 or faster shutter. I also shoot almost exclusively vertical frames.

Center point, servo focus, wide open or maybe 1/2 stop from it (depends on your lens). For hitting/blocking shots from behind the opposite end line, I will pre-focus as others have mentioned and then use my back button to stop focus. Although my 7d will track through the net usually, as long as I don't cross the top or bottom tape with my focus point.

One of my favorite spots to sit is right by the net behind the ref, sitting on the floor. Great for back court action and setting. Like Bill said, the setter will face the same way most of the time, so look for that and adjust as needed.

I will track players, not the ball. If you can track the ball and get any decent shots consistently, you are a much better man than me! Many like to shoot continuous. I personally get better results shooting singles and anticipating the action. But then, I played a lot in my younger days, and that helps with my anticipation too.

You will miss a LOT of shots, that is the nature of volleyball. I still miss a lot, and I am getting paid decent money for doing it! Just go with it and have fun, and you will get some great shots too.


Feb 14, 2013 at 02:04 PM
eric chang
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Indoor Volleyball - How?


thanks for the pointers, all! The wife has a game friday, so hopefully I'll be able to come back with something to show.


Feb 15, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Scott Sewell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

Volleyball is a sport where using the * button to separate focus and firing the shutter really comes in handy! You don't have to switch to manual focusing; just use the * button to focus where you want then let off that button and press the shutter when you want to make images.

My preferred shooting location for volleyball is up high and far away (using a 300 or even 400 lens). I will use the * button to pre-focus on where the players at the net are and then just press the shutter button when they're jumping to block or spike the ball. Same goes for diggers (is that what they're called?) back away from the net. Of course, if you're closer you can then move the focus point up or down to focus on the legs or arms (above the net) and leave focus there to fire the shutter.

Also, shoot in manual mode, wide open with the ISO necessary to get at least 1/400 shutter speed. Also use center point focus only.

Good luck next time out. Post some here at some point and we can offer some more tips.

Btw, here are a few samples.

Feb 15, 2013 at 04:14 AM
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Indoor Volleyball - How?

Lots of great pointers here, but I'll go against the grain a bit on the advice to stick with the center AF point. I'm not a Nikon guy, so not sure how the rest of the AF points are on the D700 you are using, but it is rare that I use the center point for VB.

When I'm shooting vertically (front row and setter generally), I normally use one of the AF points down a couple of center. When you are shooting tight, it helps a fair bit to prevent chopping off their hands or the ball when they are jumping. If they aren't jumping, it gives a slightly better composition because you've got room in the frame for them to "play into".

If I'm shooting low from the end of the court, I'll do what jrash168 mentioned. Move the AF point down a couple more clicks and focus on their knee pads or the bottom of their spandex. It provides contrast for the AF system to use and avoids the net (aka, the AF magnet).

Similar deal when shooting horizontally - particularly serve-receive and DSes in general. Instead of the center AF point, I use either the far right/left (maybe one click short) AF point so there is room for the subject to play into the frame. Definitely useful for digs and serve-receive.


Edit: Forgot to tell Larry thanks I'm far from the expert on this board though.

Feb 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM

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