Cycling Lights at Football Stadium...
/forum/topic/1156282/0



Kenneth Farver
Registered: Nov 06, 2006
Total Posts: 933
Country: United States

I shoot for the local paper at 3 different High Schools in town. At the one school, the lights constantly change.
If I shoot a burst, each frame is different. The other two schools are just fine.
Any help on whether I can correct this would be appreciated.
One night I tried, RAW, even picked a white balance, and couldn't make it better.
I even shot manual with auto ISO.
Everyone sees the same problem with their photos.
I thought I read something on FM about indoor basketball lighting, with trying different shutter speeds for cycling lights but couldn't find those posts when searching.
The exposures show the same settings, i.e. F stop and shutter speed, yet look different.
I thought maybe of asking the school to show me their spare bulbs to see if maybe they could change styles.
Thanks for any replies, Ken.



ELWOOD B
Registered: Feb 22, 2008
Total Posts: 161
Country: United States

That problem is almost universal in the world of high school football. I don't think you'll get a welcome reception if you ask them to change the lights for photos. Most people don't value photos like photographers do. I usually shoot a short burst, pick the best one to work with and hope the peak action shot is not the worst one. My photos go sometimes for print in the paper (depending upon the game) and always on the website for the kids to see, steal for facebook and sometimes order reprints. I'm not too worried about the color shifts, since Sports Illustrated is not looking at these. I can get them close enough.
I did shoot an ESPN broadcast high school game two weeks ago. They brought their own supplemental lighting towers which were like NCAA D1 quality lighting and the photos turned out great. Thanks ESPN.



Kenneth Farver
Registered: Nov 06, 2006
Total Posts: 933
Country: United States

Thanks, elwood for your response. I would love for them to add new HD quality lights, ha, ha. At least I was able to fix any in post, just extra work.



BillP57
Registered: Apr 07, 2010
Total Posts: 912
Country: United States

The problem is that HS Stadium and many HS gyms use lights that cycle through a range of color temperatures when they are on. They do not have a constant output and thus the variation from shot to shot. Depending on where the lights overlap and how wide you are shooting it is possible to have different color shifts from one end to the other of the same picture. I haven't seen any functional fixes for this in the field.

The only thing I have seen mentioned about cycling lights and shutter speed was that if you used a SS of 1/60 or slower the shutter would be open for an entire cycle and thus a constant overall. Unfortunately 1/60 or slower doesn't help much for sports.

Bill



P Alesse
Registered: Dec 25, 2004
Total Posts: 11276
Country: United States

In short... there is NOTHING that can be done. You just have to deal with it and hope that at the very least, the entire frame shows the color cast. Often times, since the banks cycle differently, you'll get one side of the frame red, and the other side of the frame... blue. That's a bear.



Kenneth Farver
Registered: Nov 06, 2006
Total Posts: 933
Country: United States

"one side of the frame red, and the other side of the frame... blue. That's a bear."
OUCH! that would be a Bear. Thanks for the replies guys.



Caleb Williams
Registered: Dec 05, 2006
Total Posts: 2603
Country: United States

ELWOOD B wrote:That problem is almost universal in the world of high school football.
Closer to to universal in the world of high school sports in general. Not to mention, some small colleges, etc.

ELWOOD B wrote: I did shoot an ESPN broadcast high school game two weeks ago. They brought their own supplemental lighting towers which were like NCAA D1 quality lighting and the photos turned out great. Thanks ESPN.
Could be the first time ESPN ever helped a sports photographer.



innaeddy1
Registered: Jun 13, 2008
Total Posts: 840
Country: United States

As has already been said not much you can do about it, just learn to live with and make the best out of a bad situation

Could be the first time ESPN ever helped a sports photographer.
I have shot a few HS games that ESPN has covered and they bring in big rigs with an enormous amount of light, believe me its not for the photographer.

Andy



Kenneth Farver
Registered: Nov 06, 2006
Total Posts: 933
Country: United States

thanks everyone!



rrxjon
Registered: Sep 14, 2009
Total Posts: 193
Country: United States

yup. wish I'd shot a three shot burst of this one. Shoot HS football long enough, and some night the cycling imp will mar every one of your favorites