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Some beach volleyball photos


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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Some beach volleyball photos

My first post on FM.
I have been shooting for my kids' sport teams (volleyball and baseball) in the past couple of years. During the meantime, I watch and read FM forums to learn photography.
Just went to Seattle Alki beach to watch and shoot a volleyball tournament this weekend. Uploaded some here to get CCs.

No. 1

  NIKON Z 6_2    240mm    f/5.0    1/2000s    220 ISO    0.0 EV  

No. 2

  NIKON Z 6_2    190mm    f/5.0    1/2000s    280 ISO    0.0 EV  

No. 3

  NIKON Z 6_2    220mm    f/5.0    1/2000s    280 ISO    0.0 EV  

No. 4

  NIKON Z 6_2    170mm    f/5.0    1/2000s    160 ISO    0.0 EV  

No. 5

  NIKON Z 6_2    320mm    f/5.0    1/2000s    220 ISO    0.0 EV  

  NIKON Z 6_2    170mm    f/5.0    1/2000s    220 ISO    0.0 EV  

Aug 27, 2023 at 05:48 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Some beach volleyball photos

My 2 cents: Exposure and SS are good. You've done a great job with capturing peak action!

Some critique - on several of the pictures the player is either too far at the edge of the frame (3, 5) and/or has their back to you (3,4,5). Watch cutting off feet (#6 - there are good places to crop the legs but bad ones, too!).

Just curious - are you standing or sitting with these shots? I can see where the standing gets you better shots of the hitters/blockers faces, but sitting could also get the partner waiting to dig the hit.

Keep sharing! You've got a great start here. I'm thinking you will grow to be more discriminating with what you are showing as your best shots.

Aug 27, 2023 at 08:55 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Some beach volleyball photos

Love # 1 peak action, focus is great, ball and eyes. Love the compression on the ball #4, she is definitely focused on hitting the ball. Go ahead and shoot portrait mode I think you will like it.

Aug 27, 2023 at 10:08 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Some beach volleyball photos

Nice shots. You're off to a good start.

FWIW, whether you know it or not, capturing ball compression like you did in #4 is quite difficult. Nice work (but see below). Several Dig Magazine (I think it was them, they're since out of business) had a feature article show the ball compression photos from their entire staff of contributing professional photographers from an entire AVP season (IIRC). They only had a couple dozen images, and each of those photographers shoots thousands of shots every tournament.

Here one tip, for sports photography in general, that I've read multiple times over the years, and still have to remember to focus on.

Prioritize (1) face, (2) ball, (3) peak action, in that order.

The best shots have all 3, and eventually you'll probably get to the point that you'll delete most shots that don't. #4 would be a prize winner (IMO), but its missing the face. I find its helpful to decide who your subject(s) is(are), and what action you want to capture them doing, then position yourself so you'll see their face when they perform the action. For example when shooting indoor volleyball I'll move to different locations around the arena/gym to capture hitters and blockers for one of the teams (the other team will have their back to me), or setters, passers and diggers (again typically one position will only be able to get good shots of one of the teams, but fortunately the teams switch sides between sets).

FWIW, with beach volleyball I try to position myself with the sun mostly behind me. That typically means I focus on shooting the players on the far side of the court, since they are facing me, and then shoot the other team when they switch sides. When there are line judges standing at some corners of the court, I have to compromise a but I still try to avoid shooting into the sun, which will result in the faces being in shadows. When I attend AVP or FIVB beach volleyball events, it is interesting to see all the professional photographers crowded in one corner of the court (where the sun is behind them) and the other three corners empty.

As @farwest said, try shooting in portrait orientation (especially for net play). Volleyball is mostly tall, lean players, and with the exception of passing and digging, they're doing "vertical" things. Portrait will make it easier to avoid cutting off the limbs of spikers and blockers. In addition, one of the cool things, IMO, is seeing the sand the players kick up when jumping, and that is more likely to be visible when shooting portrait. I'm typically not quick enough to rotated between landscape and portrait in the middle of a rally (maybe pro photographers are), so I usually decide before the serve whether I'm going to focus on net or back court play for that rally, and pick portrait or landscape as appropriate.

You may find shooting beach volleyball can be addictive as you can often get closer to the action (without a media credential) than you can with other sports.

Aug 27, 2023 at 11:17 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Some beach volleyball photos

Thank you, @crteach@, @farwest, @vbnut@ for all the comments and tips!!
I was pretty excited about catching the actions. Though I heard about the importance of the faces in a good photo, I kind of ignored the principle when choosing these photos. I agree if the players' faces had been captured with the actions, the photos would be able to tell more compelling stories. Lessons learnt.

@crteach@ I was sitting when shooting. Next time, I will try different angles and vertical orientation.
@vbnut@, the 3 priorities in that order are pretty cool. Thanks for sharing!

Aug 27, 2023 at 11:57 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Some beach volleyball photos

A lot of great comments already provided which explain why #1 and #6 are my pics with tighter crops. I do like the jube in shot 5 with a tighter crop on the left side to balance out the two ladies.

Aug 28, 2023 at 09:32 PM

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Some beach volleyball photos

Some new shots. This time I tried to practice the face, ball, action principles.

sailinger 2023

No. 7

  NIKON D850    125mm    f/5.6    1/1600s    140 ISO    0.0 EV  

No. 8

  NIKON Z 6_2    145mm    f/6.3    1/1600s    250 ISO    0.0 EV  

No. 9

  NIKON Z 6_2    112mm    f/6.3    1/1600s    250 ISO    0.0 EV  

Sep 13, 2023 at 08:25 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Some beach volleyball photos

My first post in a long time. Sailinger, a long time ago a photo instructor told me....."Attractive people sell". It still rings pretty true. Keep it up and keep working.

Nov 28, 2023 at 07:27 PM

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