Posts tagged “university

2011 NCAA Volleyball Championship

My daughters and I can’t wait for NCAA volleyball to start…

At most sporting events I’m in attendance because I want to *watch* the event.  I’m always tempted to carry my camera with me but I generally leave it at home so I’m not distracted.  When I attended the semi-finals of the NCAA volleyball championship this past December I left my camera behind.  However, when I saw that fans were allowed to carry in any camera/lens combo they wanted, I decided to take my camera and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS to the championship match and at least take a few pictures.

While warm ups were going on I experimented a bit with settings.  When shooting any fast-action sport one is generally trying to freeze the action (there are exceptions to this of course).  If you don’t use a relatively fast shutter speed you have no chance of getting a decent photo of a hard kill for instance — unless your goal is to turn the ball into a blur that you can hardly see in the frame.  Manual mode is pretty much a given in a venue like the Alamodome as the light never changes and being very well-lit a fast shutter speed is possible (the gym where my daughters play is not so well-lit and a really fast shutter speed isn’t possible) .  For shots of the action on the court I settled on using manual mode with 1/750s to 1/1000s shutter, f/2.8 aperture, and ISO 2000.  Generally the only time you vary your exposure is if you are taking shots of the crowd as opposed to the court (the crowd near the court was lit a stop or so less than the court).

I was able to convince the elevator operator to allow me and my son upstairs to the skybox area so we could take some pictures from a different perspective.  While there, a pro photog plopped down two seats away from us and we got to chatting a bit.  I asked him what settings he typically used in the stadium and they were 1/1250s, f/2.8, ISO 2500 — not far off what I was shooting.  He said my settings were fine for the lens I was using (70-200mm) but he wanted that slightly faster shutter because he was using a 400mm lens and needed some help compensating for lens movement.  We talked about depth of field (DOF) a bit too.  Up in the balcony we were maybe 200 feet from the net which gave him a DOF of approximately 10-12 feet (depends on the camera body…he had one of the Canon 1D bodies I’m sure).  That really required accurate focus — if he accidentally focused on a back row the action *at* the net would be out of focus.  When I shot at 200mm, I had a great DOF of about 52 feet to work with.

My 5D mkii has great high ISO performance which is nice for these sporting events but one huge deficiency is its (relatively) low frame rate — not so great for sports.  I was kind of jealous of the pro as he machine-gunned frames when a kill was imminent.  Of course, the slow frame rate cuts down on the number of images I need to go through in post 🙂

The Kiddos…


Multiples

The shot above didn’t turn out quite as cool as I’d hoped but it’s fun nonetheless.  While out on a photo walk on the University of Texas campus I set up my camera on my tripod as the photographer crowd gathered on the steps of the UT Tower.  As people milled around I captured shots in a semi-regular cadence.  My idea was to capture people in different positions and mask them together in Photoshop.  When I uploaded my photos to my computer it turned out that I really didn’t capture enough frames.  For example, look at the guy in the red jacket.  He probably wandered all around the scene but in reality I only capture him in a few spots.  There are a couple of people who did appear in widely varied positions around the scene.

The photo above was captured at the base of the UT Tower, a prominent 307-foot building on the University of Texas campus.  A couple other views of the UT Tower are shown below.


Just A Bunch Of Posers

Posers 45mm, f/5, 1/250s, ISO 200

On a recent photo walk on the University of Texas campus these three joined in and were simply having a blast posing and taking pictures of each other.  They were quite fun to watch and the provided the rest of us with some interesting pictures too.  Unfortunately they dropped out of the group at some point and I never got the chance to properly meet them.