Nov 30, 2011

Basketball in the hall

Sports portraits (or "sportraits" if you like the lingo) are always a chance to have some fun.

In this case, we were doing a shot of a basketball player at SWCC in Terrell who hails from Sudan via Egypt and Australia.

Time is generally short for these kinds of things, so the first thing to do is get there a little early and find a unique looking place to shoot. The facilities are pretty old at the school, so everything has an older feel, which is nice. Beside the gym was this nice baby-blue tiled hallway. Perfecto. The key is to use an interesting setting without letting the setting take away from the subject.
Basketball in the Hall-1489

My mobile lighting kit is straight out of the Strobist playbook.. two hotshoe flashes, stands, umbrellas, Lastolite EzyBox, reflector and some grids and snoots.

That test shot was the camera's metering at -2/3, which came up with 1/20 at f5.6, iso 200.

To underexpose the ambient further, and get my shutter up where I needed to be for a basketball player coming down the hall, I went to ISO 400 and set the shutter at 1/200.

I used a Canon 580exII in a shoot-through umbrella high and to the left of the camera, and a 430ex at the end of the hall for a test shot that looked like this..
Basketball in the hall test-1497

I raised the back flash to the height of the window and had Karor dribble down the hall toward me for shot #1, which I was OK with (processed in Lightroom). The guy is 6'7" so I was standing on a chair for this..
Basketball in the Hall-1500

The chair I was standing in was a retro arm chair thing, and quite short. I put him in the chair, which, with a 24mm, made him look huge for shot #2.
Basketball in the Hall-1506

Karor decided to play around a bit... always a good thing to show some personality.
Basketball in the Hall-1509

OK, that was a fun exercise. And that was less than 15 minutes to set up and test, then after Karor arrived, we shot for less than five minutes.

The first test shot shows 4:42 p.m., the last shot of Karor was at 4:55 p.m. (still haven't moved my cameras back an hour).

Here are a few more outtakes that I played with in Lightroom...

Light test revisited..
Basketball in the Hall-1497

Non-firing flash creates silhouette, and shows what light the back flash was providing to the scene...
Basketball in the Hall-1498

Wider-angle version of pointing shot..
Basketball in the Hall-1510

Have a great week...
Don J.

Nov 20, 2011

Finding a challenge

Sometimes shooting at an event can get a little boring. After a lot of high school football games, everything really starts looking the same.

To combat boredom, it is fun to make up little challenges for myself. In the case of the North Forney drill team, that meant trying to catch a face inside one of their hoops while they danced.

Most of the time, what you get is this...
NF vs Roosevelt-514

And then, with a little luck and timing, you can get this instead.
NF vs Roosevelt-535

Not perfect, but at least something a parent might buy and unique compared to most shots of the dancers that night. Out of about 35 total shots of this routine, three had faces in hoops.

Happy Thanksgiving week, folks.

A song of the day?
Well, here is a thankful song we played in church this morning...

Nov 3, 2011

Quick pic and song of the day

The last few days have been a blessing and a curse, dealing with the very unexpected death of my uncle. How could it be a blessing? It is only after hearing stories of his life from his closest friends that we are getting to know the great things he did in his life. He didn't talk about himself or his accomplishments.

He did a lot in life, but never wanted to be in the spotlight, or in pictures for that matter. He was always on the other side of the camera capturing images of everyone else.

Song of the day? Well... Everett's collection is about as varied as you can get. When Renee and I were just dating, he told me that all I needed to win her heart was to give her some Dean Martin music. Seemed to work just fine.