View Full Version : Shooting sports indoors.

Joshua Wachs
March 23rd, 2007, 02:13 PM
I will be shooting a volleyball tournament indoor (either in a gym or convention) and have not really used my GL2 in a couple of years and am looking for some advice and tips on camera settings for this type of shoot.

While some of it may be staged for an promotional video and will be able to use some lighting, most of it will be with the lights from the gym and/or convention center.

How would you recommend I set up things like aperture, shutter speed, etc. I was going to doing standard white balancing... anything else I need to know about shooting under this type of lighting and subject matter?

Thanks for any thoughts, tips, etc...

Don Palomaki
March 23rd, 2007, 03:41 PM
Gym lighting can be good, or very bad depending on the type and quantity of lamps used. Go to a practice if you can and try different settings, etc., to see what settings, shot angles, techniques works best for you and the results you are trying to attain.

I have no specific settings to recommend other than to carry some shades of white and off-white paper for white balance in case you need to tweak white balance.

Joshua Wachs
March 23rd, 2007, 06:37 PM
what about fast-action sports like vball in general... re: shutterspeed, etc...


Merlin Vandenbossche
March 24th, 2007, 05:19 AM
I'd recommend going for faster shutter speeds, since this is usually commonly used for fast action taping. Going even faster than 1/100 is a must-have. Open your aperture rather than slowing the shutter to make things brighter. Further, it's probably not a good idea to go into frame mode for these kind of things.

Well I know fast shutters work better for sports in photography, so I only naturally assume this goes up for video too.



Don Palomaki
March 24th, 2007, 07:16 AM
Video is not quite the same as still photography, although it is typically an attempt to emulate smooth motion through a series of changing still images (but you may have other artistic goals as well).

Using a fast shutter can result in a hint of strobe-like effect to motion because each field has a sharp image of the moving objects. (However, may not be noticed by all viewers.) Using a slower shutter (e.g., the usual 1/60 for video) gives a touch of motion blurr to moving objects in each frame that can result in a smoother appearance to the movement when viewed on a TV.

The fast shutter is good for stop motion analyis or if you want freeze action to grab a single field for other purposes. But be aware that using a fast shutter under certain types of discharge lighting (e.g., generic flourescents) may result in drifting color balance cause by slight differences between the line frequency and the field rate and the short exposure interval.

Try each in the venue of intrest before the real event to determine which you prefer in the final result.

Joshua Wachs
March 26th, 2007, 02:15 PM
Thanks for the tips.

Why should I be avoiding frame mode though?


Jim Andrada
March 26th, 2007, 06:57 PM
I'm new to all of this too, but as I understand it (from reading up on it - most of what I shoot is walking speed or less) for some range of motion speeds, Frame mode will exhibit some "jitter" or "judder" as the frame to frame differences are greater than with interlaced. Not exactly sure, but as I understand it, at relatively slow speeds Frame mode will look fine, and really quick motion might look OK, but intermediate rates may jitter. I suspect that the speed with which volleyball players, or moast athletes move about might be in the "jitter/judder" range.

Maybe taping a crew regatta from shore it wouldn't matter, but people running around up close might not look the best.

Best idea (as usual) is probably to tape a bit of a practice session in each mode and see which you like.

Dale Guthormsen
March 26th, 2007, 10:23 PM
Good evening,

first, take heed to what don has said!!! video is not still photography!!

I shoot mostly in frame mode and wide screen. I shot a provincial basketball playoffs tournament. I shot this entire tournament at 1/60th so that I could have a more natural look but also so that depth of field was deeper.

Shooting faster shutter speeds will definitely make for strobing and flicker. It also makes for shallower depth of field which means the auto focus must work more, or you have your hand on the barrell all the time.

I would not go over 1/100th unless you are required to take stills out of the footage.

If you use interlaced footage, wou should deinterlace the footage you are going to take the stills from. Stills from interlaced video will at times actually capture two parts of an image and it will vibrate back and forth between the two ruining your still!!

you will find that with the slower shutter your look will be more like what you actually see.

Chris Burgess
March 29th, 2007, 03:36 PM
wow, no one likes to over crank huh?

i have not seen any problems shooting in frame mode with fast motion shots...and i shoot alot faster than alot of people...i would not be scared to use frame for something like this...

depending on the light level indoors i might be tempted to run frame with a 1/1000th SS...if you get any good shots of tight plays this will make for some nice slo-mo stuff...or it might make it too dark, you would have to make that call when you set up or do a dry run...

i love my gl2 except when it gets dark...then the image goes south real fast...

Don Palomaki
March 30th, 2007, 04:50 AM
Frame mode and fast shutter produce a certain look that is apparent on moving objects. If you like the look, great, and if not, movie mode with 1/60 shutter has much less of it.

Nice to have a creative choice. You pays yur money and takes you choices.

Chris Burgess
March 31st, 2007, 08:42 AM
Frame mode and fast shutter produce a certain look that is apparent on moving objects.

out of curiousity, what look would you be refering to?

Don Palomaki
March 31st, 2007, 01:10 PM
A tendency to look a bit more strobe-like. That is because in frame mode the image is updated with captures that are 1/30 apart in time, not 1/60. This is because motion is not as smooth. IT accouts for the more 'film-like" look attributed to frame mode. Similarly, high shutter speed results in less mtion blur in a frame/field, so motion is has more of a descrete step look rather than smooth continuium.

But for static objects and objects moving very slowly it make no real difference.