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Richmond, US
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"RE: Sports Photography"

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Tue 29-Dec-09 10:25 AM | edited Tue 29-Dec-09 10:25 AM by blw

Jason has provided good advice. In general, you're trying to do something that is technically difficult.

You need a pretty fast shutter speed - 1/200th is the minimum, I'd say, and 1/500th would be much better - in order to stop the blur. But indoors, you probably don't have a lot of light, certainly not relative to 1/500th. Indeed, high school gyms and night football fields have a well-deserved reputation as "light dungeons." It may look like there's a lot of light, but photographically, there isn't.

Your kit lens, which doesn't open up very far, isn't helping very much. It's f/5.6 at the longer focal lengths, which is inevitably where sports shots get taken. So this means that you're now going to have to use 4x the ISO or 1/4th the shutter speed than you would if you had a faster f/2.8 lens (to say nothing of even faster lenses).

Since exposure is set by the trio of shutter speed, aperture and ISO, you're running out of options. The shutter speed is mandated by your subject, the maximum aperture of the lens is a physical thing that you can't improve, so your only choice is to increase the ISO. As Jason has discovered, dialing it up toe ISO 2000 or more is usually required. Personally I've had to send the ISO up as high as ISO 6400 or 12800 (!!) when doing indoor or night sports. Of course, high ISO values make the image noisy or grainy, but that's more or less unavoidable in these circumstances. Noisy is far better than blurry or too dark to see, which are the alternatives.

Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

A general, generic topic Sports Photography [View all] , leebea , Tue 29-Dec-09 01:30 AM
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