On Tuesday, my advanced photo class took a field trip to the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center. Originally we were going to photograph each other, but thankfully some kind souls playing a game of pick up basketball let us photograph them.
The lighting in the gym was tricky at first, because it seemed like it was well lit, but even at ISO 1600 my photos were coming out too dark. I ended up shooting most of my pictures with an ISO of 6400 and I changed the white balance to “cool-white fluorescent”. Changing the white balance is something that I usually forget to do when taking pictures. In my into photo class I did an entire project of car detail photographs outside with the white balance set as fluorescent rather than direct sunlight. When I viewed them on my camera’s LCD screen they didn’t seem too bad, but when I transferred them onto my computer I realized that all of my photos were horribly overexposed. Needless to say I ended up having to do the entire project over again, but it taught me a valuable lesson!
Photographing sporting events isn’t something new to me. Like I said in my first blog post, I used to photograph football for the USC Athletic Department. Those photos were more feature based than action based though (I usually missed the games because I was too busy taking pictures of the crowds!) If you are interested in looking at any of my photos you can access the Gamecocks Facebook albums here and here! Photographing football games was one of my favorite things to do because the atmosphere at Williams-Brice Stadium is just incredible and who doesn’t like being able to show off their press pass at an SEC sporting event? Free food in the press box wasn’t bad either.
Photographing basketball was very different from football. In football, each team lines up across from each other, calls a play, and snaps the ball. You always know when the action is going to happen, and it’s easy to follow the ball. You know when to start shooting, when to stop shooting, and where to look for the action. In basketball, the action is everywhere on the court and it doesn’t stop for the duration of the game. Fast breaks, layups, steals, fouls, not to mention the interaction (fights) between the players! Luckily for us photographers, this pick-up game was fairly tame.
This was my favorite photo I took while shooting. It’s a little darker than I would have liked, but like I said the lighting in the gym was a little funky. I liked this photo because I thought it really captured the action happening in that moment. The defender appears as if he just barely missed blocking the shot as the ball is headed towards the hoop. You can also see the other players on the court watching the shot, wondering whether or not it’s going to go in. While it was a friendly pick-up game, I think this photo really captured the competitive nature of the players.