Still eager to try new things and explore new photographic horizons, I’ve been turning my attention to sports in the last couple of months. Having a camera that takes 7 frames a second rather than 2 certainly helps.
The challenges of a high school gym are amazing. Depending on which end of the court one stands in, and where one points the lens, the lighting can be as much as 2 stops dimmer. At a high school game I would never consider using a flash. There is too much risk of distracting or blinding a player, at best lessening his performance and at worst causing him injury, if only indirectly. These are not college or pros, and entire scholarships – potentially the rest of a young person’s life – could be put at risk with a single ill-considered flash just a few feet from the players’ faces.
Still, with a 1.8 lens, it’s reasonable to stop motion pretty well with available light. This is perhaps not the best example of stopping motion from my night, but where there is blur the suggestion of motion, I think, adds rather than detracts. One thing I still need to work on with practice is simple focus. I have to rely on the camera to auto-focus my shots, and though I’ve tried different AF settings none have been entirely satisfactory in such a fast game as basketball.
I think the above shot is one of my best from the night, though, even with the poor focus. It includes the ball, both teams, an official, and the net, not to mention a particularly dramatic moment. All together, I think this represents well an exciting and energetic contest between two very talented teams.