View Full Version : Girls Varsity Volleyball - Scrimmage - 8/28/06

08-28-2006, 04:52 PM
I always like to shoot a few pre-season games to get my timing back in shape, along with my wrist muscles. These are a couple from a scrimmage today between Loudonville Christian and Raven-Coemans-Selkirk. The final tally was 3-2 so there was some pretty good action. I shot with a 1DMK2N and a 135mm f/2 and 200mm f/1.8 at ISO1600 and manual at f/2. Volleyball is very much a timing game and very hard to shoot.... these were a few that I managed to catch.

1. My daughter popping it up and over.



08-28-2006, 04:59 PM
Another comment on number 1. Notice that this was focussed on the the player on the other side of the net (my daughter). That's who I was tracking, not the grey uniforms on the left side. Setting the "*" button on the back of the camera to control focus makes this a lot more doable. I usually pre-focus on the center of the net and then try to tap it in anticipation of the ball. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Again... a timing thing which is why practice, practice, practice is required.

08-29-2006, 12:19 PM
I had tried shooting volleyball a ways back and didnt do so hot... what type of tips would you suggest aside from getting lots and lots of practice... I had been shooting with my 1D Mark 1 and also couldnt get the lighting proper because the gym we were in was poorly (and unevenly lit)....

08-29-2006, 12:46 PM
I LOVE Volleyball..... one of my favorite sports. Great "pre-season" shots. :tup

08-29-2006, 12:46 PM
Well most of the youth - high school gyms are very poorly lit, both in terms of the brightness level, and in terms of the white balance. Because they usually have the cycling mercury lights, the color temperature changes. If you set your camera for continuous and let a burst go, you'd get different color from image to image in the sequence. One trick is to set your white balance with a really slow shutter speed so that it kind of gets an average of the cycle, rather than one instant. I have had the best results with just using an Expodisc. Grey cards work pretty well too, but seem to be more effected by the cycle. Auto white balance generally doesn't do well for me, and forget any of the standard modes.

For amount of light, I have found very few gyms that you could get away with better than f/2 and ISO1600... which means no zoom lenses are going to cut it. That's the primary reason a) that I shoot Canon, and b) that I have assembled a big collection of prime lenses. With volleyball, you get a lot of motion blur even at 1/500 sec too.... so anything slower is just too slow.

So, if you can get yourself situatuated to shoot at f/2 and ISO1600, and get a custom white balance... then you are "equipped" for the shooting. The next part is the timing and focus technique which are tricky. For that, setting the back focus button and then doing a lot of practice is the best way to go.

I took this image as an example to use in this thread...


This is right out of the camera... no cropping or correction. Shooting prime lenses, you do have to crop just about every image since you can't really zoom with your feet, and you generally don't want an image that is this loose. The reason I took this, was to illustrate WHY you want to shoot manual exposure. If I had shot this in Aperature Priority, Program, or any of the auto exposure modes, the camera would have compensated for the bright light from the open door and drastically underexposed the player's face. At ISO1600, even with Canon, underexposure means you will get a lot of noise, almost certainly, when you correct it. Noise lurks in the shadow detail, and is exasperated when underexposed. If you notice, the light from the open door is hitting the floor and blowing it out a little, but the light is really not falling on any of the players. If it was, it would be a different story, but often you get light around the gym that is very different... in the stands is usually darker than on the floor.

Another thing you need to watch out for is the inconsistency from one area of the floor to the other, and especially when they jump up and go closer to the light. This is something you need to keep an eye on when shooting and adjust your settings and shooting to compensate. I'll usually give up some uniform highlights to get the faces well exposed. Players and parents care about faces more than anything else...