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04-30-2015, 02:12 PM   #1
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shooting night time Lacrosse under the lights


Looking for tips on settings for shooting Varsity Lax under the lights with K-50
Any advice is greatly appreciated !

Sorry if I posted this twice. Not sure if first one went through....


Last edited by mikshyle; 04-30-2015 at 02:38 PM.
04-30-2015, 03:30 PM   #2
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If the lighting is even, I'd just take a measured shot for exposure at the beginning of the event, then set your exposure lock. You can then adjust your shutter speed up / down and the camera will compensate by adjusting the ISO and/or aperture for you.depending upon your setup. If you get a couple shots that aren't quite right you can easily adjust them in post.
04-30-2015, 04:15 PM - 1 Like   #3
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1) Shooting sports at night is all about trade-offs. If you want to stop the action, you need to shoot at 1/500 sec. This portends a high ISO and/or a fast (preferably f/2.8) lens. If you do shoot wide open, you need a lens that is sharp wide open! A "kit" lens probably won't work the way you want, but a 200mm or 300mm prime or something like the D* 60-250mm f/4 will give great results. The good news is that the newer sensors will give you decent files at a 6400 ISO or even higher if you do some PP of RAW files.

2) You can shoot sports at night using low shutter speeds, too. Really. Just take "portraits" of the athletes when they are still. For example, seeing steely eyes of the goalie waiting for the inevitable shot is classic. So is the pitcher at the top of the windup, a singer who pauses after hitting the high note at the end of a song, etc. Experiment, and assuming you can keep the camera steady you can shoot at 1/125sec or lower regardless of the lens. Really! Note: I almost never use the in-camera shake reduction feature when shooting at 1/500 sec. or faster. Why bother, right? But shooting sports under the lights is another matter. When the shutter speeds are slow, use this nifty feature.

3) You need to be in position to get the best shots. This won't happen sitting in the stands. Arrive early and introduce yourself to the coach, letting him/her know you will stay out of the way. Then introduce yourself to the refs when they show up and ask them if it is OK to shoot in specific spots assuming you keep your mouth shut (no cheering, giving advice, etc.). Stroke the ego of the head ref and you should be good to go.

4) Shoot RAW. It is easy to get a bad exposure or poor color temp. at night for various reasons, and the more data you have the easier it is to save an image. Speaking of the color temp., I rarely have an issue with the new Pentax offerings. Regardless, I always shoot one photo of a gray card just in case. Carry one with you.

Below: Not perfect at f/4, 1/400 with an ISO ranging from 8000 - 12,800 (the lighting was terrible), but the results of the evening were good enough for the little kids and their parents.

Last edited by quant2325; 05-04-2015 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Add photo
04-30-2015, 05:11 PM   #4
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I've only shot one night game and it was weird! I used the Sigma 100-300/4 but wished it was 2.8.

quant2325's post was dead on. Let me add a few things:
1. Shoot wide open--the degree of sharpness you'll lose is negligible compared to what you'll lose to NR.
2. Assess the lighting during the pre-game--it will probably have light and dark areas. Look for action in the light.
3. Be prepared that your first reaction when you review your shots will be, "This is ****! I totally blew it! I'm gonna sell the camera and take up paper-cutting." Get over it an get on with the PP.
4. As always, get good action! If you do, nobody (but you) is going to nit pick the IQ.

Here are a couple from my first (and to date only) night game last fall. (Sigma 100-300/4 on K-3)

I guess I should add that these were taken on a recreational field: I imagine real stadium lighting is much better.

Last edited by dadipentak; 04-30-2015 at 05:22 PM.
04-30-2015, 05:11 PM   #5
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I've shot lots of Box Lacrosse (indoor) and it's a fast moving sport. While field lacrosse is a bit slower paced (albeit with plenty enough movement) unless you are shooting stationary objects you will need to play with faster shutter speeds. Even 1/500 sec won't eliminate the blur of the stick when a shot is made. Keep in mind though, that sometimes blur is good.

My preference for nice looking shots is to be as low to the action as you can be. Kneeling or sit field side would give you the best angles.

quant2325 has lots of good advise above, I'd pay attention to that.

Lastly, high ISO (and faster shutter) leaves you the option of reducing grain. Low ISO (and slower shutter) leaves you blurry photos (exception of course with stationary targets).
Until you know what works for you I'd err on the side of higher ISO.

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