I just started my internship at the Alton Telegraph in Alton Ill. It is just outside of northern Saint Louis. For my first internship with a publication it is nice because I am getting daily experience that I haven’t had. So far I have shot a few basketball games. I have shot in dark gyms before but I am always shocked at how dark high school gyms are. I am a fan of shooting from the floor and getting close to the action. However at these gyms, the lighting is so inconsistent that you NEED additional lighting. Some referees don’t like the idea of shooting with an on camera flash right in the face of the players. I shot without additional lighting for the first game and for the second game, I copied a photographer I was shadowing. He told me a good standard in these gyms was to shoot from the stands 1/500 sec @f/2.8 ISO 800 and a 550EX speedlight at full power. It worked mostly. I got occasional hot spots. The main downside of using a full power strobe is the refresh rate. I have a small battery pack plugged in and I still had to wait a few seconds in between shots. That means no motor drive. Also, if you fired too early, you don’t have your flash a split second later when you really need it. Of course, my best shot of the night fell into that category. After a bit of Photoshop work, here is what I came up with.
Canon EOS 1D Mark II 200mm ISO 1000 1/500 sec @ f/2.8 – Screened out it Photoshop three times