Story   Photographer   Editor   Student/Intern   Assistant   Job/Item

SportsShooter.com: The Online Resource for Sports Photography

Contents:
 Front Page
 Member Index
 Latest Headlines
 Special Features
 'Fun Pix'
 Message Board
 Educate Yourself
 Equipment Profiles
 Bookshelf
 my.SportsShooter
 Classified Ads
 Workshop
Contests:
 Monthly Clip Contest
 Annual Contest
 Rules/Info
Newsletter:
 Current Issue
 Back Issues
Members:
 Members Area
 "The Guide"
 Join
About Us:
 About SportsShooter
 Contact Us
 Terms & Conditions


Sign in:
Members log in here with your user name and password to access the your admin page and other special features.

Name:



Password:







||
SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Shooting Vault
Caleb Simpson, Photographer, Assistant
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 10:03 AM on 03.22.05
->> I was hoping somebody could help me with ideas for shooting vault in gymnastics. The problem I am running into is there are to many people standing around the aparatus during the event. The SID does not want me shooting from up high so I can also get shots of the players and coaches reactions. I blew this event last shoot and need good shots this time around and I get one shot per athlete! I plan on attending the practice this week to see how each girl vaults and were I might be able to get a cleaner shot. Any help would be appreciated. I did not find many shots at all of vault in my search and what I did find had other people in the frame. The best idea I have of now involves shooting high and getting the release, but this is not going to be possible sense the SID wants me down low. Thanks.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Shelley Cryan, Photographer
Southport | CT | USA | Posted: 10:27 AM on 03.22.05
->> Check out amazing Dave Black's classic shot of Mary Lou Retton on the vault:
http://www.daveblackphotography.com/sports-images/sports-classics.htm

It appears he's shooting from a low position and she's either strobed or spotlighted. This makes the dark, upper part of the venue the background, and it's nice and clean.

Shelley
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Christopher Trim, Photographer
Elk Grove | CA | USA | Posted: 10:38 AM on 03.22.05
->> Will you be on the floor, or is the SID not allowing you floor access? If you are on the floor, most of the time folks will step out of your way to let you take photos. Take at look at image #8 on my member page. This was taken with a MKII 85 1.8. If you are not on the floor, it would depend on the type of vault that the gymnast is doing. Watch the warm-ups and adjust.

Chris
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Caleb Simpson, Photographer, Assistant
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 11:38 AM on 03.22.05
->> I have full access. The problem I have is there are two spotters on each side of the matt were they land. The coaches also stand on the sides of the vault. I could get shots with all of them in it but I think the side needs something cleaner. The shoot is for the University.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Adam Cairns, Student/Intern, Photographer
Muncie | IN | USA | Posted: 11:39 AM on 03.22.05
->> I've had luck shooting straight on at the gymnast running at the vault. They generally have a pretty intense facial expression and their hands are straight up in the air right before they hit the springboard. I've also had success shooting tight on the vault itself getting only the gymnast's face and hands in the shoot. Shooting with a wide open aperture on a 200 or 300mm lens will clean up the background if you're close enough. This is where studying each gymnast's routine will help you learn which way they turn as their hands hit the vault.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Casey Riffe, Photographer
Valparaiso | IN | USA | Posted: 1:01 PM on 03.22.05
->> I say straight on as well. I hate this event, and have admittedly had little experience, but I took #3 in my page straight on with a Nikon 200mm/2.0 lens, prefocused on the far side of the vault during setup. Most times, they'll have two vaults, so at least you have 2 shots at the same gymnast.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Caleb Simpson, Photographer, Assistant
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 2:58 PM on 03.22.05
->> Casey that looks like a pretty good angle and about what the SID will be looking for but yet I can NOT shoot straight on. I have to stand to the side and that angle is blocked by two spotters. I might have to talk to the coaches and see if they might let me stand straight on if I am further back.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Casey Riffe, Photographer
Valparaiso | IN | USA | Posted: 4:21 PM on 03.22.05
->> Yeah, that might work. I had a 200mm, so I was pretty far back, definitely off the mats, but I guess it depends on the setup of the floor. You're shooting for the school, not a paper, right, so I guess you have to listen to the SID...good luck!
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Randy Chow, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | United States | Posted: 5:13 PM on 03.22.05
->> The best times to shoot vault are the block (when the hands hit the vault table) and the post flight. A trick I learned is to use the sound of the springboard to time your shot. If you know what type of vault they are doing, you can sometimes time your shot to get the best post flight position when the gymnast is facing you(see the photo of Zamo in my gallery).

Also, don't neglect the run up to the vault table. Sometimes those make good shots and you can try things like panning. Here are some of my old crusty samples.

http://www.intlgymnast.com/images/gallery/russian-nationals/khorkina_svetla...

http://www.intlgymnast.com/images/gallery/telecom/beresch_alexander.jpg

http://www.intlgymnast.com/images/events/2003/worlds/gallery/lopez_erick.jp...

http://www.intlgymnast.com/images/events/2003/worlds/gallery/eldariny_walid...
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Barbara Perenic, Photographer
Miamisburg | OH | USA | Posted: 11:58 PM on 03.22.05
->> I'm no pro at gymnastics, but here's the one thing that has saved me when shooting vault. Keep in mind I have only shot at a few locations. In general, above and in front is cool. But since you can't get above, I recommend the following. This of course depends on your access and above all else, you're background. Shooting districts this year, the vault was basically up against a wall that housed a staircase, and I started there but didn't like the shots. I ended up shooting from the runway, all the way at the beginning, using the nice white wall for a boring but clean background. Definitely some interesting expressions. At this particular meet I got more flak about shooting the approach from the stairs than I got about shooting from the runway. Mostly the girls just said "don't shoot my butt" and told me they were happy I was there. Alas, no strobes for me, and sucky lighting to boot, but I did ok under the conditions.

The thing to remember is that, at least in my situation, the judges weren't keen with my presence AT ALL but left the decision about being on the runway up to the girls. As I said, they were fine with me there. Don't be afraid to appeal to your subjects for help, they can have a LOT of sway with the officials (at least at the high school level).

Leapin' lizards! Sorry, had to say it. Best of luck.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 12:29 AM on 03.23.05
->> I agree with suggestions to try the head-on angle.

I have a gymnastics video on my site at
http://www.mediawoorks.com
Click on Samples and scroll down to "Consumer Gymnastics Video." The relevant moment is at 3:04.01, just before the last cut.

The download is 10.8 mb.

--Mark
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Christopher Gannon, Photographer
Sioux Falls | SD | USA | Posted: 9:22 PM on 03.23.05
->> Just make a point to talk with the SID and especially the coaches about your needs for making a good photo/having a good point of view. Since you are, in effect, working for the school, I would hope they would want to help you get in position to make a good photo to promote thier program. Take a look at my page. I shot my state's gymnastics championships a few weeks ago (in dreadful light I might add.) I have 3 vault shots from both high and low angles. One pushing off and 2 from dismount. I have one low angle shot with a 14mm from about ground level. Maybe talk to the "spotters" and see if there is a way to shoot between them wide? Otherwise, you can only try to find the cleanest angle and shoot tight and long. Good luck. Tell us how it turns out if you get the chance...
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Caleb Simpson, Photographer, Assistant
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 12:27 AM on 03.24.05
->> Thanks guys. This is very helpful. I am going to their practice tomarrow in hopes I can get some better ideas as well as talk to the coach about getting better angles and finding out what type of vault each girl is doing. Chris, I liked your wide angle shot. Nice!! I will let you guys know how it turns out. I already know the images will not look great, the ambient light is horrid and they don't want to pay for me to rent faster glass. My best option as of now is my 50mm f/1.8 and even with that I will be looking at about 3200 ISO and 1/500.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 7:33 AM on 03.24.05
->> You're best bet for vault shots is just a little off center from dead on straight looking at the vualter as they come toward you. Other posts on the thread mention shooting the gymnasts as they make their approach. This is also nice, maybe panned as well. That low angle shot with a 14mm is
nice.

I visited many of the links in messages on this thread and noticed a lot of photos of gymnasts in really bad poses. In my 5+ years experience shooting this sport, I've found that any twisting or flipping (which is what they do) doesn't make the gymnast look good. Sure, I'm in the business to sell photos to the parents or gymnasts themselves, and clients don't want a photo of their daughter looking all contorted. I would shoot this way even for editorial use. I wait to specific moments, like leaps, jumps and poses on floor. My $0.02

It's also hard to stop the spinning/twisting action anyway, since most of the gyms are dark and you CANNOT use strobe. Dave Black's shot of Mary Lou Retton was at the Olympics where they have great lighting. If only all gyms/arenas had better light. This poor light makes it even more difficult to stop the peak action, making timing everything. A gymnast looks stupid coming down from a split-leap, but if you catch her at the moment where she is "weightless" then you got a nice shot.

I would rent or borrow a 85/1.8 lens ... I have a friend in Dallas who rents long glass for cheap. I think he gets a 400/2.8 for $50 for an entire weekend.

What university is this for? As far as I can remember, there is only one women's gymnastics program in Texas -- TWU. Please let me know if another university has started a program. My wife is a head gymnastics coach at a Div. I school and would like to know. This is where I get all
my practice.

Wow, shooting at 3200 iso. That will make for tough grain.
Are they practicing in the same gym that they will be using during the competition?
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Grace Chiu, Photographer
Toronto | ON | CANADA | Posted: 1:00 PM on 03.28.05
->> Watch the numbers that the gymnast flashes on the board at the end of the runway before she vaults.

If the number starts with a 1 or a 2, it means that she will do a handspring entry vault, so your best shot will be from the end of the landing mat of her just as she is about to reach the vaulting table, like this:
http://www.graceclick.ca/photos/03worldag/wqual_can/FBEB7561.JPG

If the number starts with a 3, she will be doing a Tsukahara vault, which means that she will do a half turn (cartwheel) onto the table. If you want an approach shot, you will need to watch the warmup to see which way she turns, so you will get her face and hands, rather than the back of her head. Here is a men's Tsuk shot:
http://www.graceclick.ca/photos/03jurassic/flight9/FBEB5163.JPG

If the number starts with a 4 or a 5, she will be doing round-off entry vault, which usually does not give a pretty preflight picture. Sometimes, if you're on the turning side of a group 5 vault, where she turns off the board after the round-off, you can get a shot like this:
http://www.graceclick.ca/photos/03panam/04wagaa/FBEB6841.JPG.

If you want to capture the peak of a somersaulting vault, where the vault number starts with a 3, 4, or 5, then shoot from the runway side.
http://www.graceclick.ca/photos/04elcan/01friam/JG5Z7239.JPG

If you have a 1D or 1D MkII, and the judges are on the far side of the vaulting table, you can get in the whole vault sequence. e.g.:
http://www.graceclick.ca/photos/04elcan/06sunaft/flight6_6.html (Heather Purnell)

Have fun!
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO (La Mesa) | CA | USA | Posted: 1:06 PM on 03.28.05
->> Grace, very informative. Thanks.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Caleb Simpson, Photographer, Assistant
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 5:27 PM on 03.28.05
->> Grace, thanks. The shoot is over but good info for the next shoot. The meet I was at did not have the board to indicate the type of vault they were going to perform but I was able to talk to the coach before hand and get that information. I really helped out. If I get some time I will post some of the results.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 6:36 PM on 03.28.05
->> Thanks for the information Grace. Nice work.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Grace Chiu, Photographer
Toronto | ON | CANADA | Posted: 5:46 PM on 03.29.05
->> Glad to be of help.

Oh, BTW, you can see an example of the vault number board at the top of this page:
http://www.graceclick.ca/photos/05gymnix/02intlaf/intlaf1.html of stuff that I shot recently. Here, Olga is doing vault #5.409, so that's a round-off entry with a turn onto the table. The pre-flight is not useful to get from where I was standing (so that I could also get bar routines in between vaults), but anticipating the post-flight position was what counted for that vault.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Add your comments...
If you'd like to add your comments to this thread, use this form. You need to be an active (paying) member of SportsShooter.com in order to post messages to the system.

NOTE: If you would like to report a problem you've found within the SportsShooter.com website, please let us know via the 'Contact Us' form, which alerts us immediately. It is not guaranteed that a member of the staff will see your message board post.
Thread Title: Shooting Vault
Thread Started By: Caleb Simpson
Message:
Member Login:
Password:




Return to -->
Message Board Main Index
Watery Assignment? Oceans or Pools... The Caribbean Images ::..