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Shooting Volleyball
Alan Maglaque, Photographer
South Plainfield | NJ | USA | Posted: 1:22 PM on 10.20.06
->> I was asked to shoot volleyball for the first time this year. I did not get many opportunities to pull the shutter. This is unlike football, baseball or ice hockey. I lit the gym well so that is not the issue. My question is the best positions to get hte most amount of shots without having the player's faces blocked with an arm or the ball. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 1:34 PM on 10.20.06
->> Shoot down from above is possible. All other positions have something in the way most of the time.

A side benefit is better backgrounds if the stands are less than filled.
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Greg Perry, Photographer, Photo Editor
Huntington | WV | USA | Posted: 1:42 PM on 10.20.06
->> You need to be elevated in some way, shape or form. Volleyball is akin to hockey (IMHO) in terms of action. Very short, very fast and not a lot of chances to get good stuff.

I usually sit up in the stands, behind the opposing team's side of the court, and shoot away.
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Mark Buffalo, Photographer
Lonoke | AR | USA | Posted: 4:06 PM on 10.20.06
->> Alan,
Check out this threat started by Jeff Stanton.

You might holler at him about shooting volleyball. I have figured out it is probably my favorite sport to shoot as long as I'm using a strobe!

I've got some vball photos on my page and most were shot with a 20D, 70-200 2.8L and an Alien Bee B400 strobe using ebay radio slaves.

Good luck
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | Az | USA | Posted: 7:14 PM on 10.20.06
->> Mark ... Thank you for the vote of confidence.

Alan ... volleyball can be a very difficult sport to shoot. Indeed, there can be a number of obstacles to overcome. Poorly lit gymnasiums, overzealous coaches and game officials who don't take kindly to your strobes, arms in the way of faces and no ball in your frames.

Volleyball is not a sport you can just show up to the first time in the season and expect to get outstanding images. If you do, then you are truly fortunate. Please check this link I have provided.

I have developed a highly sopohisticated system to obtaining good volleyball images. It's called practice. Like the players, a photographer has to practice and do his/her homework.Prior to the season here in Tucson, I become acquainted with most of the players on the University of Arizona women's team. I do this by shooting the team's media day, shooting practices, the preseason Red-Blue game and so forth. Often i show up early to the match and will speak with a few players and the coach. It pays dividends.

When I am able to shoot the team on multiple occasions, I learn what their tendencies are. I learn what their favorite moves to the net are. I learn what various players will do in certain situations. You can apply this to nearly any sport.

And here is a big secret, one I have never revealed until now. (Isn't this exciting, gang?) We've all had multitudes of images where the ball is not in the frame. You get a nicely composed, focused image and the ball is MIA.

I watch the players' eyes. When a player is about to encounter the ball, their eyes light up, or you could say they get bigger. Whatever you want to call it, it's my signal that the ball is going to be in the frame like right now and I fire. This technique has materialized into a lot more keepers.

Several members have indicated shooting from the top or above the net is the key to eliminating arms or players in the way. True, it does. I shoot in a variety of spots around the arena. It provides a variety of angles. Also remember there is a lot of communicating going on during a v'ball match. And you've probably noticed the girls are much more emotional than the guys which can lead to some great jubulation shots.

My best advice is to practice, learn the players and learn the game at a higher level. I believe it has yielded me much better work.
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Thread Title: Shooting Volleyball
Thread Started By: Alan Maglaque
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