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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Basketball Strobe lights for HS Gym
Sina McCarthy, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | United States | Posted: 8:03 PM on 12.14.09
->> I will be shooting basketball game in Oakland Military Institute tomorrow... in Berkeley, CA. I have no prior experience setting up with the portable strobe lights. I am looking for someone to go with me to show me how to set up. The game starts at 4 pm and I'd need to be there earlier. Please call me at 925-271-7385 if you're interested. Thanks in advance!
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Matthew Bush, Photographer
Hattiesburg | MS | USA | Posted: 9:45 PM on 12.14.09
->> Might can give you a few tips but first a few questions ?

How many PW's are you going to be using ? Are you using Big lights (studio lights) or Small lights (speedlights) ? How many are you rigging and what kind of gear are you shooting.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 11:46 PM on 12.14.09
->> Some Sports Shooter Newsletter Archive links to using strobes for gyms and arenas:

By Darrell Miho
SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 1999-02-04
Arena Lighting
http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/81

By Shawn Cullen
SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2005-03-05
Pocket Wizard basics and then some! (Part 1)
http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1355

SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2005-04-02
Pocket Wizard basics and then some! (Part 2)
http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1367

SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2007-12-17
Ask Sports Shooter: Understanding Flash Duration
http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1888

By Roberto Beck
SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2007-01-30
How To: Five Angles of One Play on a Single Set of Strobes
http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1709

By Brian Vanderbrug
SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 1999-02-04
High School Gym Lighting
http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/82

By George Wilhelm
SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 1999-02-04
High School Gym Lighting, Part 2
http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/83


While not specific to lighting a small venue, these will give you an understanding of what goes into a project light this. It isn't just putting up a couple of strobes and firing away...
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 11:58 PM on 12.14.09
->> I highly recommend the speedlight approach.

2 clamps, 2 cheap strobes at 1/4 power. Lights 1/2 the court. ISO 400 at 2.8.

Looks great.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:04 AM on 12.15.09
->> Whatever strobe system you use, a couple of pieces of advice:
- Safety cable EVERYTHING.
- If you've never done this before, go three hours earlier than you thought you needed to be there.
- Test everything several times (especially if you're using radio slaves).
- Hire an assistant to work with you.
- If this gym has not been lit for basketball before, once installed better fire your strobes for the coach, AD and one of the game referees way before tip-off. You don't want them to shut you down because of any "surprises".
- Bring your proof of liability insurance with you.

Lighting a gym obviously a very complicated, intricate process. Because you have never done this before, I HIGHLY advise hiring an experienced lighting tech to help you.

Good luck.
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Sina McCarthy, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | United States | Posted: 2:33 AM on 12.15.09
->> I have to admit that I am a bit overwhelmed here. Maybe I am rushing into things. I just realized that I need to research a bit more and get things ready for the next assignment. Thanks Juli, Jeffrey and everybody else for your suggestions and I appreciated it. Robert, I like the idea of hiring an experienced lighting tech to help me out the first time I set things up.

You've been great!
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Peter Wine, Photographer, Photo Editor
Dayton | OH | USA | Posted: 8:59 AM on 12.15.09
->> A few links to check out from The Strobist:

Lighting Prep Basketball:
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04/on-assignment-prep-basketball.html

Speedlighting a College Gym:
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2007/02/on-assignment-speedlighting-college-gy...

Special Q&A: Speedlighting a Gym:
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2007/03/q-speedlighting-gym.html

And lots more of the "On Assignment" series:
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/on-assignment.html
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Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Nashville | TN | U.S. | Posted: 11:11 AM on 12.15.09
->> Is there any common courtesy concerning the amount of shots taken when lighting indoors? When I shoot available light, I can shoot several hundred shots during a basketball game. But if I'm flashing that often, it would probably be much more noticed than if I'm just trying to catch, say, a fast break or dunk.
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Shelley Cryan, Photographer
New England | CT | USA | Posted: 11:49 AM on 12.15.09
->> Wesley,

I regularly strobe HS gyms with a pair of speedlights. I usually put the speedlights on lightstands up as high as possible on the back row of the benches, aimed down at the court. That way, the strobes aren't hitting players anywhere near in their line of sight. Neither players nor coaches have ever indicated that they've even noticed the lights at all. And if it bugged them, trust me, they'd tell me. They never have. (volleyball is a different story)

The one time -- out of many, many times -- someone said something was after a quarter of shooting, and it wasn't a player or coach, but a parent. I guess I must have been too quick setting them up, and it turned out one of the strobes was aimed straight instead of down. A woman sitting in the bleachers across the gym told me it had bothered her. I felt so bad to have inadvertently annoyed her; it was due to a correctable error.

Where I run into limitations with the speedlights is that the recycle times get worse as the game goes on. Yes, I could attach a battery pack. Yes, I could swap out the batteries at the half. Instead I usually prefer to be more selective with my shots and my shot count for basketball is maybe a third of what is is for, say, football. It helps that basketball movements are a lot more predictable, too.

But a lower shot count isn't really a problem if you light a gym -- before I used lights I'd get a lot of junk I wouldn't want to show to an editor. I'd have to shoot a lot to insure I'd get good ones, then hope that noise ninja would rescue me. But with lights, my keeper ratio shot up tremendously, and the images pop. It became much more fun to shoot basketball. I always strobe basketball now. Now if I were shooting a Nikon D3, maybe I'd be singing a different tune, but for now I'm happy.

Wesley, in your head you might believe me when I tell you basketball players don't notice properly-placed lights, but the best thing is to do to REALLY believe it is to try it a few times and see.

Shelley
www.shelleycryan.com
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Brian Cripe, Photographer, Assistant
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 11:52 AM on 12.15.09
->> You'd be surprised how many people never notice strobes going off at basketball games. I've talked to D1 basketball players who have never noticed them at our arena, and we're running 8 Elinchrom monoblocs there. Shooting for Sports Info, we'll usually average 250-300 shots per game (which is higher than a lot of news outlets, but the department's needs are a little different).
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Kirt Winter, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 12:13 PM on 12.15.09
->> Agree with Brian (I probably pop about the same number of times too). I use a pair of AB-800s at full power (shortest flash duration) and after the first couple of pops in a new place, rarely get any comments. Helps that the local officials pretty much have all seen me doing it before, so even if a new coach asks questions, they generally have my back, but I have never had trouble with strobes and basketball (volleyball is a different story).

Now, I do tend to set them up slightly differently than many of the diagrams I see. Minor differences but they are further from the court (wider) and I tend to aim them slightly closer to center court than the standard "top of the circle"; if you have them wider you just need to make sure they still cover the closest corners of the court.

Also, to me, "safety cable" means "zip-tie." When I started I was thinking I needed something fancy.

To continue a little bit, sometimes I need lightstands, sometimes I don't, depends on the gym. I try to never have the lightstands freely standing, and have been pretty successful zip-tying the stands to railings, etc. sometimes without extending the legs. I buy my zip-ties in bulk, thank you very much. ;-)

Here's a MaxPreps gallery of the last game I shot...
http://tinyurl.com/ye6krff

You can email me if you have questions.

By the way, what is the proper verb for using a zip-tie?
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Kirt Winter, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 12:28 PM on 12.15.09
->> Sorry, Shelley, sort of rushed to the end. You make good points too. :-)
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 12:54 PM on 12.15.09
->> Yes, 250 shots on strobes in a game is normal and reasonable. Wanna hear what's NOT?

We have a guy at Notre Dame who--against my protests--has had strobes in the arena the last few years. Shoots over 600 frames a game regularly, 800-900 is no problem and I've even seen him go over 1000 on more than one occasion. No, I'm not making those numbers up. Yeah, it's noticeable--in a bad way. I've personally seen one of his lights blow up twice. Also, the catwalk is low in our arena so if you're in the upper stands you're more or less eye-level with the lights. (I have put cinefoil on my lights in an effort to block spill from the fans.)

So to avoid the risk of any dreaded "Off Topic" clicks, I'll sum this all up by first agreeing that properly placed and utilized strobes should not be an issue but also throw in the warning to be careful not to over-shoot. It's a basketball game, not a rave.
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Gerry Maceda, Photographer
La Quinta | CA | | Posted: 1:08 PM on 12.15.09
->> I strobe HS basketball games too with a couple of Alien Bees AB800 pointed at the top of the key tilted to the ceiling. I have refrained from shooting during free throws as one ref has commented that I made a player miss her shot.

Here's a sample of a game that I shot with strobes:

http://www.maxpreps.com/photo/gallery.aspx?imageid=0371d568-e3ed-4a36-8c1c-...
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Kirt Winter, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 1:45 PM on 12.15.09
->> Gerry, I agree, I don't shoot during a free-throw until the shooter has released the ball. Sometimes you get great expressions as the players follow the ball to the goal though.

Bouncing off the ceiling is really dependant on the gym. In the gym I most often shoot in, the ceiling is extremely high and an old scoreboard hangs down from the middle and really casts some shadows. Also, if the ceiling isn't white, the color can be really odd and not easy (at least for me) to correct.
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David Scriven, Photographer
Rochford | Essex | United Kingdom | Posted: 1:46 PM on 12.15.09
->> I've just started shooting basketball in the British Basketball League with most of my previous experience coming from football (soccer) matches.

I am shooting at the same venue every week (fortnight) and it is what I guess you guys would class as a High School Gym set-up rather than an arena even though it is the pro league here (i.e. no catwalk, one small stand etc...)

After starting out with no strobes it quickly became apparent I needed to read up on it to hit better images (ISO 3200-6400 on the 1D MK3 is not great).

It quickly became apparent that I would need some strobes. So I experimented with a single speedlite (that's all I had) on pocketwizards.

However, whilst better - it still wasn't perfect. So I read some more and borrowed some flash heads from a friend of mine for the past 4 matches and I really noticed the difference.

I had one up the back of the stand pointing up in the air as much as possible and aimed towards the free throw line and another on a stand raised up as high as possible the opposite side of the court and again pointing up to the roof.

It worked OK, baring in mind they were very cheap flash heads (only 250W). I'm shooting for the team and the coaches are all cool with it although for the first time last Saturday the ref asked me to switch them off after I believe a complaint from the opposition. My team are new to the league and still finding their feet but comfortably beat one of the better sides in this match so I think it was a petty moan more than anything.

I've subsequently bought a better flash head (400w) and will try it out this Friday (only one at the moment, its all I can afford - and hide from the wife!)

Here are some examples of my progression to give you an idea:

No Strobes:
http://bit.ly/6qOKQG
http://bit.ly/4QblEu

Speedlites:
http://bit.ly/6vSNb8

Flash Heads:
http://bit.ly/70Yvp5
http://bit.ly/7xC87c
http://bit.ly/4Pp5He
http://bit.ly/53Bku6 (got told to turn off towards the end)

I'm not by any means brilliant at this but I'm gradually starting to get the hang of it and thought it might be useful to share the experiences of another Basketball newbie.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 2:32 PM on 12.15.09
->> I got some nice results by pointing my ABs at a ceiling in one of the gyms, but I didn't like the fact that the bounce illuminated the spectators way more than I would have liked. If the bleachers are right up against the sidelines, that's something to consider.

For those who use Alien Bees (or similar): Do you use the standard 7 inch reflectors, the 8.5 inch "High Output" reflectors, or the 11 inch "Long Throw" reflectors?

I'm thinking the 11" reflectors will be much better suited for use in arenas:
http://www.alienbees.com/11ltr.html
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 2:45 PM on 12.15.09
->> Or just pump up the ISO...

I shot semi-pro last weekend at 3200-4000.

Granted I was going for more feature-y, art-y photos...

http://mcweekly-photoblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/aba-basketball-california-se...
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Rene Mireles, Photographer
Holland | MI | USA | Posted: 2:57 PM on 12.15.09
->> Sina,

I started small with just a single speedlight in the corner pointed at the key and would move it at 1/2 time when I move, than for some of the bigger games I would bring more than 1, sometimes starting with just one is a good start. Also check out the strobist links above.

Have fun.
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 3:54 PM on 12.15.09
->> Hmm... I could of swore I posted this last night.

http://www.gophotography.net/tips/lighting.html

That will at least get you started with the "how and where".
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 4:23 PM on 12.15.09
->> Sina,
Take your time. Learn and be safe. My D3 would allow me to shoot available light in some HS gyms, but there's really no comparison.

Curtis, I use 2 Elinchrom 1000 with long throw reflectors that I bounce off of the gym ceilings from a alcove ( as a practical matter .. otherwise I'd be dealing with lots of extension cords and lots of fans... not a good combination..)*IF* you position them you can actually control the light fall off in some gyms.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 5:07 PM on 12.15.09
->> Those Max Preps guys have it down for lighting high school gyms. www.maxpreps.com
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 6:03 PM on 12.15.09
->> I have been doing the high school strobe thing for a few years now. It has become 2nd nature to me to be honest.

The biggest thing I learned was, be prepared for everything!

Get there early, talking 2 hours early.

Most likely the younger kids will be playing their games during that time. That will allow you to get setup, and test out your setup during their games.

I use alien bees and I love them. If you have the money I would highly recommend them for strobing high school basketball.

Here is my high school bball shots from this season. A couple ambient shots and some from last season are sprinkled in but almost all of them are from this season.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/801images/sets/72157622750140131/

If you have any questions feel free to contact me!
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 7:36 PM on 12.15.09
->> I would start directly with the AD, refs, coaches and ask if this is going to be a problem before I did anything. It only takes one of these people to complain and that will be the end of your strobe shooting for the night.

None of the high schools around these parts allow strobes of any kind. They've all got it in their head that the "flash bulbs" as I heard one AD say, would blind the players.
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Juliann Tallino, Photographer
Port Townsend/Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 8:10 PM on 12.15.09
->> Jeff,
In California strobes are common at most high school basketball games, very rarely is there a problem.
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Sina McCarthy, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | United States | Posted: 11:26 PM on 12.15.09
->> I went to the Rec center in Berkeley and the gym is very OLD. There was 3 row benches which looks like portable. The lights were bad. Even if I brought the strobe lights attached to clamps, you'd need a tall ladder to clamp the strobes to the pipe.

This is a learning experience for me. Eventually I would have to build my strobe equipments in the near future. Thanks friends. You've been a great help!
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 1:24 AM on 12.16.09
->> To answer a question several emailed me about:

Yes we have in the past included arena and gym lighting as part of the Sports Shooter Academy. At the moment I have not finalized all of the class topics and am considering it depending on whether there are enough participants enrolled in SSA VII wanting it.

Between Jordan Murph, Matt Brown and Shawn Cullen we certainly have the people to teach it.

Mahalo!
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Tim Cowie, Photographer
Davidson | NC | USA | Posted: 6:23 AM on 12.16.09
->> If you use appropriate strobes (short flash duration) shooting while the person is taking a free throw is a non-factor. As well, properly positioned strobes and again, strobes with a short flash duration, should allow you to fire about as many shots as you need without bothering players or fans.

For the person who is firing 1000 frames in an evening, I am guessing if the strobes follow what I previously mentioned, it should be a non-factor other than he's putting a lot of stress on the strobes (each strobe is different and handle the work load and overheating differently).

In my "home" gym I use a set of White Lightnings - 2400 (discontinued), but have them on 1/4 power. I have them placed in the rafters. Essentially went off each corner of the basketball court 10 feet and put them directly up at that point (obviously if its not a permanent set, you have less options as you may not have a catwalk or lift at your disposal). The 1/4 power option on full (if that makes sense) gives me plenty of light, but with a short flash duration (about 3 stops over ambient) and quick recycle time.

For remote gyms I have a set (4) of Elinchrom 600s'. For smaller arenas and gyms these are perfect. I also have a set of old Elinchrom 1000's. Elinchrom doesn't make these anymore, but you can often find them on Ebay. They are relatively inexpensive if you bid properly and are a dream for nice, clean power with a short flash duration.

Safety cables for strobes and reflectors is a must. Not a bad idea to put some lexan covers (cut to the shape of your reflectors openings) and tie wrap attach them. You can just leave them on the reflectors as well as short safety cables for each time you set them up.

If you are putting up a permanent set, hardwire everything would be preferred over using radio slaves such as PocketWizards. You don't need AC adapters then or have to change the batteries on the slaves. If you are in an arena that you are going to leave them up in, a lot of times there are spare XLR microphone lines in the catwalk. Working with there physical plant or audio guys, you can probably utilize a spare jack. You hardwire to the jack up in the catwalk and then use a XLR plug with a HH female plug that allows you to plug your remotes or cameras directly at floor level.

Add some remote AC on/off adapters to each of your strobes in the catwalk allowing you to simply click a button and turn the power to the strobes on or off from the floor. Saves crawling in the catwalk every time you need to turn them on or off.

Be safe, get permission, use your imagination.

Robert left some great links, ones I have gone to many times. He's "The Man" for a reason! Read, try and good luck.
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Steve Violette, Photographer
Gulf Breeze | FL | USA | Posted: 9:10 AM on 12.16.09
->> I currently shoot our HS gym with AB800's up high in the corners and bounce off the rafter filled ceiling with great results. Generally the settings are iso 400 f/2.8. Lights are mounted on light stands and secured to the railings going up the stands that are about 8 feet forward of the baseline.. I also use the 11" long throw reflectors because I'm bouncing off the ceiling (generally 250 shots per game

Steve
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 11:11 AM on 12.16.09
->> Oh and I shoot between 100 and 170 images a game.

I would say my keeper rate with strobes is near 95%.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 11:45 AM on 12.16.09
->> Yeah, the keeper rate with strobes is significantly higher than with available light. I miss the days shooting Div. 1 ball with arena units. But here, these people somehow have become conditioned that strobes are evil, interfere with the game's action and the paper's management simply refuses to get involved in the debate, so it's a moot point for me. If they allow it in Calif., more power to you.
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Juliann Tallino, Photographer
Port Townsend/Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 1:30 PM on 12.16.09
->> That's too bad, I've shot high school bball in California, Oregon and Washington without an issue with strobes. But I heard from a shooter in Texas once who had an AD claim strobes/flash would cause seizures in his players. Unbelievable!
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 1:45 PM on 12.16.09
->> Technically I believe it could if they were prone to them.

But any flickering light would do that to that person.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 1:53 PM on 12.16.09
->> Juliann;
Seizures would only occur if it was a multiple, high speed repeating strobe. It is true, some people can be induced and in fact when being tested for seizures it was one way to do it.

But no strobe in a gym shooting a basketball game would ever be capable of that.
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 1:53 PM on 12.16.09
->> Ive only once had a problem with an athletic director complaining that the strobes were "Too Bright" and once he made it clear that they had to come down, I made it clear i was done shooting.

The referees, players and coaches didnt have a problem.
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 2:09 PM on 12.16.09
->> To be honest it is usually the principle or AD that always have issues with it. I can't think of one coach that had issues with it.
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Juliann Tallino, Photographer
Port Townsend/Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 4:02 PM on 12.16.09
->> Michael,
I know, that's why I said "Unbelievable". It was a ridiculous statement, anyone strobing at a speed that could induce seizures in an entire basketball team (how stupid does this sound already?) would blow up their strobes pretty fast or be trying to freeze a drop of sweat as it splashes into a puddle on the floor of the court. LOL
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Rene Mireles, Photographer
Holland | MI | USA | Posted: 4:15 PM on 12.16.09
->> I had the AD ask if anyone ever complained to me when strobing basketball, I told him nope and he said good because he knows the photos are so much better. lol

Matthew Sauk, Strobes ever bother you in GR for Arena football I used them all the time when you guys played.

:)

http://www.sportsshooter.com/renm/msauk/pages/1.html
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Andrew Link, Photographer
West Bend | WI | USA | Posted: 4:50 PM on 12.16.09
->> I shot a high school basketball team last night for the first time using speedlights in the corners of one end of the court. I checked with the AD before the game and he was skeptical of the idea. I asked the coach and he had no problem with it.

Today, I followed up with the coach to see if any players complained about the flashes. He said no, and that he didn't even notice them himself. I am glad because the quality of the photos were much improved.
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 4:53 PM on 12.16.09
->> Rene,

I look good :)

No and I have never noticed them. Only time I notice strobes is on TV when watching a bball game
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Mike Burns, Photographer
Reston | VA | USA | Posted: 2:45 PM on 12.18.09
->> I have my first HS basketball game tonight.

And I have a question or two.

1. What is the number one no/no that I should stay away from?
2. How early should I try to get there to check with the AD and hopefully set up some lights?

Thanks for all the help.
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 8:32 PM on 12.18.09
->> I guess it is late now, but a no no would be to setup and and shoot without getting permission or at least communicating with someone at that school that you are there to cover the game and you use strobes.

Second, first time at the min get there 1 1/2 hour before the game.

Also head to maxpreps.com as it has just about every single head coaches name so that you can google the schools website and call that coach or AD.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | Ill. | usa | Posted: 9:28 PM on 12.18.09
->> On the topic of things not to do, I just finished shooting a HS game where a dad set up some generic brand studio strobes that had optical slaves that could not be disabled. As a result they would randomly blow out my photos, about 1 in 7, whenever his strobes were charged when I fired. Not to mention screwing up his recycle time.

I spent about 10min trying to help him turn off or disable the optical slave (luckily noticed this problem during warmups,) but no luck. He was nice enough to just pack the strobes up to not interfere with my coverage.
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 12:22 AM on 12.19.09
->> Andrew

Did you try taping over the receptor? If the trigger can't see light, it can't trip.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | Ill. | usa | Posted: 9:10 AM on 12.19.09
->> Dave,

That was my thought also, I couldn't find the receptor on it anywhere.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 9:33 AM on 12.19.09
->> Mike, the communication is important - but being SAFE, as Bert points out, is the primary concern to me.

Also, you need to have your answers ready when someone challenges you about your strobes distracting the players. One reason I bounce is that I can point out that if the player is distracted by the flash it's because he or she is looking at the ceiling. The other reason is that most of the shooters use on camera flash, which is far more distracting. I then ask them if my method isn't better for the players.

So far, so good.

Where I'm at, I've been at so many schools they are used to it. The one time in the last year or so one of the coaches complained, the official and principal told me about it, they both also thought it was because the guy was getting his a$$ kicked by the home team. I reduced firing for about 5 minutes and then went back to "Normal". You just need to be ready.

Michael
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Mike Burns, Photographer
Reston | VA | USA | Posted: 9:20 AM on 12.21.09
->> Thanks to everyone for thier help. I did find the AD when I got there and was allowed to set up 2 strobes. I used the advice from the forum and went to the top of the bleachers on the end that I was shooting from and put a strobe on each side.

What I didn't account for was the home teams ability to fill thier bleaches and stand right in front of one of my strobes. So for the first half I basically shot with just one strobe from the visitors side.

I added a couple images from the game to my portfolio if anyone has time and would like to comment feel free.

Thanks again for all the help and I can't wait for the next game.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 9:48 AM on 12.21.09
->> Mike, once you know your set up and the school knows you and what you are doing, set time time is on your schedule. I have been strobing in my area for almost ten years, and now when I walk in, they all know what is going on. Only rarley, will a coach, usually a loosing coach in the middle of a crappy season, make a comment, and by then I usually have enogh to go home anyways. If the parents ask why I am leaving, I tell them the truth and let them deal with the looser. That works out well.
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 10:48 AM on 12.21.09
->> I've only had one coach and one ref have an issue with my strobe setup in the past 6 years I've been shooting basketball. In both cases, I politely told them the strobes were professional sports strobes, and had a super fast flash duration for minimal impact on the game. And I asked if they would give me a chance, and they gave me the nod to try it out.
(OK, I embellished since they were just Alien Bee 400s)

At the start of the game, I didn't shoot at all for the first 2 or 3 trips down the court, but I acted like I did.
Then I took some dribbling shots away from the basket. By then, they completely forgot about me and I was able to shoot away at will.

In the case of the ref, I asked him at 1/2 time what he thought about my setup. He told me he never noticed a strobe going off at all.

Sometimes, it's all about the sales presentation. :)
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Thread Title: Basketball Strobe lights for HS Gym
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