This month marks the one-year anniversary when I started sports photography. Back in the “early days”, I shot all my basketball pictures with a d300 and a super-old Nikon 50mm f/2 AI under the basket. My Tokina 80-200mm f/2.8 AT-X I had simply wasn’t fast enough in the relatively dim indoor court. With my limited outfit, I still managed to get some great shots, ones that I can still look back on and be proud of; shooting wide-open enabled me to generally stay in between ISO 1600-3200 at 1/500. This was enough to stop motion okay, but the spherical aberration from shooting at f/2 kept shots from “popping”. For a lot of my shots, some heavy editing was required, whether that be editing exposure to make things contrastier and sharper, or heavily cropping shots that the 50mm length just couldn’t reach.
One year later, I was highly looking forward to shooting basketball with my NEX-7 with my “new” fast legacy lenses, the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI and Nikon 105mm f/1.8 AI-s; both of which perform exceptionally well at f/2 for low-light. Since the NEX-7 seems to match the d300 in terms of high ISO performance up to ISO 3200 and at twice the resolution, I not only have more room for liberal cropping, but even uncropped images retain more detail!
The following twelve images were captured from a three-day basketball tournament at my university. In order to upload the photos in time for my supervisor, I was only able to photograph the first half; halftime and the second half was always used for sorting and editing my photographs for export. All photos captured with the NEX-7 and the aforementioned lenses at f/2. Women’s shots were all at ISO 1600 and 1/500, while the men’s shots were mostly at ISO 3200 and 1/640-1/800. Most shots do not have any noise reduction applied, and some are heavily cropped. Other than that, enjoy some action pictures!
As luck would have it, I currently cannot write any detailed posts for the site yet. Upon returning home for Christmas break (and after the dreadful finals week), I have found my internet to be…sporadic at best. Currently it goes in and out every few minutes; rendering the uploading of photos and saving of posts useless. The only reason I’m writing this post now is that I am on location for a sports shoot, waiting for all my photos to export to my supervisor. Luckily there’s a bit of wi-fi I’ve hopped on to. I really do hate this happening, seeing as one of the biggest things I was looking forward to coming back home for a few weeks was to not only take photographs but to also share them on this site!
Regardless, I do have a quick photo I can share before I have to leave the building, one of the shots from the game tonight. I am photographing a basketball tournament for my university, with at least 3 more games over the next couple of days. I can’t wait to get back into the groove of basketball shooting, as well as getting my internet fixed soon! Once it is, count on a basketball-filled post (among other things).
50mm, ISO 1600, f/2, 1/500
For my second weekly round-up, allow me to get you caught up on my happenings. This time, it’s a very picture-heavy post, rather than a narrative-guided one. All of the following were taken with the Sony NEX-7.
First up, I’ve been tasked with taking “Environmental Photos” of the professors at my university. The goal here is to capture a professor while teaching:
50mm, ISO 400, f/2, 1/80
105mm, ISO 800, f/1.8, 1/200
Now that school has started bearing down hard, I feel the very least I should attempt to do is give you guys a weekly update; still, the amounts of free time I can muster up on the weekends in-between other photography assignments is slim! Speaking of photography assignments, I’ve been getting a TON lately with the full onset of the Fall season. The trees have turned and are losing their leaves, days and nights are getting colder, and the familiar holidays are fast approaching.
Old Morrison’s Own Pumpkin
105mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/5
Last year at Transylvania University, we started an event called “Pumpkin Mania”, where anybody and everybody on campus (and in the community) could come and carve a pumpkin however simply or intricately they pleased. We ended up with hundreds of these small carved pieces of art (some more-so than others!), and put them on display on the steps of the iconic Old Morrison building with its towering, wide front steps.
Continuing the occasion to this year, these pumpkins are lit every night the week before Halloween by small, connected lightbulbs, and produce an intense warm glow in the surrounding area. Inevitably, this draws quite a crowd from surrounding communities!
Tasked with photographing the ongoing event, I wanted to do something special and create ultra-high resolution panoramas with my 105mm f/1.8 AI-s. Why a telephoto? Well, something I’ve found out in my (extremely) limited experience with panoramas is that the longer the lens you have, the less perspective distortion you get (a.k.a. a flat field) when combining exposures, making it easy to stitch multiple frames together with little to no fuss. This flat field also gives the photograph an almost-surrealistic look (like looking at a real-life blueprint) once all the lines are corrected. Continue Reading