Commack High School Boys JV Basketball vs. Half Hollow Hills East and Commack JV Dancline
Congratulations to the Commack boys JV basketball team on their win over Hills East in a very exciting game. And congratulations to the JV danceline on a great half-time performance.
If you’re looking for tips and strategies on photographing high school basketball check out the Dec. 4th girls basketball post. Not much to add to that post so I’ll focus on photographing danceline in this post.
Danceline performances are short and there’s a lot of action going on with dancers moving all over the floor. For this performance I’m using a Fuji XT-3 body with a 16-55mm f/2.8 lens. The camera is set up exactly as I would shoot basketball in our gym - ISO 10,000, 1/640 sec, @ f/2.8. Obviously, if the light in your gym is brighter you want to stop down your aperture to increase your depth-of-field. I’m using continuous AF and continuous-high drive. Lens choice is pretty much a personal decision. If you’re shooting a specific dancer you definitely want to go with a longer telephoto. If you’re concerned about getting the entire group in every shot you need something wider like a 10-24mm. The challenge is that the dancers will bunch up at times and spread out at other times during their routine so it’s not a “one lens fits all” situation. You could shoot with two bodies but the performance is so short and the routine so varied that you’d probably waste more time switching bodies than it would be worth. My 16-55mm lets me get the entire ensemble for at least a few shots and also lets me zoom in to get smaller groups of dancers. I’m actually thinking about using a remote at a future performance but, since I’m sitting on the floor, I couldn’t use a foot switch; I’d probably need to tape a switch to my main camera body.
I try to park myself in the center of the floor or, as close as possible, based on where the dancers place themselves. As you can see from these shots I was a little bit too far to the left. I’m generally focused on the dancers in the center but if they spread out too far I’ll try to pick up a group on the left or right.
As with any dance routine, timing is important. You want to try to hit the jumps at their peak and keep the frame layout symmetrical. If you can get the entire ensemble in the shot, that’s great. If not, you need to pick out a smaller group and concentrate on them.
Questions? - email me or leave a comment.
That’s it for this post. Next up is boys winter track. Hope everyone is still having a great holiday season.