Congratulations to the Northport-Commack girls swimming team on their win over Hills.
I think this was media night. I was joined by a yearbook photographer from Lifetouch and a News 12 video crew filming one of the Northport swimmers.
This meet was held at the Hills West pool, which evidently had a makeover since I was there last season. They installed new vent ducts and a white ceiling and repainted the white walls. Very nice, and very easy to get an accurate white balance.
Swimming is one of the few sports where you can afford to slow down your shutter speed a little. I’m shooting at 1/640 sec. and that’s fine for swimmers in the water. For divers I’ll increase the shutter speed to 1/1000 sec. since they’re moving a lot faster through the air.
The main challenge when photographing swimming competitions is spray. Your camera’s autofocus will sometimes try to lock focus on the spray rather than the swimmer and you may find your photos are out of focus. There’s not a lot you can do about this except for trying to shoot when the spray is at a minimum and just taking a lot of photos. Some events, like the 50-meter freestyle, generate more spray than others. The best thing to do in this case is to constantly refocus as you shoot and hope you eventually lock onto the swimmer.
The other tip I can give you is to get, or write down, a copy of the heat sheet. This will list the order of events, which swimmers are participating and which lanes they’ll be in. The event will dictate where around the pool you want to position yourself. For freestyle and back stroke you want to be on the long side slightly behind the swimmer. For breast and butterfly strokes you want to be at the end of the pool facing them as they come towards you. For the medley, well, good luck; just pick a stroke and stick with it.
Camera and lens - Fujifilm X-T3 and 50-140mm zoom.
Exposure - ISO 6400, 1/640 sec. @ f/2.8 for swimmers. ISO 10,000, 1/1000 sec. @ f/2.8 for divers.
Post-processing - Capture One Pro 12
Next up - boys soccer senior day.