Commack High School Girls Varsity Swimming vs. Half Hollow Hills

Commack High School Girls Varsity Swimming vs. Half Hollow Hills

Swim meets are always a lot of fun to photograph. The Commack-Northport team has grown in size the past few years and now have swimmers in every competition, so there are lots of opportunities to get some good photos. This meet was held at Half Hollow Hills, a pool with decent lighting, which is not the case with some other pools. The only thing you need to watch out for here is the light streaming in from the windows. It's very strong on a sunny day and it can either make for an interesting photo, as in shot 49, or can screw up your exposure reading totally. Unless you're going for an interesting, high-contrast photo it's best to avoid the shafts of daylight made by the windows.

One thing you have going for you with swimming is that it's not a fast sport, compared with field sports. The swimmers arms may be moving quickly but their heads, and faces, will be moving at a pace where you can afford to back off on your shutter speed. I shot this meet at 1/640 sec. and probably could have gone lower. This let me reduce my ISO to minimize noise.

As far as white balance is concerned, all pools are lit by some kind of fluorescent lamps and may have windows letting in daylight. The fluorescent lamps colors will shift constantly so it's impossible to set a specific white balance setting that will work throughout the meet. The daylight will also affect certain sections of the pool more than others. You can see this in the varying color of the water in these photos. My advice would be to try your auto white balance and deal with the rest in post if you feel you have to. I feel that as long as the skin tones are relatively accurate the water color is not a big deal.

Finally, take lots of photos. You're going to have a lot of out of focus shots due to your camera focusing on the spray instead of the swimmers. There's really nothing you can do about that except to refocus with each burst.

Have fun.

Commack High School Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Sachem North

Commack High School Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Sachem North

Commack High School Varsity Gymnastics vs. Harborfields

Commack High School Varsity Gymnastics vs. Harborfields