Commack High School Girls Varsity Bowling
These photos of the Commack High School girls bowling team are from a practice session at AMF Smithtown Lanes last week. This was a new home location for the Commack bowling teams this year and I had never photographed here either. For bowling I usually take two types of photos, formal shots of individual bowlers from out on the ball return and candid shots from other areas of the lanes shooting from the side or rear.
For the formal shots I'm using a flash bounced off the ceiling which, luckily, is white or at least kinda white. I take a few test shots of the first bowler to lock in my exposure which, in this case, was ISO 1600, 1/250 sec. @ f/5.6. The object is to shoot at the fastest shutter speed I can sync the flash with and I like to have an aperture in the middle range so I can prefocus manually near the foul line and be reasonably sure I can get all the bowlers in focus regardless of how close to the foul line they release. I use manual flash, in this case on 1/2 power, so the light from the flash is consistent for each shot. The distance to each bowler will vary but not enough to make a major difference in exposure. Obviously, you need to get the lanes' permission to do this and the folks at Smithtown Lanes are very friendly and accommodating.
The candid shots are made without flash at ISO 6400, 1/500 sec. @ f/2.8. Compared with most bowling lanes, Smithtown is brightly lit, even in the seating area, which is great for photos. At most other lanes I'd be at ISO 10,000 or higher.
As I said, these photos were taken at a practice rather than a match, which takes a lot of pressure off the bowlers (and me) and allows me to take some of the shots using flash, which wouldn't be a good idea during a match.
Thanks very much to the great staff at AMF Smithtown Lanes for allowing me to photograph there. They couldn't have been more helpful.