Commack High School Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Patchogue-Medford - Senior Night
Congratulations on another win for the Commack girls varsity basketball team, this time against Pat-Med. This was senior night and, although I had a meeting that evening, I wanted to get to the game to at least get some photos of the seniors and their families. As it turns out I was able to shoot the first quarter before I had to leave.
One thing to keep in mind when taking portraits on the same night you're shooting the game is your aperture setting. Chances are you use a wide-open aperture to shoot the game in order to get the fastest shutter speed and lowest ISO possible. That's a great strategy for indoor action shots but you need to make an adjustment when it comes to portraits.
There are two things to keep in mind when switching to portraits during a game. First, your subjects won't be moving and second, you'll probably be standing closer to them than you would for a typical action photo. This means that (a) you won't need a fast shutter speed to freeze the action, which is good because (b) you'll want to stop down your aperture in order to get a bit more depth of field.
If you shoot a portrait of a family group at f/2.8 at a short distance your depth of field will be quite shallow. This means that if everyone in the photo is not the same distance from your lens chances are one or more of them will probably be out of focus. This situation only gets worse if they have a large family that you have to arrange in two rows.
For this reason you want to stop down your aperture to at least f/4.0, if not f/5.6, and lower your shutter speed accordingly. This will insure everyone in the photo is in focus.
Oh, and don't forget to reset your aperture and shutter speed when it's time to shoot the game.