Indoor Sports Photography

I went a few days ago to shoot an indoor soccer game again somewhere around Dubai Sports City. I remember what I did on my last Indoor Sports Photography Session here and I decided to change something this time, to try out something new.

I used the same camera and lens – Nikon D7100 with AF-S Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G VR with out a hood. I shoot in Manual Mode mostly only RAW format. I used Spot Metering and Flash with Auto – ISO on for almost all the images. Because I was using the Flash the camera Shutter Speed was limited at 1/250s. All the Post-processing was done only in Lightroom.

Usually when I’m shooting people, in order for me to post their photos on my blog I take a written consent from them. In this case I didn’t, so all the faces are blurred for obvious reasons.

The original image was shoot at 140mm, shutter speed 1/250s with F5.6 spot metering on with Exposure Compensation +3.3EV with Auto-ISO pumped to 6400. After Lightroom this is what I could get out of it.

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The next image was shoot at 50mm, shutter speed 1/250s with F5, spot metering on with Exposure Compensation -2.0EV with Auto-ISO pumped to 4000. The noise level in the image is significantly less than in the last image however still not “printable quality”.

Nevertheless, if the subject is close, the quality of the image rises tremendously. This is the result after Lightroom interference (exposure, contrast, white/black balance, noise reduction, vignette)

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The next image was shoot at 140mm, shutter speed 1/250s with F5.6, spot metering on with Exposure Compensation -2.0EV with Auto-ISO pumped to 2000. The noise level in the image dropped significantly less than in the last image. Still not “printable quality” but a high step forward.

When I look at the RAW files with the same shooting settings (aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, focal length) but only the ISO is different, it makes all the difference in the world.

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The next image was shoot at 90mm, shutter speed 1/400s with F5.3, spot metering on with Exposure Compensation -2.0EV with Auto-ISO pumped to 6400 – no Flash used. The noise level went up.

I tried to manipulate it in Lightroom, went b/w so I can obtain somehow a “dramatic effect” but with poor results. Certainly not “printable material”.

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The next image was shoot at 140mm, shutter speed 1/250s with F5.6, spot metering on with Exposure Compensation -2.0EV with Auto-ISO pumped to 6400 – Flash used. The noise level went up again.

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Lessons learned today :

  • keep the ISO level below 2000 otherwise its going to be a “noisy day”
  • get closer to the subject to shoot in 50-85mm range if its possible
  • for Sport Photography choose to stay in the opposite half of the dominating team.
  • try to anticipate the action
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