Low light action photography Part 1
Now that DSLRs are in the hands of more and more 1st-time camera owners, I’ve noticed this question come up a lot.
“I’ve tried to photograph my son’s basketball games, but all my pictures are blurry. How do I get better pictures with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel?”
Successful indoor photography depends a lot on:
- your equipment, specifically what lens you have and what DSLR body
- your access, where you are allowed to go and where you can shoot from
- the lighting within the stadium, arena or hall and whether you can use flash
- the activity you’re trying to capture: the livelier the action, the more light you need
- your knowledge of the event you’re trying to capture, whether it’s a sport, concert or play
The only way you’ll improve is to use your equipment a lot.
How else will you know the highest usable ISO for your camera?
Everyone has different tolerances for what is acceptable digital noise.
In the case of the picture of my daughter, even though the image is noisy, I don’t mind it.
I’d rather have a noisy image than no image.
So make some 8 x 10 prints at different ISO’s and test to see what you’re willing to live with.
Buy fast lenses. If you are going to be shooting indoors, a fast lens is always going to be a better investment than a more expensive camera body because it’s like choosing optical zoom versus digital zoom.
Kit lenses are great for beginners, but their limitations become very apparent once you understand the basic controls of your camera.
Having carte blanche to move about can be the difference between getting good pictures and great pictures.
Picture 2 photographers, both have the same bodies but different lenses and different access.
Say one has a 70-200 f2.8 lens but is confined to his seat in the stands.
The other has a 50mm f1.4 lens with unrestricted access.
My money is on the latter who has a $400 lens versus the former with a $2,500 lens.
Being able to approach your subject and to move is a big deal.
You can pick out “uncluttered” or “cleaner backgrounds” and you can find interesting angles.
You can also choose to shoot where the light is brighter.