Saturday, March 6, 2010


Last night I had the opportunity to photograph (or a least attempt to photograph) the Universityof Arizona Women's Gymcats in action against Washington. Sports photography is always challenging. As a photographer you need the equipment, patience and timing to do it right. I have the first two - need to work on the last one.

Gymnastics is particularly demanding - these girls move fast. You are not allowed to use flash for obvious reasons - and the venues where this sport is practiced have cluttered backgrounds of bleachers and fans, and are usually poorly lit with ugly harsh overhead lights - just bright enough so that you have to use fast lenses (< F/2.8), high ISO's (> 1250), and fast shutter speeds (Faster then 1/320 sec) if you want to have any chance of stopping the action.

Timing is critical - even with a Canon 1D Mark IIN running @ 8 frames a second - it was tough to get a decent action shot. My 5D Mark II was more or less useless unless you knew exactly when to push the trigger - timing - its all timing. . .

Here is my first attempt (I get another chance on March 12th). All shots were obtained with either a 70-200 F/2.8 or a 300mm F/2.8 lens - wide open and ISO 1600. Shutter speeds ranges from 1/250 to 1/400 of a second.


Paul said...

Great shots, Dave. Now I have severe camera envy. Oh well, I can dream about the three things needed for sports photography at least.

Melinda said...

The shots look great to me! Great job, brat :D

Dean said...

Hi Dave-
Very nice effort... A question - I've seen many sports (volleyball and I assume basketball) at McKale where photographers tie into the building strobes wired up in the rafters. They are so fast sometimes you barely detect them. Do you know the rules for, and who gets to use them?

David A. Harvey said...


Those venue strobes are reserved for the media ellite - newspapers, national media and sports illustrated, etc. Snarky bastards.