Sunday, January 25, 2009

My total photography awesomeness

The coach of my nephew's basketball team asked me last week if I would mind coming to a few games and taking photos of the boys ..... I think he's got some sort of slide show or something in mind for the end-of-the-season party. I said yes because

1. I enjoy photography,

2. Any excuse to watch my nephew play basketball is a good one, and

3. The basketball coach is also the principal of my children's elementary school. And I figure after buying this house right out from under him, it's the least I can do. Plus, after all the complaining I've done about costumes at his school, it probably wouldn't hurt for me to suck up just a bit anyway.

So I showed up to today's game, camera in hand, ready to capture the action.


I pretty much suck. (My nephew's team is in the bright blue.)

Because everyone loves a good "back of the head" photo.

Who needs to see the player's face when a nice round ball will do? Although I did at least capture the foul against him on film.



Does anyone have any idea which player this is????


Blurry. (Anyone sensing a recurring theme here???)

Oh, look. No face AND blurry!!

Out of the 150-odd pictures I took today, I got maybe 25 decent ones. Maybe 5 good ones. Most of those are of the boys as they stood completely still, getting ready to shoot free throws.

Here's one of my nephew:

And actually, even this picture isn't so good. I mainly took it so you could see his black eye. That his cousin KELLEN gave him, as they played football together on the trampoline. Ahhhh, that makes for some happy family memories, doesn't it?

But back to the photos .... you know that saying, about you get what you pay for? Something tells me the coach slash principal will be paying a *real* photographer in the near future if I can't get my act together.

So in all honesty .... anyone have any suggestions for low-light action photography indoors????

Because these pictures ----- totally stink.


Coachdad said...

I wish I knew something about photography. Reading about you buying the house out from under the Principal, reminded me out of What About Bob when the Richard Dreyfus did the same to an older couple. Good stuff!

cathy said...

Ask Marey over at She's got some really good ones up of her son playing basketball. Not that yours aren't good but hers are ummmm...less blurry? yeah, that's it. less blurry. :)


Pam D said...

Check out this post on MckMama's blogspot: . And surely there's SOMETHING on Pioneer Woman.. just haven't had a chance to search it yet. In the dark ages, back when I was in high school and used a film camera to take yearbook pics, it was all about the flash, baby...

Jacqueline said...

Yeah, I was going to suggest Pioneer Woman as well, but MckMama is also a good source. I, however, know nothing about photography except point and shoot.

Emma said...

Did you ever follow Kody Kruppenbacher over on caringbridge? His mom, Kim, takes amazing photos and I bet she's got some great tips or advice. Her blog is

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

Did you check out the basketball pictures on my blog? Everyone thinks I took them...even though my post was about contorted bodies and funny faces....what have I learned about photography? Let someone with a reallllly zoomie lense take the pictures :)

Care said...

Looks remarkably like the photos I have of my own kids playing basketball this season. Biggest reason is that I don't have a good flash. That is about the only thing that is going to help. (and since I don't have the several hundred dollars for the fancy schmancy flah, my kids just have to live with blurry shots). Gymnasiums and auditoriums are awful places to get good shots for me. You could always drag them to an outside basketball hoop after the game and insist they re-create the action so you can get better shots. :-)

lizinsumner said...

WIsh I could help, but it's my firm opinion that every "good" picture that I've ever taken has been nothing short of pure luck! And, the fact that I have one prerequisite - all subjects must be sitting/standing/whatever - entirely still!!

Alisa said...

I had to bite the bullet and buy myself a bigger flash a few years ago. Now, I get nary a blurry photo.
Then, last year for Christmas, my hubby bought me my new best friend, the telephoto zoom lens. Yummy. Also, if your camera has a setting for white balance, make sure you change it to flourescent lighting.
Other than those tips it would be beyond my limited capabilities.
Good luck and just play around a bit. That's the best way to learn with digital.

Ladybird World Mother said...

!!! Once took a million pictures (seemed like it) of son in football tournament... each and every one was Awful. Will keep reading your comments because I might pick up an idea or two... (Why the hell cant these children Keep Still when you take the photo? Honestly, kids these days... ;))

P. Savetz said...

Advice from my husband (who solved your birthday cake picture problem)
"The shutter speed was set for longer than the flash sync speed. So you're getting the main image, but with ghosting because the shutter is open for longer than the flash. Set the shutter speed to equal the flash sync speed."
He said that how you do that depends on the camera you have. If you have further questions

vgsmom said...

You know my Jim loves photography too. Grab him sometime and ask him if he has any thoughts. He's on facebook too, he loves new friends.

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem last year with Nathan's games and changing my white balance did not seem to help much. I was so defeated we just finished game 3 and still have yet to bring a you know that is not like me! Soccer is so much more picture least the colors are pretty (and let's face it, it is all about pretty)! Next week I will be alone while all the rest are at soccer ( luck there either, especially through the glass), and I have vowed to try again. Poor Nathan has one thing he does, just him, and will have no pictures to prove it because I can't stand the failure! Let me know if you get the quick fix! :) Kim

p.s nice shiner! I remember the days of never again allowing your kids on those death traps. Hey they are outside and tired out, what are a few broken bones and black eyes in the whole scheme of things! :)

Jackietex said...

You need a lens with as low an f/stop as you can afford. You don't really want to be using a big flash when you are on the sidelines, it can be distracting and dangerous for the players.

Donna said...

Expensive lenses. Aside from that all you can do is rachet up the ISO setting to make the camera think it can see better. And then things get grainy anyway. I gave up trying to take good basketball photos because the gym is just too darn dark and the flash is just not fast enough to capture the action. I just bought a new telephoto and to something that would have given me half a chance inside, I would have to have spent $700. Not really worth it for me. But I am REALLY looking forward to using the more frugal lens I bought at the soccer field this spring!

Anonymous said...

I've never had good luck taking photos in a gymnasium. When I do yearbook photos in one, I actually use no flash - but our gym has a big wall of windows. Wish I could help!

Julie in Madison, WI

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie,
I just clicked your link to go remind myself your "house buying" story -- and I thought you'd want to know that it sent me to "" which is a domain for sale, and an implication that I don't think you had in mind! So glad you had a better weekend! All my best, Lindsay a loyal reader in CA :)

The Running Girl said...

We had the same problem taking pictures at Madison's volleyball games. Indoor with low light - can't figure it out.

Pam said...

Used to be when I was a photog and we used film you could buy a faster speed film. Does your digital have a sports setting on it? Mine does, but I haven't used it yet, so I may be of no help. Alas, I'm an old school film photographer. Sorry.