Day +143: Netball Presentation Day

Held at the local bowling club, the Presentation Day heralded the official end to the Winter 2015 Netball competition. It was great that every single player received a trophy, albeit a pretty flimsy one (it broke in half as soon as she received it). Trophies were presented by Susan Pettitt, a member of the NSW Swifts Netball team.

It would not be the last time that these girls play together as a team, becauseĀ all of them are playing in the Summer (actually, Spring) Monday night competition. Today, I gave all the players (and the coach) a DVD containing the images from their season:




As a non-professional photographer, one of the greatest challenges is getting usable images in difficult lighting conditions. And this often means recording family events- whether it be weddings, birthdays, get-togethers, etc. Whilst it is relatively straight forward getting decent enough pictures in good light, almost all such “family events” occur indoors, in poor light. And often, you are restricted to a seat or position that might be quite a distance away from the action. So how do you get at least decent pictures in such a situation? The image below was taken from the back of the room, which was in reality, much darker than this, with about ten girls in front of me:


The best thing you can do is try to be prepared. Anticipate what the venue might deliver- in terms of position and lighting. Is it going to be dark? Will you be sitting far away? What equipment are you going to bring? The worst case scenario is: a dark room, you’re miles away, and there are a lot of people sitting in front of you (ie. heads in the way). The chances of you getting a sharp image is low, almost zero if the subject is moving. Flash might not be an option. Assuming it’s not (whether it is not allowed, or the flash is not powerful enough to illuminate the subject), you might be able to get something by using a higher ISO (within the limits of your camera so that the image isn’t too grainy). Think 1600 or higher. Use as wide an aperture as you can (this lets in the most light), but you’ll lose depth of field (less of your image will be in focus). If you plan on using a big lens, you’re going to have to keep it rock-steady or your images will be blurry. Try to use a serviceable shutter speed by compensating with increasing ISO and increasing the aperture.

How do you get the heads out of the image? You can either shift your position, or shoot above the heads. The latter will involve you holding the camera above your head (this is easier if you have a camera with a tilt-screen electronic view finder on the back), and holding it still (which is difficult above your head). There will be times that you’ll either have to just accept what you can get, or forget about taking photographs. It depends on how important it is for you to record the event.

Happy photographing…