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Thread: School Gym Pictures

  1. #1

    School Gym Pictures

    Would anyone have any suggestions on taking pictures in a school gym?

    I have a Canon T3i and I am very new at this. From what I have read I would use WB and turn it to florescent.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: School Gym Pictures

    Gyms often use metal-halide lighting that can have a range of color temperatures. Not only would I use a custom white balance, but I'd probably balance again after 1/2 hr. The process for setting a custom white balance starts on page 117, 118 of your T3i manual.

    It perplexes me that the Canon's method for setting a custom white balance on a DSLR requires so many steps. On my Canon A710 compact, I highlight the custom WB symbol, press the "menu" button to shoot my reference and it's done. On my Nikon D90 DSLR I just press and hold the WB button for two secs, then shoot a reference...done. But it seems like there's no way to get around Canon's multi-step process of having to shoot a WB reference, selecting the image for you custom WB, and then selecting the custom WB symbol to set your WB option. Still, I recommend doing it as it will give you the best chance of getting accurate colors. Get yourself a good WB reference card. I recommend getting the 6"x9" Novoflex Zebra, which is also an 18% gray for setting exposure. Other worthy products are the WhiBal, Digital Gray Card, Digital Grey Kard, ExpoDisc, and Xrite ColorChecker Mini Gray Balance Card. The cheapest is the Robin Myers Digital Gray Card for 15 bucks, and I wouldn't get anything cheaper than that. The ExpoDisc and the ColorChecker can also be used to set exposure.

    In a pinch you can use a folded sheet of Bounty paper towel. Don't just use any ol' white object, however. You can put 10 different "white" objects side by side and you'll have 10 different whites. Most printed paper or paper for printing will have optical brighteners that will throw off your white balance and give everything a yellow tinge. That's because they convert UV light into visible blue light, and the camera tries to get rid of the extra blue light. Get onto the gym floor to shoot your reference, if possible.

    While you're on the gym floor, if you have an 18% gray card you can take this opportunity to set your exposure. Set the camera to manual mode, set your shutter speed to a speed suitable for the subject matter (usually at least 1/250s for any sports) and then set your aperture to achieve standard exposure (meter indicator centered.) If you can't achieve standard exposure, then increase your ISO until you can. Note that as you zoom in your aperture may get smaller, depending on your lens. That may require a further increase in ISO.

    Personally, I prefer exposure lock over manual mode but I donít think that the T3i can easily keep an exposure lock across multiple images and for extended that leaves manual mode.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Re: School Gym Pictures

    I want to thank you so much for this information. I am now studying what you said! I appreciate how much time you took and you explained it in words I actually understand being a beginner THANK YOU

  4. #4
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    San Diego, California
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: School Gym Pictures

    Get an EF 85mm f/1.8 USM?

    School gyms are kind of notorious for low light levels, and fast action, which means you may hit an equipment limitation, particularly if you're shooting with, say, an 18-55 IS or a 55-250 IS, both of which are limited to f/5.6 at the long end of the zoom range.

    Getting a lens with a larger maximum aperture can help you achieve faster shutter speeds in low light. But getting an f/2.8 zoom is expensive. So, a mid-range lens, like a longer prime that opens up to f/2.8 or wider might be a decent compromise. It will, however, be much more limited than a zoom lens in terms of framing, and the thinner depth of field created by the wider aperture settings will require much more accurate autofocusing technique.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Real Name

    Re: School Gym Pictures

    another point to bear in mind is that a lot of sports halls have lights that flicker on and off as they recycle, you might not see this with the naked eye but your camera will , dont be surprised if some of your shots turn out darker than others,cheers martyn

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