Thursday, August 20, 2009

Field Hockey: Intra Squad Practice

After shooting my final football practice of the season I decided to stroll down to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex to take in some pre-season field hockey. All summer I've been thinking about getting some into-the-sun shots of the field hockey players.

A field hockey field is typically watered down before the game and during half time. Ironically the wet nature of the field reduces the potential for injury. One would think that a wet field would increase the likelihood of injuries but evidently it's the opposite. Go figure...

Late day field hockey games at Maryland pit one team shooting nearly directly into the setting sun. I typically sit with the sun over my shoulder and catch some brilliant light falling on the players. However, I've done a lot more shooting-into-the-sun type shots this summer and I've seen how the light can reflect off of water droplets suspended in mid air.

When a field hockey player swings their stick it can generate an enormous amount of water droplets that fly up into the air. If you shoot into the light you'll get really sharp beams of light coming at you from those droplets. The camera loves it!

The difficulty with this approach is to avoid under or over exposing. The meter in your camera will insist that you are drastically over exposing and it is correct to some extent. For the most part the entire frame will be overexposed. But you don't care about the entire frame - you care about the player that is your subject. You want to properly expose them and since they have their back (or side) to the sun you need to overexpose the entire frame to properly expose them.

Today's shoot at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex gave me the chance to shoot from several different angles and try my hand at properly exposing the players. It was very difficult - many of my shots came out overexposed. But some came out very well.

And it gave me an idea for another posed shot I'd like to attempt. It's just an idea right now but I think it could turn out really really well. More later!


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