Friday, September 18, 2009

Field Hockey: Night Shoot

Inside Maryland Sports may run a story on the success of the Field Hockey team. Since DC Sports Box also planned to run a season preview and requested a special shoot of the team I decided to tag along and get a few shots in myself.

Yuchen Nie and I talked about different shots we were looking for and we were both on the same page: a night shoot. We both own strobes and speedlights and wanted to put them to work on the field.

I wanted to get a few shots of both Terrapin goalies (Melissa Vassolatti and Alicia Grater) as well as a midfielder or back. My plan for the goalies was to light the goal with something red, orange, or yellow using my speedlights and then use my Alien Bees AB800 to light the player.

The University was very agreeable to the shoot and accommodated us very well. After a practice they shut down the lights in the stadium so that we were only working with our own controlled light. That was a huge advantage for us. It made working conditions difficult because we kinda stumbled around in the dark but it was worth it.

Although we had the modeling lamps of the strobes it was still difficult to focus. I did my best but several shots were out of focus. The most difficult shot I worked on was for forward Nicole Muracco. I dumped out a pitcher of water on the field and asked her to shoot the ball while I took a photo from on the field. It was difficult to focus on her face because her shot came forward through the focus pane (rather than side to side). We had to take several shots before I finally got one where her face was sharp. If I had another modeling lamp that would help.

It was a very fun shoot and I'm getting much more comfortable and familiar with my strobes, remotes, and with exposure. Artificial light is all about blending the power settings on each of your strobes. The more practice you get the easier it gets!


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