Monday, October 20, 2008

On Friday night the Terps held their "Madness" event and beforehand I attended part of Maryland's volleyball match against Georgia Tech.

Shooting in Comcast Pavilion has greatly improved since I upgraded from a D200 to a D3. I can safely set the ISO at 2500 and shoot at 1/400th or 1/500th without fear of noise (grain). White balance is still a big problem for me in the Pavilion, and I don't suspect that's something I can easily correct in camera. Dave Lovell offered the suggestion of using the WB eyedropper in Lightroom to set the neutral color to the white part of the net. That approach works really well in correcting for the color variation.

I've read about certain types of bulbs that actually warm up and cool down as they go through their 60Hz cycle. They'll start out cool and then get warm (or vice versa). If you shot slower than 1/60th you'd get all color temperatures but since we're shooting sports you need 1/400th or faster so that means we're only getting a sliver of the color temperature variation the bulbs go through.

On the other hand there are dozens of lights up there and I'm sure there is some delay in their cycles (not all cycle at the exact same time). There are also variations in the bulbs up in the ceiling - some are orange and some are blue. Most are pretty neutral...

Anyhow... white balance continues to be a problem for me in Comcast Pavilion. Setting the camera on "Auto-WB" seems to work reasonably well, but I just hate relying on the camera to choose settings for me. I feel much more comfortable and consistent when I control all the exposure and WB settings.

So after a quick stint at the volleyball court I headed over into the rest of Comcast Center to start photographing the Madness event.

You can read Dave's article on Maryland's win over Georgia Tech (and view some of my photos) over on the DC Sports Box.


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