Image Rescue…

This weekend was the GLIAC Women’s Basketball Championship and it fell on me to document the occasion. Lucky for me the game was to be held on our campus, in our facility. That means no unnecessary traveling on my part, and more importantly it meant I would have access to the gym’s strobes.

Now access to the strobes is kind of a double-edged sword. The light created by the strobes is fairly uniform, and due to their positioning create light that has a little more edge. It also allows me to use a lower iso, stop down my aperture, and still hit 1/250 on the shutter. This means greater depth of field and clean sharp images.

Here the right-hand strobes were caught snoozin…

Add a little fill, bump the exposure, increase the blacks, and convert to black and white. From throw-away to half-way decent image in four steps.

However, it also means that I can only shoot when the strobes are ready. This wouldn’t be that much of an issue if our strobes recycled quickly, but they don’t. It seems to take our system somewhere between 1 and 2 seconds to recycle. This means that when a player drives for the basket I better be ready and hopefully I wasn’t fooled by the same fake jump-shot that created the opportunity for the drive.

Typically, I am happy to come away from a game with 6-12 good images. There will always be those images where you fired too quickly for the strobes to keep up, or maybe they just decided not to fire. Do you just delete these could-have-beens? Me… I say no. Don’t delete them, rescue them.

No strobe at all. I believe I was fooled by a fake shot from outside and wasted the strobe trying to capture that moment.

Fortunately though, I still pulled the trigger and resisted the urge to press the delete button after chimping. Again, by pushing the exposure, increasing the contrast and fill light, then coverting to black and white you might be able to save something most people would delete.

I’ll leave you with this. Even if you are 100% sure you don’t have a chance… push the button. You can never be 100% sure, and you may just surprise yourself. Also, stay away from that delete button. Are you really that hard up for memory? I didn’t think so. Wait until you get home and can view the image on a proper screen. And don’t forget to play around. Certain images are just no good. Feel free to put those in the vertical file. But you will find some that are worth keeping. Just convert to black and white if the noise starts to get out of hand, give it a fancy name, and call it art.

Well, back to wishing for open water so I can put the yak back in the water.


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