To all ye who want to paint with light ...

I should have started this blog many moons ago as I started experiencing the joys of rediscovering the art of photography. But as the saying goes - it's better late, than never!
So, here I am, in the hopes of recording what I learn as I progress from ignorance to enlightenment; about what my eyes can see that my camera can capture; and, what my mind imagines and my camera paints with its capabilities.

Please feel free to add any comments and share your wisdom (tips or tricks) that you have picked up along the way.

And do check out my How-To and Birding pages as well.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 287 - Getting Sporty

Umm.. not me.. as an athlete, but officiating as photographer for a badminton game.  I got called upon to shoot a game yesterday, and although these images were shot yesterday, I am going to post them today as I'd already done my shot for the day before the evening.

I hadn't had the chance to do any sports photography before this, although I did mention that I shot some pictures of a couple of little girls sledding, but I'll talk about that in a bit.  So, when I got called to do this, my first thought was that I would have to battle with artificial light, which means the flash.  I had planned on going for a preliminary round of test shots before doing the actual game.  But I had too many things that kept me from doing that.  Therefore, I had to wing it!  I had just one chance of getting this right.

I had already enquired about the available lighting and I'd especially asked about the colour scheme of the gym.  To my dismay it turned out to be the almost-fluorescent green gym that my son played soccer in last summer.  I knew I had to bring my grey card with me to do a custom white balance.  Although, in the end the grey card did come to my rescue, I can't say it did a fabulous job, maybe because this grey card was a cheap one that came with my PSE8 book, and therefore not that accurate.  I still saw some tinges of green (no, not from envy) in the images.

I shot in JPEG as I had to shoot really fast to keep up with the action.  Shooting in RAW could potentially slow me down as it would stop from time to time to write the images to the memory.  However, this fear didn't hold good when I realized that my recycle time on the flash was slowing me down anyway.

However, I kept shooting, on continuous mode in JPEG, in the hopes that any action I didn't catch with the flash, I might be able to fix in LR3 later on.  And I was right.  A couple of shots needed to be fixed, but I got away with turning them to B&W, so the light wouldn't look quite that ugly.  And as for the green colour cast, most of it was fortunately taken care of by the CWB, and I could fix a little bit more in LR.  I'm glad I chose to carry it with me.

I had initially started to shoot on Shutter Priority while the players were warming up, but when I couldn't help but use the flash, I pretty much had to dial down the shutter from 1/500s to 1/250s to match the sync speed.

Badminton Match 1

Badminton Match 2

Badminton Match 3

The next three shots are from last Sunday.  Since I couldn't shoot anything with snow today, I thought I would post these shots instead.  This little girl and her sister were playing in the snow, and I went up to the dad and begged permission to snap them.  He was really kind and let me take as many shots as I pleased, and I later emailed them to him of course.  Such beautiful little girls!

Up in the Air


Watch Me Sliding!


  1. badminton is really my favorite sport. I usually play with my brother but since I've moved here, I haven't played it. I tried looking for placest to play but I just could not find them.

    On the other hand, your action shot are really good! I especially the first sledding shot!

  2. @Noreen: You could try your community centres or sportsplexes. I'm sure they'd have something for you! It's too bad you can't play your favourite sport!

    @Swati: Thank you! :)