Aperture priority when shooting Basketball???

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sam Carleton, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Sam Carleton

    Sam Carleton Guest

    I simply do not understand the use of aperture priority when
    shooting Basketball. In the past, shooting film, I have always
    shot in manual and have gotten good, consistent results. What is
    it about the lighting that changes which makes one use aperture
    priority over manual in either film or digital?

    It is my understanding (and limited experience with a DSLR) that
    with a RAW image, one can pull information out in the shadow, just
    not the highlight, similar to chrome. When players are jumping
    close to you, you are shooting more into shadow, but doesn't the
    highlights stay consistent? If that is the case, will you not get
    better results in exposing for the highlights and fixing shadows
    in postprocessing?

    Sam Carleton, Feb 1, 2005
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  2. Sam Carleton

    Canongirly Guest

    If it was me, i'd be shooting in shutter priorty.
    Canongirly, Feb 1, 2005
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  3. Sam Carleton

    Mark² Guest

    Aperture priority would typically be used when you want to control depth of (focus) field.
    Shutter priority is basically for freezing action (or intentionally forcing motion
    blur...whichever the case may be).
    For basketball, the fast action would normally mean you'd shoot in shutter priority in
    order to freeze action.

    You'll probably need to use shutter priority, and then adjust your ISO according to how
    much exposure you're able to get with whatever max aperture you have.
    Mark², Feb 1, 2005
  4. Sam Carleton

    Sheldon Guest

    Same here. You are trying to stop action, not work with depth of field. I
    would't want the shutter speed floating all over the place, but on a
    well-lit court I would assume the lighting is pretty consistant.
    Sheldon, Feb 1, 2005
  5. Sam Carleton

    Tony Guest

    Shutter priority would be the better choice for action like basketball.
    Choice of auto or manual I think has more to do with the shooter than the
    situation anyhow. I rarely used any auto mode until a few years ago and
    still tend to shoot in manual mode most of the time.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony, Feb 1, 2005
  6. Depends on the range of light. Shutter priority guarantees you a
    shutter speed, and puts any extra light that turns up into more depth
    of field. Aperture priority puts any extra light that turns up into
    motion stopping. So if conditions are marginal, aperture priority
    with the lens wide open is the only workable choice (shutter priority
    at a clearly-safe speed will run out of aperture a lot of the time).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 1, 2005
  7. So put it in full manual. When you're shooting into a shadow, the
    metering tells the camera to take a longer exposure. That's what's
    blowing out your highlights.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Feb 1, 2005
  8. Sam Carleton

    C J Campbell Guest

    Not only that, but a shallow depth of field is almost essential in shooting
    sports like basketball. Otherwise the players tend to get lost in the crowd
    of other players, officials, coaches, spectators, etc.
    C J Campbell, Feb 1, 2005
  9. Sam Carleton

    Sam Carleton Guest


    this is not directed at just you, but all those that have replied
    so far:

    Did you read my whole post or just the subject? Everyone seemed
    to reply with the pro's and con's of shutter priorty vs aperture
    priority. I know the difference, I have been shooting since the
    mid '80s. I understand the pro's and con's between SP and AP.

    My question is not about the bet mode to shoot in, but in why
    folks bother with either mode in the first place? The arena is
    VERY well lite and very even. The reflections are great because
    of the court surface. Why not simply set the camera in manual and
    shoot away? Please re-read the second paragraphy of my original

    Sam Carleton, Feb 1, 2005
  10. Sam Carleton

    Sam Carleton Guest

    Here is my original post. Please read it carefully, especially
    the second paragraph prior to reading my response to Doug's reply:
    Just because I don't understand it, does NOT mean I think it is
    What? I get the impression that you did not read everything I
    wrote. I did not ask what the difference was between manual and
    aperture priority, I asked the difference in using one over the
    other in ONE situation, photography basketball.

    I don't know if you have ever shot basketball, but from experence,
    I can tell you that the lights in the arena do NOT change. When
    shooting in manual, you set the camera once for the whole game and
    don't think about it again. If you shoot in the same arena a lot,
    like I do, all you have to do is remember how you had the camera
    set last time to get consistant results.
    This I know for a fact is not true, or at least is too simplistic.
    I have been shooting C41, Chrome (Slide film) and B&W for years
    now. Each type of film needs to be treated differently:

    With C41, if you over expose the image by as much as two stops,
    you can still get detail out of the highlights. But if you
    underexpose the neg, there simply is no detail in the shadow and
    the shadows go milking on you.

    With Slide film, if an image is under exposed as much as about 2/3
    of a stop, you can still get detail out of the shadow. But any
    over exposure, the highlights are simply lost.

    B&W film is similar to C41, expect that when you over expose it,
    the highlights get much grainer so it is better to expose B&W
    perfectly to get the best results.

    So there you have it, one film camera and three different ways of
    exposing film to light, all depending on the type of medium you
    are exposing. From what little I have played with digital, when
    shooting RAW it responds the same way as chrome does, it can
    tolorate under exposure, but not over exposure. Thus it is NOT
    the same as film, if the film is C41 or B&W.
    How exactly do you do that? How do you determine what the "best
    over all exposure" might be?
    How so?
    Sam Carleton, Feb 1, 2005
  11. Sam Carleton

    Canongirly Guest

    Well I dunno why anyone would either.

    Pick one of the following.
    They are too stupid to read the manual
    They are too lazy to change the setting
    They haven't considered using the sport mode which would default to the
    fastest shutter/widest aperture combination the iso setting will allow under
    the present lighting
    Why do you care?

    All I'm saying is if it was me I'd use shutter priorty if I couldn't be
    arsed to do it manually.
    Canongirly, Feb 1, 2005
  12. Sam. people are replying to what they THOUGHT you asked, because what
    you actually asked made no sense.

    There are few good reasons to use aperture-priority automation in this
    situation. Why people would actually do so might be a question of
    psychology rather than photography.

    In response to your second paragraph, digital DOES act more like
    chromes than negatives, at least as far as burnt highlights. The
    auto/manual question, as always, is answered by "it depends." Some
    locations have flat, consistant lighting suitable for just leaving it
    on manual; some do not. But if your camera offers automation, you know
    how it use it, and the response is quick enough - why not try it?

    If most people give you the wrong answer, you're asking the wrong
    Scott Schuckert, Feb 1, 2005
  13. Sam Carleton

    Guest Guest

    Aperture is the hardest thing for me to grasp and I'm slowly catching on,
    learning...slowly. Shutter speed is more logical to me, hence easier to
    understand. Fast shutter speeds with a wide aperture should be what you need
    I think.

    Quick shutter, but a wide opening to let a lot of light come in. I hope I'm
    right. Maybe not.
    Guest, Feb 3, 2005
  14. Sam Carleton

    Guest Guest

    Manual mode wouldn't know if the guy who dunked the ball is free falling
    from the air and to capture him clearly. Unless you want all blurry
    basketball players in your output--- hence to use make sure you set it on
    priority shutter.
    Guest, Feb 3, 2005
  15. Sam Carleton

    Mark² Guest

    Aperture is simple.

    Have you ever had your eyes dilated for medical purposes?
    What happens?
    --As your pupils open up wide, you are highly sensitive to light, and it's difficult to
    focus your eyes.

    Similarly, large apertures on a camera gather more light, and limit focus to a very
    shallow depth in front of, and behind the distance of the subject.

    In sports, this shallow focus depth helps to isolate the athelete from a busy background.
    The large aperture allows more light, meaning you don't need a long
    shutter...meaning...you can freeze action.
    Mark², Feb 3, 2005
  16. Sam Carleton

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    If it's at all helpful to the OP, you can simulate the
    same thing with your own eye to help get the hang of
    what's happening.

    Just put the tips of your forefingers and thumbs together;
    then bring your hands together so that a tiny "pinhole"

    Then look through the "pinhole" - perhaps at your monitor,
    try to read print on the screen. Squeeze your fingers
    together to vary the size of the pinhole.

    You won't be able to help noticing that looking through
    a tiny gap will be dimmer, but much, much crisper looking.
    And the tinier the gap is, the more pronounced both effects

    Take care.

    Ken Weitzel, Feb 3, 2005
  17. Sam Carleton

    Joe Makowiec Guest

    No. Manual mode would have the camera set at 1/500 or maybe faster at
    whatever f-stop it would require for pictures to be properly exposed,
    because you, the photographer, realized that you needed a fast shutter
    speed in order to capture action. My offhand guess would be that the
    lighting in most arenas is fairly even, so you could use the same
    exposure pretty much throughout.
    Joe Makowiec, Feb 3, 2005
  18. Sam Carleton

    Curtis Guest

    My local high school has a 6 sided gym. The lights are only over what they
    thought the center should be. The light difference between the exact center
    of the court and a corner amount to nearly a 2 stops difference. Wrestling
    or basketball is a constant changing situation. Requires shutter priority
    ONLY. I set the shutter speed while metering in a corner of the court with
    lens wide open. Even the seats are around the six sides. STUPID design, but
    looks cute from the outside I suppose.
    Curtis, Feb 3, 2005
  19. Sam Carleton

    Guest Guest

    Thanks a million for the last two responses. It totally puts the whole
    aperture idea in perspective for me. It's much easier to understand and
    grasp from hearing different examples. Thanks very much...much appreciated!
    Guest, Feb 4, 2005
  20. Sam Carleton

    Confused Guest

    Now, that is the kind of tip that would be rare to
    stumble on by yourself. Decades of looking at
    monitors and I never tried that. WOW...aperature
    explained in one simple lesson. Now I understand
    why the middle range is usually the sweet spot for
    a lens.

    BTW... put your hand in front of your mouth to keep
    the machine dry, but did you know that you can make
    a screen vibrate by giving it an intense raspberry? :)

    Confused, Feb 4, 2005
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