Dragon Boats and Lighting Lacrosse

Posted by ryanjackson on Aug 22, 2009 in lighting, photos |

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The Glenrose Gators paddle their hearts out during the 13th annual Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival in Edmonton on August 22, 2009. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

Lacrosse is a GREAT sport to shoot and probably the WORST sport to shoot because it is always sooooooo soooooo dark. It is always played in a hockey arena, which is dark enough to start, then they remove the ice which means there is no light being reflected up from the ground… you always have to shoot at the highest ISO possible and you still get a blurry 1/200sec if you’re lucky….. enter Speedlights!

I setup two 550EX’s with CP-E3 battery packs and pocket wizards.  I put light green gels over the flashes to balance the blue flash light with the green fluorescent ambient light. I only lit half the arena since I only had two lights with me. I set one up at the blue line, zoomed to 50mm and pointed about 20 ft in front of the net. The other one was zoomed to 35mm and placed in line with the net, pointed about 10 ft in front of the net. They were both set to 1/2 power on manual mode.

I used the Journal’s old Canon 200mm f1.8 lens which comes in damn handy for sports like this. I shot everything at f2.0 which gave me a full stop advantage over my other f2.8 lenses. This allowed me to keep my ISO at 800 and made for some beautifully clean and sharp Lacrosse images.

The only thing I love as much as the quality of strobed images is the fact that it makes you slow down. When you are shooting at 1/2 power you can’t just burst-mode everthing at 8fps. You could maybe take one picture every second but even then you risk pissing off players with the constant flashing.

Strobes make you slow down and anticipate the action. Rather than busting off 1000 frames and feverishly hunting for a sharp image, I may only shoot 150 frames in an entire game and the majority of them are sharp and clean.

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Calgary Mountaineers goalie Jake Dietrich blocks a shot with Clarington Green Gaels Chad Tutton in front during the gold medal final game for the Junior ‘B’ Lacrosse National Championship in Beaumont, Alta. on August 22, 2009. Calgary won 8-4.  Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

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Calgary Mountaineers Mike Tyrell attempts a shot on Clarington Green Gaels goalie Zack Higgins during the gold medal final game for the Junior ‘B’ Lacrosse National Championship in Beaumont, Alta. on August 22, 2009. Calgary won 8-4.  Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

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Clarington Green Gaels Shayne Jackson, who had been voted MVP for the entire championship is dejected as the Calgary Mountaineers celebrate winning the gold medal final game for the Junior ‘B’ Lacrosse National Championship in Beaumont, Alta. on August 22, 2009. Calgary won 8-4.  Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

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