Using studio strobe in high school gym
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Old 02-08-2017   #1
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Default Using studio strobe in high school gym

I was recently at one of my daughters basketball games at an away gym. I saw a photographer there using a studio strobe pointed up at the ceiling to get shots during the game, this was the second time I've seen this done. Has anyone had experience with this?
I was asked by some of the parents to photograph the girls senior night next week and was thinking about trying this. I would normally have just a speed light onto of the camera but thought this might provide better lighting.
Opinions?

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Old 02-08-2017   #2
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Default Re: Using studio strobe in high school gym

Check out the links provided here by Robert Hanashiro: SportsShooter.com - Basketball Strobe lights for HS Gym

High school gyms without catwalks (most of them outside of Texas) can still have strobes installed with giant autopoles in each corner.

I wouldn't use light stands or century stands, ever, even with sandbags and an assistant holding onto the thing.

Don't do it this way (no safety cables): Strobist: On Assignment: Speedlighting a College Gym

Make sure your liability insurance is up to date and sufficient for when (not if) a piece of your set-up decides to detach itself and take a dive to the floor. Most venues require $2 million liability insurance to install anything, and some still want a document from your insurance provider naming their specific building on your policy.
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Old 02-08-2017   #3
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Default Re: Using studio strobe in high school gym

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclohexane View Post
Check out the links provided here by Robert Hanashiro: SportsShooter.com - Basketball Strobe lights for HS Gym

High school gyms without catwalks (most of them outside of Texas) can still have strobes installed with giant autopoles in each corner.

I wouldn't use light stands or century stands, ever, even with sandbags and an assistant holding onto the thing.

Don't do it this way (no safety cables): Strobist: On Assignment: Speedlighting a College Gym

Make sure your liability insurance is up to date and sufficient for when (not if) a piece of your set-up decides to detach itself and take a dive to the floor. Most venues require $2 million liability insurance to install anything, and some still want a document from your insurance provider naming their specific building on your policy.
Maybe I wasnt clear, the people i saw just had their studio strobes on a stand on the floor pointed up to the ceiling. Im definitely not looking to do something that complicated.
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Old 02-08-2017   #4
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Default Re: Using studio strobe in high school gym

Ive shot roof bounced photos in my living room... very nice lighting. Softer, gives shadows that show life.. Try it and see how you like it.

The strobes in the gym, likely to be a little weak by the time the light gets to the subject... but.. any additional light is precious.

Thats all I can say, Ive never done as you describe in a big setting.

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Old 02-09-2017   #5
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Default Re: Using studio strobe in high school gym

I do college sports not high school. There are some arenas that I will hang lights in the catwalk area. Frankly it is time consuming and expensive to do. What with the lights, hangers, Safety cables etc., and let us not forget the insurance. I would lay even odds that the photographer mentioned did not have insurance that would cover what he had at that high school basket ball game in the even of an unforeseen accident. I hang or use nothing at a public venue that first isn't attached with super clamp arms along with not one but two safety cables and always out of reach of the general public. I also carry a million in insurance in the event of an accident that could be attributed to my gear. I have never had an incident, but I do not tempt fate either.

Even high school gyms shouldn't need that much additional light to get decent shots. At one facility I use 6 strobes to add the light I want. Two are 580's and the other 4 are Sunpack's. Two are on a guard rail of the office balcony, (no one is up there during games) with 2 on each side of one end of the court, again up high out of reach of anyone. All triggered by Pocket Wizards. They are set to 1/4 power and give plenty of fill light.
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Old 02-10-2017   #6
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Default Re: Using studio strobe in high school gym

Quote:
Originally Posted by gryphonslair99 View Post
I do college sports not high school. There are some arenas that I will hang lights in the catwalk area. Frankly it is time consuming and expensive to do. What with the lights, hangers, Safety cables etc., and let us not forget the insurance. I would lay even odds that the photographer mentioned did not have insurance that would cover what he had at that high school basket ball game in the even of an unforeseen accident. I hang or use nothing at a public venue that first isn't attached with super clamp arms along with not one but two safety cables and always out of reach of the general public. I also carry a million in insurance in the event of an accident that could be attributed to my gear. I have never had an incident, but I do not tempt fate either.

Even high school gyms shouldn't need that much additional light to get decent shots. At one facility I use 6 strobes to add the light I want. Two are 580's and the other 4 are Sunpack's. Two are on a guard rail of the office balcony, (no one is up there during games) with 2 on each side of one end of the court, again up high out of reach of anyone. All triggered by Pocket Wizards. They are set to 1/4 power and give plenty of fill light.

So u think a couple of off camera strobe are better then say 1 rove light 600 pointed at the ceiling?
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Old 02-10-2017   #7
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Default Re: Using studio strobe in high school gym

It all depends on the venue you are shooting in. Also I didn't say a couple of strobes, I said six. They work quite well when place at one end of the court. Two on each side of the court and two at the end all up high out of reach of any spectators spreading light across the half court. Here is a good article by Jim Hargrove. He uses 4, I use 6 as I can cut the power down for faster recycling time. How to Strobe High School Basketball Volleyball and Other Sports

When the venue is not suitable and it has the necessary structure then I hang 4 Elinchrom BRX 500's in the catwalk area above.

Bouncing may be fine, but keep in mind every venue is going to be different, Superstructure, ceiling color, distance etc are all going to play a factor in the light you get. Direct light flooding down causes far fewer issues.
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Old 02-17-2017   #8
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Default Re: Using studio strobe in high school gym

It's hard to imagine bouncing off that high a ceiling, from that far away and getting any measurable increase in light on the floor, but if he does, he does I guess.
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Old 01-18-2019   #9
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Default Re: Using studio strobe in high school gym

I've done this both ways in the past. With alien bees as well as of camera flash (sb-600/sb-800). i've anchored the speedlights on the top seats/rails of the gym pointed to bounce. I've also seen others do the same thing. I had one at each end of the gym. High ISO is also a solution if your camera allows. Gyms without good lighting are just HARD!


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