Monday, December 7, 2009

Sports Shooting: McPherson - Ottawa Basketball

Our weekend schedule this winter does not line up nearly as well with basketball as it did with the football season this fall. We took advantage of an alignment of the stars to spend the weekend with our daughter and younger son. This gave us the opportunity to see the Neil Simon play "Rumors" put on by the McPherson College theatre department, and the McPherson mens and womens Basketball teams play Ottawa University.

Shooting indoor sports is a challenge. The light in high school and small college gyms is dim and spotty by photographic standards. In the McPherson Sports Center the baseline of the court is darker by a full stop (or more) than the mid-court area between the two free throw lines. I've shot in this gym before and I knew the challenges that I would face. Even when you start with a good f/2.8 lens the compromise you often have to make is tp underexpose or shoot at high ISO settings in order to freeze action. This results in noisy (grainy) photos.

The womens team opened the evening with a 69-61 victory over the Lady Braves. This was one of the Lady Bulldog's better efforts from the field and on defense this season. The Lady Bulldogs are 4-5 overall and 1-1 in conference.

The McPherson mens team has a good season underway. They earned a 69-56 victory over the Ottawa men. They are now 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the KCAC.

I had done some research into changes that I could attempt to make my images better. The change in process that made these images come out as well as they did was a change to my post-processing workflow. The originals were underexposed as mentioned above. The raw files were processed through a software package called DXO to raise the exposure and remove the noise. DXO has recently come out with a new version (6.0) that I used for the first time.

Update 12/14: the images you see on this post now have been further processed.  I started with the DXO processed images I originally posted.  One or two of the originals were re-processed using DXO 6.1 to raise the exposure a little more.  Then all were cropped, black- and white-point adjusted, and sharpened in Capture NX2

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