Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Getting Good Skin Tones Shooting Basketball

Nikon D3, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 400, ƒ/7.1, 1/200
The very best way to shoot basketball and get the best skin tones is to use strobes. I have four Alienbee B1600s on a catwalk lighting the basketball court.

Now depending on the colors in the room the color can shift and give you a color shift even with the studio strobes. The reason is the light is bouncing off those colored walls and ceilings. Even the crowds clothing can affect the color temperature.

There are a couple ways to get a color measurement of the light. This is using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport system. After I pull the RAW photo into Lightroom I just click on the eye dropper tool and put it on the grey square I have pointed to here in the photo.

Walk onto the court and hold the card where the players will be and then take a photo.

AS long as you shoot RAW you will get the very best colors because you can tweak this later in the post production of PhotoShop or Lightroom for example.

So when the play is going quick and right in front of you just take the photo.

While strobes will give you the best color as long as you are shooting RAW and taking these pictures of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport you can dial in and get the best color with the existing light as well.

My first preference is the ExpoDisc, but the cool thing with the ColorChecker is you have now more colors for comparison. You will be able to see under some lighting conditions that even after you click on the 18% grey square you may not be able to get a true purple color and since that is on the card you will see that is the best you can get.

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