Final Four Starting Five

What were the odds? In a rematch of the NCAA football title game, the University of Florida faces off against Ohio State tonight to try to claim their second-straight hoops title.

Which means it is also time to nominate the starting five basketball photos from this site in our little lighting challenge with Sportsshooter. As previously mentioned, I am throwing in a photo of my own and choosing four more submitted by the readers.

We were into three digits on the total photos submitted. So obviously, choosing just four was not an easy task. There were many, many nice shots. And some very cool concepts, too.

I hope everyone who tried the exercise was able to learn something from seeing what others did when given the same, simple assignment. For Strobist and Sportsshooter readers alike, that was the main idea.

I also hope that my juvenile trash talking got a few more of you off of your duffs and into the pool - from both sites.

That said, here are the Strobist starters, and why they were chosen. I am sure you would have chosen different photos. These choices are just one person's opinion. And you know what they say about opinions...

(Click on the pics for bigger versions.)


Because Mike Zamora's photo surprised me in several ways.

He floated the ball on a bar stool and then shot straight down. Then he fired a flash into the bottom of the stool and used it as a light modifier. The spaghetti-box snoot up top was a bonus. Setup shot is here.

Please note that I was unable to access this photo directly in Flickr, so I had to upload it through Blogger and point to the Flickr version. Blogger steps on the color saturation a bit. The (click-through) Flickr version is more accurate.

Because Basswork figured out how to brand a basketball with light. This was not easy, as this setup shot shows. Just think of the possibilites this technique opens up.

Because I am a total slut for dark field lighting, and the gazillion other techniques I am learning about in the new Light, Science and Magic book. I am planning a review shortly, but for right now I am savoring the book.

And because rawcapture's use of the technique rendered the ball as a beautiful, three-dimensional object. See how he did it here and here.

(Gotta love the academically inspirational John Belushi poster in the back of the first setup shot.)

Because ColbyJoe's execution was classic, understated and darn-near flawless.

(This is another photo I was unable to access directly, so I went through Blogger's somewhat de-saturating upload process. Click through on the photo for the best version.)

Because I said I would enter one of my own, even though I was humbled by many of the reader entries. Click on the pic for some basic setup notes and how it was done.


To see the other entries from Strobist readers, click here. To see URL's to the photos that, for some reason, were not reflected in the strobistfinalfour search string, see the comments at the bottom of this post.

As a side note, from the beginning I decided that I would have some skin in this game. Just for pride, if nothing else. But if I were not taking up one of the five slots by design, the objective picture editor (and lighthing guy) in me would have gone with this photo. IDreamInIR got an amazing amount of mileage out of a single SB-600.

Good luck to Florida, and good luck to Ohio State. May the best team win.

And thanks to the Strobist and Sportsshooter readers who picked up the ball and ran with it.


Just got some links from Sportsshooter from some of the guys who did basketball shots on their site. Below are links to their individual galleries. If you are a Sportsshooter shooter and would like to share your stuff with everyone, please feel free to your photos in the comments section of this post. I will try to moderate them into publication quickly.

Please note that the page should be publicly accessible, i.e., not protected by logon and/or password.



:: Mike Ullery ::
:: Mark Deckard ::
:: David Manning :: (Very cool macro w/water drops.)
:: Eric Wright :: (Like solar system shots...)


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