Group Assignment: Shoot Some Basketball

As the defending NCAA basketball champion (*cough* and football champion *cough*) University of Florida Gators play their way into their rightful spot in the Final Four this weekend, I am offering the following group project.

If you have a basketball - and please, do not go out and buy a basketball for this - I challenge you to see what you can do with it as a subject using just one or two small flashes.

Here's the deal. Find a clean background, like a wall in your house. Set the ball on a table and shoot it. Nothing else, just the ball. What we are doing is a simple exercise in lighting a spherical form with one or two small lights.

I say "we" because I am going to do this one, too. Sort of an "On Assignment," but for anyone who wants to participate.

Think of this not as a contest, but as a learning exercise. I am going to start with simple bounce flash, using one light, and work from there and see what I can come up with. Start simple, then stretch yourself.

To keep things easy, consistent and about the light, let's limit it to just the ball and the background. (Or just a close-up, partial view of the ball, if you like.)

As for lighting gear, please use no more than two small flashes, and whatever lightstands or modifiers that you like. You may use the ambient as an additional light source, which will give many more options to those of you who are working with just one light.

The idea is to start simple and mundane and stretch your creativity within the constraints of the assignment.

Stick your favorite result(s) up on Flickr with the following tag:


Please note that this is all one word.

Next Saturday Monday, just before the championship game, I'll throw up mine. Using the tags, I will also link to a Flickr search showcasing what you have done as a group.

Tight contraints, small subject, simple lights and photogs from all over the world shooting the same thing. Should be fun. I hope you will join us.

And again, this is not a competition. I say this especially to any Georgetown, Ohio State or UCLA fans who may be feeling justifiably intimidated by the Gators. Please do not feel that you need to uphold the honor of your school.

Remember, it was a great accomplishment just to make it to the Final Four and be a part of the Gators' repeat. Oh, did I happen to mention that UF is my alma mater?

And if you have any ideas, questions or slightly differing opinions, please sound off in the comments.

I have started a discussion thread here.

UPDATE: I was asked in the comments section if it would be okay to substitute a football, which I presume means a soccer ball. (Sure, why not.)


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