***** DRAFT *****
Over the season, I covered 6 games, and I ended up delivering 617 photos, and TBD effects (posterized images, sketches, etc.) showing the players doing their best and having fun.
Here are links to the password-protected galleries of photos for each game:
- August 22, 2017 – Annandale HS vs. Hayfield HS (8 photos)
- August 29, 2017 – Annandale HS vs. Mt. Vernon HS (52 photos)
- September 8, 2017 – Annandale HS vs. Thomas Jefferson HS (63 photos)
- September 12, 2017 – Annandale HS vs. West Potomac HS (93 photos)
- October 13, 2017 – Annandale HS vs. West Potomac HS (212 photos)
- October 16, 2017 – Annandale HS vs. Hayfield HS Part 1 (88 photos)
- October 16, 2017 – Annandale HS vs. Hayfield HS Part 2 (101 photos)
Some of the better photos are as follows:
1. With the Poor Lighting at these Night Games, You Need to Use a f/1.4 Lens
The vast majority of the varsity games this season started at 7:30 pm. At the beginning of the season (August 22nd), the sun set in Annandale at 7:53 pm, but by the third regular season game (September 5th), it was already setting right about at the start of the game (I’m actually not sure what you call that in field hockey.).
For the first game, I used the same 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens that I was using to shoot the JV game earlier that evening. Judging by the number of keeper photographs that I ended up with, that didn’t go so well. The lighting was just too poor.
For the second game, I ditched the zoom and went with my 105mm f/1.4 prime lens. This lens doesn’t focus as fast as the 70-200mm zoom, but it provides four times the light per pixel. The rather short focal length limited my shots to the action that was right along the sideline, but at least I was able to get a decent number of keepers.
2. Fill Light Brightens Faces without Amplifying Noise
For photo editing, I’ve been using Corel AfterShot Pro 3 (ASP3). Although the layout of ASP3 seems to suggest that you should adjust the exposure level for the photo first, I’ve found that for these low-light photos it is better to adjust the fill light first. The fill light adjustment seems to apply an algorithm that filters out some of the luminescence noise as it increases the gain. And since it is being applied to flesh tones, the resulting photos can be made to look respectable. It does take multiple adjustments of Saturation, Vibrance, Blacks, and Highlights to get the skin looking natural again, but the result seems acceptable.