Lessons from a Newbie - Dreamstime

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get ahold of some tickets to a Minnesota Timberwolves games (professional basketball). Our group was sitting in the third row which was only a could of feet/meters away from the action. I only brought my 17-40L lens on my 7D because I assumed that would be close enough, which it was for the most part.

About 1/2 way through the game I got a tap on my shoulder. It was a lady who said she had the same camera as me (Canon 7D) and was wondering what settings I was using. At that moment I was in Aperture Priority mode (Av) and ISO 2500 which was giving me shutter speeds of 1/60, 1/80, and 1/100. The lady quickly typed the settings into her IPhone so she could use them at the next game.

I never thought much about this experience until the next day on the 6 hour drive home. There are so many variables that the lady is not taking into account.

What aperture was her lens? F2.8? F4? F3.5-5.6?

If it is a variable aperture lens, what focal length?

Was she using the images for stock? (ISO 2500 on a 7D is most likely not suitable for stock)

Was she going to be at the same arena in the same seat with the same lighting conditions?

Was she shooting RAW? JPEG? Both?

Spot metering? Evaluative? Center weighted average? Partial?

Auto white balance? Tungsten? Cloudy? Sunny?

Exposure Compensation?

Changing any one of these settings could make your images turn out very different!

Photographers must be able to think for themselves and be able to adapt to changing conditions.

Has anyone else been in a situation like this? Or maybe you were in the position of the lady? :)

Please share your thoughts and comments below! THANK YOU FOR READING!

(Here are my baseball images until I get my basketball ones up)

Photo credits: Alek Kringstad.

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January 04, 2012


Great shoots !

January 02, 2012


great info. thanks ;)

December 30, 2011


Nice blog, thank for info!!!

December 30, 2011


Thanks for sharing .

December 29, 2011


When I shoot basketball or volleyball games I usually shoot in Shutter Priority mode, and I try not to go under 1/250, which often force me to shoot at ISO 3200. But, as you said, it depends on many many factors, not last the light available in the arena you're shooting in.
I've never found myself in a situation like yours (other people asking for my settings, or me asking them), but I perfectly agree with your point of view.
Thank you for sharing.

December 28, 2011


Off to a hockey game on Friday myself - interesting read!

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