Archive for July, 2012

It was my ultimate pleasure to be able to photograph pool players in action last weekend. Atlantic City, NJ was the host location for the APA South Jersey annual LTC (Cities) tournament. This is the qualifier for teams to play in the nationals in Las Vegas.

However, I am also a player so it was difficult to do both. Fatigue and concentration not withstanding. I needed to clone myself to be in more than one place at a time and grow another pair of arms.

As far as technique is concerned, you need to shoot with wide open aperture and without a flash. A flash would be very distracting in this situation.  I also used a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Why? To remain unobtrusive to the player(s). A longer lens will allow you to photograph from a distance and not be in someone’s face. Most of the players had no idea that I had taken their image as they were playing. In using a longer lens, you would need to get your shutter speeds up or you might get camera shake and blurry images, so boost your ISO (the D700 is a low light champ for this) to get decent shutter speeds. Since the tournament area is pretty crowded, a wide open aperture lets more light in as well as blurring out some of the distracting background.

The tournament area was fairly dark, primarily lit by standard light fixtures over the tables. This is often a photographer’s worst nightmare when you can’t add in artificial light.  I decided that I would use it to my advantage because the light cast was more dramatic and not flat. I needed to combine my field of view with timing so that what little light provided would enhance the look and feel. The only issue I encountered was when people wore a lot of white and were directly under a light. Lightroom post processing with the Recovery slider took care of most of it. I burned the rest where needed.

Tricky but in the end, it was worth it for images that pop. I’m not going to Vegas, but I did get my shots.

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