Wrestling Meet lighting

1 year 2 months ago #627426 by AlletahGanino
Hello!  I'm learning to take better photos as I go thanks to the internet and a local photography class, but am having trouble with photographing some of my son's wrestling meets.  On top of the challenges of taking photos in a high school gym, at some meets the wrestling mat is dramatically lit with a bright spotlight and most of the other gym lights are off or very dim.  This means the center of the mat is very well lit, the edges not quite so bright, and my position, in the bleachers, is quite dark. 

While I can now get pretty decent shots in normal gym lighting, the spotlight throws me every time.  I have never tried exposure compensation and don't know where to start but also want to have a solution that allows me to photograph each match without stopping to adjust camera settings.  My photos tend to be overexposed when the wrestlers are in the middle of the mat.  I'm including two unedited examples from the most recent meet that featured a spotlight.

I have a Canon EOS 7D with a 70-200 2.8 lens.  I choose shutter priority, ISO 4000ish, shutter speed 1/320ish.  Any suggestions for settings that will allow me to shoot continuously are much appreciated!

Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: 70-200mm
ISO: 4000
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter speed: 1/400 sec
Captured: Wed, 23 Jan 2019 1:53am
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: 70-200mm
ISO: 4000
Aperture: f/3.2
Shutter speed: 1/400 sec
Captured: Wed, 23 Jan 2019 1:40am


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1 year 2 months ago #628078 by garyrhook
You have harsh, directional light from a relatively small source. You have to expose for the highlights, and do your best to bring up detail in the shadows in post.

That said, you don't mention what you're doing to process these. If you are simply shooting JPGs, then I can't understand why, if you are using that kind of equipment.

Metering is going to be hard here. Are you metering the entire frame or spot? That said, your camera is probably wide open, so lower the ISO value until the whites are barely blown. You can probably then recover them pretty well. I'm not a fan of EC, in that you can just as easily adjust the sensitivity.

This is an extremely difficult environment, and there won't be an ideal solution. You'll have to compromise in some way.


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