August 13, 2007 HelpLine
Making Basketball Shots
Q) My son will be playing varsity basketball this coming senior year. I started shooting his basketball games a year ago and have gotten some good images. I know they don't want flashes going off under the basket during games. I've seen some photographers use strobes mounted high up, at least 15 or so feet in the air on special tripods. They usually have two set up, one on each corner of the basket and fired wirelessly. What do you call these contraptions? Where can you buy them? What's the best setup for a Canon EOS 5D that I'm thinking of buying?
Cesar D, San Mateo, California
A) The contraptions that you're talking about are regular flash units that are fitted with wireless remotes. The wireless transmitter mounts onto the camera's hot shoe just like a flash does. When you press the shutter release, it triggers the transmitter, which triggers the receivers that are attached to the remote flash. It all runs off batteries so there are no cords to worry about.
Here's a good discussion on photographing high-school basketball games:
Also check out my April 2, 2007 online HelpLine:
Make sure that the coaches and the league that sanctions your son's basketball games approve what you want to do. Some leagues and schools are stricter than others. Also, if you go that route, make sure that anything you put up is secure, so that it won't fall and hurt any players, coaches, officials or spectators.