Detroit Pistons Vs. Atlanta Hawks

This past Friday I had the opportunity to shoot the Detroit Pistons vs. the Atlanta Hawks at the Palace of Auburn Hills. I had the opportunity to shoot the game because of a connection I was able to make through some family and friends to the official photographer for the Pistons. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity, and hopefully I will get to shoot some more games. Shooting the game was different for me. Most of my sports photography has been in ambient or available light, allowing me to shoot at a high framerate. This allowed me to get photos without having to have picture perfect timing. Shooting the Pistons game was a little different because the news agencies and the nba use strobe lights that are up in the catwalks above the court. These strobes can only be discharged approximately every two seconds. This does not allow you to shoot any faster than a frame every two or three seconds. So the framerate I was used to shooting at was essentially impossible. My timing was challenged, and I found myself challenged. Sitting just off the floor next to the Pistons cheer/dance team I used a canon 40d with a  70-200 at about 5.6 and 250/s and a canon 20d with a 24-70 at 5.6 250/s. The game was a blast, and I can’t wait to shoot another one. Hopefully I have the opportunity to. As always with other shoots, I learned a lot, and still have a lot to learn. Sports photography is definitely the most challenging for me, but when you can walk away with a great action shot, and you have one of the best seats in the house, its definitely worth it. This is the first professional sporting event that I have been able to shoot. The other events I have shot have mostly been college sports. While requiring a media pass, the college sports were on a completely different level. The level of photographers at this event were of much higher caliber, and from respectable news agencies. I had a chance to chat with one of the photographers for the Detroit News. The only other differences were the venue, and the use of the strobes for the shots. When watching basketball on tv I had noticed the strobes being used, but never really thought about it beyond that. The strobes make a tremendous difference in the shots you can get on the court. While noticeable the strobes apparently do not affect the players, as there are multiple sets of strobes being fired throughout the game. Sitting on the floor when they go off they are definitely noticeable to photographers, and probably others, maybe others can ignore them or don’t notice. The strobes allow you to shoot at a smaller apeture, giving you the depth of field desired, as well as the ability for a reasonable shutter speed without having to raise your iso higher than 100. Overall it was a great learning experience and a fun night. I am grateful for the experience, and hope that I will have the chance again in the future.


Brian Sevald
Royal Oak, Mi

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