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  1. #1
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default camera angles for badminton

    we covered a local tournament this weekend. what a lot of work! i had to wake up at 8am and then shoot a few hundred shots per day.

    at the end of it, got quite burned out partly because i was seriously lacking in sleep and food. i have made a record of processing and uploading all the pictures on the same day of the event.

    and partly because by the end of the 8 or so hours, everything looks the same. same service, same smashes, same net shot. i was having a mind block on trying different things to get the variety. luckily i have my partner to cover up for me.

    anyhow, enough of the venting, i want to talk about different camera angles, and wonder what others have experiemented. here are a couple that i particularly like:

    first one is stay low right behind the court:



    2nd one is standing on a chair right behind the court and use a normal/wide angle lens (i used a 30mm) . not always possible depending on the tournament and the venue:



    these are more artistic views but not popular as the public always prefer to see faces which these angles lack...

  2. #2
    Regular Member red00ecstrat's Avatar
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    hehe.......having a mind block! u had finally encountered that! u know, i got exactly the same problem during the hko!
    nice try with a wide angle lens kwun! but u can definately do it better if u pay more attention on your shooting angle. like picture #2. u were shooting downward. that wasn't a good idea! try sitting on the ground and shooting upward next time. u will see the different.
    u have probably noticed that. most of the baddy pics from the news agencies were shooting from the front. yes, u are right. unless they have a extremely stunning shot with a rare angle. otherwise, they will normally shoot from the front! coz that's what newspapers need!
    And indeed, we are different! We just need to please ourselves!

    Here are some pictures that were taken during the hkd 06. Pics without seeing faces right?





    Last edited by red00ecstrat; 12-11-2006 at 08:14 AM.

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    I LOVE that second angle, it captures the biomechanic toll of badminton so well!

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by red00ecstrat
    hehe.......having a mind block! u had finally encountered that! u know, i got exactly the same problem during the hko!
    nice try with a wide angle lens kwun! but u can definately do it better if u pay more attention on your shooting angle. like picture #2. u were shooting downward. that wasn't a good idea!
    really?? i actually thought that camera angle works, i have a few of the similar angle, and i think it is a fresh way to look at badminton. very rare do we watch badminton at that close range and from that direction at the same time. i nearly thought the back swing will hit my lens.

    try sitting on the ground and shooting upward next time. u will see the different.
    i do that too, but i didn't go as close to the ground as you, next time i will try leaning down a bit more.

    u have probably noticed that. most of the baddy pics from the news agencies were shooting from the front. yes, u are right. unless they have a extremely stunning shot with a rare angle. otherwise, they will normally shoot from the front! coz that's what newspapers need!
    And indeed, we are different! We just need to please ourselves!
    and that's exactly it. showing some face is nice and dandy, but as a photographer, i don't want to be strictly limited by the face. some photos like the ones we have posted really shows the dynamics and beauty of badminton. out of my set, the first one i like because the pose shows the grace, agility and strength of the female player. we may not show the face, but we are showing badminton.

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    Regular Member red00ecstrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun
    i do that too, but i didn't go as close to the ground as you, next time i will try leaning down a bit more.
    that's the characteristic of a wide angle lens. if u shoot with your camera tilted down. the proportion of the upper body will be exaggerated. therefore, the image will look a bit funny! besides, the background u can get is mostly a badminton court!
    one more thing that i wanna point out. shooting badminton players are just like shooting fashion models. our life will become more easier if targets are pros!

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    Hi Kwun, I think both photographs are well taken and I really envy you having the opportunity to do this!

    I think each of the 2 photos you posted have something missing something. A sense of power, occassion or stillness might be examples. Although the angles are unique and interesting they are undermined by a couple of other things.

    In the first picture, which looks like you're trying to show a game in progress, i think too much of the photograph is taken up by the player. Perhaps an angle that was a little bit lower and slightly to the left would have still allowed us to see the players shot but also would have allowed us to the opposition. Thereby communicating more of the game in progress perhaps?

    In the second picture, I guess you are trying to put across something of the power of the jumpsmash. But I think a lower angle would have given more of a sense of power and height.

    In both pictures you have put the subject right in the middle, which takes away the dynamic nature of what is happening. Putting the subject slightly to one side so that there is space for them to hit the shuttle into (assuming they could move!) might have created a sense of movement also.

    Personally i found the second angle more interesting. I think had it been slightly to one side I think I, personally, would have found it even more interesting.

  7. #7
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    crosscourt,

    thanks for the really detailed and thoughtful feedback. i find it rather interesting.

    i was, however, focusing not on the game itself but rather at the main subject. i think perhaps the intention will be more clear if i had named the first photo "Grace" and the second one "Dynamic".

    however, i did give your interpretation some thought and i have indeed thought about the intended theme before. i have to admit that thus far i have not been able to create a photograph that is close to "look good" and artistically pleasing as well as have the ability to convey the image of a game in progress as a whole, perhaps it is the restriction on distance between me and the subject, or the arrangement and complex formation of the players.

    having said that, this is partly why i have started this thread, it is to explore what camera angle allow the photo to express the theme the photographer has in mind.

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    I had a thought yesterday. If you're experimenting with different angles, perhaps you could also experiment with different 'depths of fields'. eg a small aperture will put a lot of things in focus, whereas a wider aperture will have just your subject in focus. Obviosuly you need to be careful about over/under exposing the shot. A zoom lens will do the same thing, a zoomed image has a narrower depth of field than a non-zoomed image. Picking the right depth of field and the right angle might give a more powerful shot

    You may be aware of this already, so my apologies if I am stating the obvious!

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    any angles which show faces?

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    what about this pic?look like HB is over TG

    and this one? you can lsee the footwork clearly

  11. #11
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    one of the problem we had with camera angles is that for the local tournaments, there aren't a lot of raised structures like a tall audience stand. as a result, most of the pics are shot from the ground or standing height. this weekend i did something different and brought a stool with me. the stool is around 26" tall and it provides a mobile place for me or my partner to shoot from.

    it allows for different and sometimes creative camera angles. we were able to shoot from the back court and look over the net, or shoot from the sides and partially avoided having the audience as the background.

    here is a photo with my partner (at the background) shooting while standing on the stool. try it out.


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    I really like this one, especially the way the arm and leg line up to make a long diagonal across the picture. Very nice

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