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what are the best settings for night time photos at an athletic event with stadium lights

What are the best settings for night time photos for an athletic event on high school foorball field with stadium lights


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Re: what are the best settings for night time photos at an athletic event with stadium lights

Allow @danielr15 he   may have some insight on this  

Posts: 12,476

Re: what are the best settings for night time photos at an athletic event with stadium lights

This is a tough one. When it comes to low light you basically have two settings to play with, ISO & Shutter speed. You can adjust one or both but for every adjustment you make there is a trade off.

Bumping the ISO up will allow you to get brighter photos but will also introduce more grain or what is also referred to as noise. ISO basically tells the sensor how sensitive it should be too light. Increasing that sensitivity equates to a more speckled photo.

The second option is increasing the length of time the camera gives the sensor to absorb light. This is referred to as shutter speed Although there isn't an actual shutter, it's easier to think of it in this term. By keeping the shutter open longer you allow more light to get in. This works great when photographing something static and not moving or something at such a great distance it appears still, such as stars. Since you want to take photographs at a spring event, the amount you can increase the shutter is limited. Leave the shutter open too long and all you are going to get is blurry subjects across the screen.

You can manually adjust and lock the settings on your camera but unfortunately, nobody can tell you exactly what those values should be without knowing precisely how much light will be reflected off your subjects. You're going to have to practice a little trial and error to get it correct.

As far as the other settings available (sharpness, wb, color, and spot meter) we need an idea of what editor you plan on using, if any at all.

If you have a good editor and an eye for color grading,
RAW photo on
WB flat
Color native
Sharpness low or medium

Your photos will look pretty bland and unimpressive straight out of the camera with these settings but only because there has been very little or no processing done to them. You will however, have the absolute maximum amount of information within the photo and therefore have the most to work with in your editor. You're going to need Adobe software to edit the RAW photos. A seperate jpg will also be created so if you don't have it, you can still use this option.

If you don't want, or are unable, to do the work in post editing, your best bet it to just leave everything on auto with Sharon's either medium or high. Using WDR is a matter of choice. I personally like it and use it as my primary setting.

Lastly, spot metering. This is perhaps my favorite feature of the Hero5 Black. By pressing on the back of the LCD until a small box appears you are able to selectively meter the picture to the best lighting. If you are not manually setting the shutter, you need to make sure you take advantage of the spot meter. In situations like yours, I lock the meter to the darkest area of the screen. The camera will try to bring in the maximum light to effectively illuminate that spot. It will apply those settings to the entire screen. You do run the risk of overblowing anything that is getting a lot of light so make your adjustments to the spot meter location as necessary.

I hope this helps and little. A good source for information is Abe Kislevits site.

Read his article on Understanding photos in Hero4. The information is relevant to the Hero5 and should be read before reading the articles on your camera.

Best of luck!
Posts: 12,476

Re: what are the best settings for night time photos at an athletic event with stadium lights

A few auto correct errors in my post. Hopefully you can read through them.


Sporting event, not spring. And, who the heck is Sharon? Lol, meant sharpness😉


I also wanted to add, if you do use a longer shutter, maybe for a different project, your camera must remain perfectly still so a tripod is recommended.