I went to shoot a hockey game the other night and set a custom white balance. I made a picture of the ice and then selected it as my reference frame for the white balance. It usually works great…usually. Something possessed my camera to produce the color above. For once, chimping actually saved my assignment. I railed off a few frames and then checked on the camera’s LCD to get a rough idea of the color would be like. Boy was I surprised. I switched back to Auto and everything looked fine, so I just ran with it. Anyone else ever come across a custom white balance like this? That frame is basically straight out of the camera. I just resized it so it wouldn’t be gigantic and take up too much bandwidth.
I used to light almost every indoor sports assignment. Lately it seems like I don’t have the time to set up lights or they just aren’t allowed. If I had to boost my ISO above 1600, it meant that it was probably time to break out the lights.
Gymnastics is one of those indoor sports where you are not allowed to use a flash. It would be great if High School gyms were lit like the stadiums in the Olympics but that is never the case. F2.8 and ISO3200 are the only way to go if you want to stop action. I have come to accept the way the photos look at 3200. I have been using a custom white balance with anything above ISO800. It cuts down the time I have to spend in post production to get the photos to look right. With high ISO images, the less you have to color correct, crop or tone on each image, the better the end result will be.
I definitely see a future where lights are just to costly in both time and money to be used. Hopefully I will have found a couple of cameras with cleaner files above ISO3200 by then.