street basketball sports photography

Haven’t done any BTS post in a while so thought this one would be a good share. What I like about this shoot is the simple setup and the fact that you don’t need a ton of equipment for great results.

Since the photos were going to be taken in Shanghai I had to find a quiet place with urban feel. Finding locations in this city is usually challanging due to massive numbers of people everywhere who instantly become very curious onlookers. So there you have another thing in the photo shoot equation – crowd, that may or may not make your model or talent uncomfortable.  Therefore, whenever possible, I choose places that are not too busy. This particular one was on the campus of one of the local universities.

The next thing is the lighting. I wanted dramatic and edgy look and so decided to go with the newly acquired gridded 55cm silver beauty dish as key light and 60cm softbox for back separation. Rather simple and effective setup when you combine it with small flashes. On the other hand lugging the dish, boom, and counterweight on location is the kind of workout you don’t want to have. Seriously, they ought to ship those dishes with assistants. [note to myself: get the wheeler bag]



These are some of my favorite shots from the session. I like the first one for the tension in the look of Dura who was the talent here, and the second for negative space. The retouching was done in Lightroom + Photoshop, and was pretty straight forward: local contrasts, tonality, skin touchups, and dodge & burn. The final action image was more complicated when it comes to post-production as I had to clean up the background and add the basket rim cause the one from the location has seen its best days. Stay tuned!


basketball photography in Shanghai (4)

85mm  |  ISO 200  |  f/6.3  |  1/200 sec

basketball photography in Shanghai (3)

85mm  |  ISO 200  |  f/6.3  |  1/200 sec

basketball photography in Shanghai (2)

50mm  |  ISO 400  |  f/5.6  |  1/200 sec