Daily Photo – The AVP in Color (Ty Tramblie Gator)

The Daily Photo series focuses on the two or three key creative choices, in terms of composition and processing, that go into creating an image.  Specific technical details about the shot have been left out — you won’t hear me talking about tone curve adjustments and whatnot unless it was a key component of the end result.

Ty Tramblie with the gator at the 2008 Dallas AVP Tournament, part of my series on professional beach volleyball.  The rest of the series, so far, can be found on my flickr account.


  • Shutter:  1/5000
  • Aperture:  f/2.8
  • ISO:  200
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM

Composition and Processing

  • Here’s how I capture a player digging the ball in sand volleyball.  First, I line up near the net and point the camera at the shorter player (95% of the time he’s not going to be the one at the net blocking).  Then I listen for the sound of the ball being hit (at the net).  At that moment, I press the shutter.  I’ve found it’s the best way to capture the ball heading into the frame as well as out.  Sure, I’ll wind up with some empty frames if the ball is hit where the defender isn’t.  But trying to track the ball or even just waiting for the defender to move is almost always too late.
  • If you shoot a sporting event with lots of players, I’d highly recommend taking a few photos of all of them in action before settling down to focus on a specific game or individual.  That’ll give you time to see who looks good on film and who doesn’t.  Even if they’re great athletes, why waste time on players with bland facial expressions or boring movements?  Better to spend all your time on a couple individuals to get the great shot, instead of being comprehensive but universally dull.


April 27 2009 05:32 pm | Photography

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