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The Fun Run at my children’s school is a great way for them to raise money for various things the school needs.  And this is especially great for a kid like Zach!  He’s a busy boy, and always up for a challenge.  Especially when the challenge involves money.  For this particular fund-raiser, the kids call family members, friends, or neighbors and ask them to pledge a certain amount of money for each lap they complete during the fun run.  Zach was on top of this – – his goal was to get his grandparents, aunts, and uncles to all pledge a large amount for each lap.   He played his running abilities down on the phone saying “Oh…you know…I’ll probably run about 10 laps,” he said to each relative with a totally sneaky grin on his face.  What a little stinker.

Fun Run - Taking Pictures in a Gym

We had barely even begun and this kid already had 10 laps! My sisters were in trouble!!

He might just grow up to be a politician, because both of my sucker sisters said they’d pay $5.00 per lap!  What??  But who am I to rain on Zach’s little money-making parade.  He was so excited – he was acting like the money would come to him!  My Mom was a bit smarter – she had been duped by Zach before at the preschool Bike-a-thon many times already.  She finally learned her lesson, so she pledged only $1.00 per lap.  Boy was he disappointed!

The day of the 2015 Fun Run was finally here.  So, Morgan (my little preschooler at the time) and I headed up to Boon to take some pictures!   I was not excited – I knew that taking pictures in a gym was very difficult, and since Zach was so young and had not started on his basketball adventures yet, I knew I was in trouble.  But…I decided it would be better to have blurry pictures to look at instead of nothing!

I set my camera to (Tv) Shutter Priority and just started shooting.  I knew next to nothing about shutter speed and what it should be set on, but the best way to learn is by doing, right??  All I can say is, these pictures, compared to the pictures I take now, are terrible.  They are blurry with lots of “noise,” and just basically bad.  But like I said earlier – better to have these awful prints than none at all!  I guess…

Just to give you a little more information on my camera settings, almost all of the pictures taken at the Fun Run were taken at 1/80 seconds at f/3.2.  That is a terrible shutter speed for taking pictures of children running indoors with poor lighting.  There was only one decent shot that I got, and the setting for that picture were 1/320 seconds at f/3.2, but I had set the ISO set to 10,000.  So everything was pretty good, except the picture was very grainy.  You can see it below – lots of noise.  No way I could ever blow that up and print it out.  But since this time, I have learned to “trick” these pictures out in Lightroom, so I’m sure I could make it look half-way decent!

Taking Pictures in a Gym - Fun run

I had to do a lot of editing in Lightroom to smooth out some of the noise. But…I still couldn’t make it look right because of the camera settings. Since this picture, I have learned SO much about shooting in a gym. Hoping to keep learning!!

There are a few more pictures in the Image Gallery.  As you can see from them, they are all a bit grainy and a bit blurry!  So…before you go try and shoot pictures at your local elementary school gym, you might want to practice taking pictures with various shutter speeds so you can learn the difference between a shutter speed of 1/80 and a shutter speed of 1/320, and how it will effect your pictures.

Canon 24-70 Lens at a Basketball Game

Very little editing had to be done on this more recent basketball picture. The camera settings for this were 1/250 seconds at f/3.2. The ISO was set at 2500. Big difference between this picture and the pictures from the Fun Run!

When you compare these Fun Run pictures to my current basketball pictures, there’s just really no comparison.  It shows me how much I’ve learned in the last year or so.  Comparing my pictures to professional pictures, I realize I’ve still got a LONG way to go to be really good at sports pictures (and pictures in general).  I’ll never stop trying for the best shot!

Oh..for those of you who want to know how much money Zach made, he did VERY well.  In fact, his class raised the most money in his grade!  I will tell you though, that when he called my sisters to let them know that he had run 30 something laps in the allotted time, they just about fell over.  We adjusted their pledge to a set amount so Zach’s Fun Run didn’t break their bank!

In the meantime, before you head out to your next basketball game, check out my article on Learning to Take Pictures at a Basketball Game!  You just might pick up some helpful hints on how to set your camera settings just right – or better yet – what not to do!  Goodluck with you pictures!  Until next time…