You can feel the determination. The Lodi Flames and Tokay Tigers cross-town rivals fight or every point. This girl’s basketball game in January of 2020 preceded the COVID-19 school closings by a few weeks.
Unless they’ve replaced their old metal halide, fluorescent, or high-pressure sodium lights with new LED fixtures, high school gymnasiums typically suffer from poor lighting. For comparison, I covered a basketball playoff game for the Sentinel at the ARCO Arena a few years ago. The lighting was fantastic … just like daylight. I mentioned it to another photographer who commented, “You should see it when they turn on the TV lights”.
If you’re thinking of using a strobe during a high school basketball game, think again. The officials will ignore a few flashes from the bleachers, but anyone roaming the court with a big camera and flash will get their attention and a special “request” to shut it off. So that leaves us with ambient light, fast lenses and cameras capable of ISO’s between 2500 and 4000. This gallery was shot with an 85mm f/1.8 lens (@ f/2.2), 2500 ISO, and 1/640 shutter.