Custom Photographic Settings for Capturing Dodgeball Magic

The following is a little writeup/tutorial from Nicki Bailey [CMU #5] detailing some fancy photo settings that should help you get the most out of your dodgeball pictures. Just like the variety of our sport, the best settings will also be complemented to adjustments based on available lighting, your crazy speed of the dodgeballers you are photographing, and whether or not you need a flash. (personally, as an Official, I say no flash!) Take a read and try it out for yourself! Let us know how it works.


AV – Aperture: Shows the amount of light opening of the lens, along with the depth of field. So it would give you a FOCUSED front image (person) and a BLURRY background. You have to set the numbers depending on how much light you have.

  • Smaller numbers (3.5, 4.5) will have less depth of field.
  • Larger numbers (11, 12, 13 ++) will give you more depth of field, so the person will be in more focus.

This setting is good for when people are standing or blocking balls in the corners. It will focus on just the player, rather trying to get every brick in the gym in focus.


TV – Shutter speed is sets how much time the shutter is open. For our dodgeball priorities, we are concerned a fast shutter speed. The faster it opens and closes is the main priority.

  • Lower numbers are not good for this (1/60, 1/200)
  • Higher numbers are what you want for action shots. (1/250, 1/500, 1/750, 1/1000)


Higher ISO is useful when there is less light. Older, darker gyms the upper courts at MSU’s IM West: omg you need a higher ISO there. Lower ISO when there is more light in the building, similar to DePaul’s Ray Meyer which has a lot of natural light.

White Balance

If you have time, do a Custom White Balance at each site before the game. You can watch videos on youtube to help with this. There are many videos out there!

-Nicki Bailey, CMU Team Mom, #5

Author: Zigmister

DePaul Dodgeball #68 & NCDA Director of Officiating

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