How the Pros Shoot Basketball with a Backboard Camera

How do the pros capture those amazing shots just above the rim in a basketball game? They use a backboard camera of course. But as you can see in the video above by wilhelm-visual-works there is a lot of thought and knowledge going into capturing these type of shots.

Capturing images at a pro basketball game isn’t your average sport shooting work – it requires attention to several important points that can make or break (literally) the whole thing. First you need to choose the right gear – a camera with low light capabilities (as you will need an polarizer filter at all times to reduce reflections from the glass) and a good wide angle lens to capture as much of the action as possible (in this case they used the new D4S with a 16-35mm lens at 1/800 sec, f/5 and ISO 6400).

Instead of using batteries the camera uses external power to operate at all times (you can’t just simply go up a ladder and change batteries in the middle of the game), as well as wired connection to transfer images back to the editorial team in real time (you don’t want ant wireless issues during the game as well).

Finally you need to hold everything in place – two magic arms gold the camera (as the backboard moves a lot) plus a safety cable. They also secure everything with black tape so nothing will get loose (even the polarizer is taped to the lens and the lens itself).

This concludes this look behind the scences of how to set your camera to shoot basketball from the backboard – if you want to try it for yourself feel free but please don’t come to us if something happens to your equipment…

As always, you can find many more behind the scenes videos on the BTS section here on LensVid. If you are interested in sports photography – make sure you watch our dedicated sports photography channel for more videos.

VIA: Petapixel.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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