IMG_9415The Philippine University Games or more know as the UNIGAMES, is a national collegiate sports competition in the Philippines.  The UNIGAMES is composed of fourteen (14) sports disciplines namely Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Football, Chess, Lawn Tennis, Sepak Takraw, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Volleyball, and Beach Volleyball.  It is a Visayas-based national event and the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City serves as the main office and hosted most of the annual games.

I actually thought that the 2012 UNIGAMES was my first attempt at sports photography (I almost forgot that I got the chance to shoot some events during the 2012 Philippine National Games in Dumaguete — by accident).  Though this was my first time to shoot a volleyball game… and it was a horrendous experience.  I didn’t know how to frame my shots, lighting at the USLS covered court was terrible, I avoided using flash since it was prohibited during sporting events, my shutter speed was too slow, I didn’t jack-up my ISO high enough, and worse I didn’t know the sport at all.

I was disappointed that the Ateneo Lady Eagles was not playing that day.  But the first game between the UST Golden Tigrsses and FEU Lady Tamaraws turned out to be an exciting one.  I just wanted to capture spikers doing their thing… because that’s the only thing I knew about volleyball.  But with my slow shutter speed, most of the photos were all blurred.  Sigh! Since I was using burst mode to capture successive photographs, my battery was almost drained before the UST-FEU game was over.  So goodbye DLSU Lady Spikers and UP Lady Fighting Maroons game.

When I got home to review the photos, I realized that I focused my shots on the players back.  Since I didn’t know any of the players, it was easier to recognize them with their names on the back of their jersey… at naka off focus ang nakaharap.

I think I got to learn a lot of things after this misadventure:

  • always have spare batteries
  • use fast shutter speed… at least 1/300 or higher
  • don’t be afraid of high ISO
  • learn the game
  • know the players/know who to watch out for

Though there’s still no substitute for good composition.  That one I’m still trying to learn.


… and another thing, the Golden Tigresses do have a lot of pretty faces.


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