November 2017 | Issue no. 32 | by mark shaiken

do :: or :: diso returns after a recuperative hiatus ready to tackle the issue of how close to get. This month, we will use volleyball to help answer the simple question with a simple answer – zoom in close and then crop even closer.


Sports shots should help the reader feel like she is part of the action… right there for the kill shot,



or the return,


or the serve,


0r the dink,


or some strategy,


or the emotion after the point.


In volleyball, this can be a challenge as the floor sometimes only yields behind the player shots and although the sideline is a popular vantage point, it may not be the best vantage point and it certainly should not be the only one.  If you put on your walking shoes, and move around in addition to sitting on the floor, new opportunities open up and new chances to get close are presented.  Find a track above and shoot down on the action:


Go up into the stands and shoot along the net with a telephoto zoom and then crop even closer when you download your shots.



Try shooting above the server if there is a track or vantage point.


Try shooting under the net from closer to the opposite end line to catch a return.  Some of the shots will require you to thread the needle but it is worth it as you will capture sweat on the brow, intensity, and the shot itself.


My go-to close lens is the trusty 70-200mm.  It is perfectly versatile for volleyball, not only allowing you to pull back and take in more of the action, but is the right size for the close-in shot.


There is no one size fits all for shooting a volleyball match and there is no reason to ditch the wide angle lens shots.  But the shots where you are able to isolate the action are my favorite.  At your next volleyball shoot, concentrate on getting close and thereby get into the action, don’t just shoot it.


See if the results change the way you think about and shoot indoor, fast-moving sports, like volleyball.

Next issue, do :: or :: diso’s take on the upside down world of gymnastics photography.



Mark Shaiken skylineDenver based, mark shaiken :: photography
contact me at:
or by calling 913.530.6539