The FIXER...

by Pino Pino June. 27, 2020 727 views

So a friend asked for some advice...

She had been trying to get some photos of her daughter playing high school basketball and facing the eternal challenges of photography in a school gymnasium...

She brought her camera and lenses over and explained that she had spent SOOOO much time on YouTube watching videos and finding that none of the tips she gleaned from them seemed to help...

I decided that instead of walking her though what would likely have been her 4,738th lecture on the 'exposure triangle', I would try to distill down the relevant pieces of information she would need, and only those pieces, into something easy to remember but solid enough of a base that it could be built upon going forward...

So, I decided to create a character.

In my head I called him Ignatius Scardino Onofrio - I.S.O....

FYI - Scardino and Onofrio are family names from my lineage... Ignatius is just a fun name... ;)

Before introducing her to Ignatius I gave her some core relevant bits on Shutter Speed and Aperture...

Shutter Speed - you want everything frozen or you want something or everything moving... High School Basketball - 1/500th or faster... and we talked though that a bit...

Aperture - you want a shallow depth of field or a deep depth of field... AND/OR... you want a lot of light through a large opening or less light in through a smaller opening... High School Basketball - her lens was a 4.5-5.6 so wide open was perfect - as much light as possible as quickly as possible and that would be plenty of depth of field for her purposes...

We spent longer and went into more detail for Shutter Speed and Aperture than I do above but I'm distilling down further here to get to the good parts of the story. ;)

Now to Ignatius... AKA - The FIXER.

Ignatius is a tall thin guy - hawkish face... quiet... sitting off in the corner booth... wearing a black double-breasted pinstriped suit, wingtips, a fedora (tipped slightly forward), smoking an unfiltered menthol cigarette... tumbler of whiskey in the other hand...

He can be a little hard to see at times... always doing his best work by ducking into the shadows... and he can be a bit... ... ...GRAINY! Hahahhaha! Oh, man - I really do crack me up sometimes...

Don't talk to Ignatius.

Don't make eye contact with Ignatius.

He knows what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how to do what needs to be done.

He'll get it done.

In other words, auto ISO mode.
Put your camera in Manual mode.
Set your camera to Auto ISO mode in the menus. (or, if you have a Pentax, choose TAv mode on the dial)
Set your shutter to 1/500th (or faster if you still notice some blur)
Set your Aperture to the lowest value the lens offers (since her lowest was 4.5-5.6)
When it comes to I.S.O. - Fuggedaboutit! (Do NOT... I repeat, Do NOT... Make eye contact with Ignatius!)

I just heard back from her...


So I am assuming two things...

  1. My advice stuck in her mind - success!
  2. Ignatius is still out there... quietly getting it done.
I don't have any of her photos to show but below are some photos I took at a basketball game, using basically this exact advice, before COVID shut us all down...
Fun night.
Great game.
Slightly slower shutter speed than I told my friend because this was not a varsity game but mostly shot wide open as suggested - gymnasium light is notoriously awful...


But DO NOT, under any circumstances, talk to Ignatius!

Join the conversation
There are 7 comments , add yours!
Rachele Schneekloth 3 months ago

I love your story about Ignatius! I am new to photography and your description is so helpful! And these shots are amazing!

3 months ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Rachele Schneekloth 3 months ago

Thank you! smile

3 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Fantastic, excellent & humorous advice!!!
Auto ISO.....great idea!!!
The proof is in "your pudding", posted here!
Very generous of you to pass on your advice in such an easy to understand & entertaining fashion!

ps....thanks for "liking & saving" my "Moody Sunrise" image!

3 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Jay Boggess 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Thank you and I'm happy you enjoyed my little ISO ramble...  smile
And thank you for sharing your beautiful images!

3 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Pino Pino 3 months, 4 weeks ago

My pleasure, my friend!
Glad you like my images!

3 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 4 months ago

Always a good feeling to help somebody on their way

4 months ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Berckmans Peter 4 months ago


4 months ago Edited