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Old Nov 7, 2006, 10:56 PM   #1
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Shot taken from the stands. EF 70-200 at 200mm, Av, f/2.8, ISO 1600, 1/500.





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Old Nov 8, 2006, 6:44 AM   #2
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Welcome to the sports forum, ricciardella


Not a bad photo, but it appears as if you took this from fairly far away and cropped. The result is that the image is a bit soft. Also the angle is a bit too downward angled. Were you sitting in the stands? If so, can you get access to the pool deck? Getting closer to the action will improve your focus accuracy and also allow you to shoot at a better angle (i.e. getting low).

Spy is the resident swimming photog though. Hopefully he'll have some better feedback than I can provide.

Again, welcome to the sports forum. I look forward to seeing more of your work!
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 7:56 AM   #3
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This is the full frame image taken from the first row of the stands - no cropping. I was panning with the movement of the swimmer, which could be the cause of the softness. Any suggestions?
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 7:58 AM   #4
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I also welcome you to the sports forum!I'm sure your wishing you could move from the stands and shoot from the deck. Shots from there would certainly be ideal. But at least your shooting and thats fun, in and of its self.

For the best angle and picture quality, John pretty much nailed it in his post.If you can get yourself moved from way up in the bleachers to the deck, your pics will change from "ok" to "AMAZING"! Oneproblematic rule in getting here is to know that "parents are not allowed on deck"where there's bleachers available. So you have to become the "club photographer" and arrange to take pics for the club for their web site andget the boards approval for this.

If you master that, then the fun really begins!

What camera body are you shooting with?
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 8:08 AM   #5
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A great deal of softness is caused by shooting from 2.8 or from where ever the aperature begins. Change the aperature by a stop or two tof4 from f2.8 and you will notice sharper pictures over all. Yes your shutter speed will slow down but boost your ISO to 3200 (if you can) to gain shutter speed and also under expose your shot by a stop or two to gain more shutter speed and lighten the pic up in PS later when you get home.

Also by increasing the ISO's you'll notice an increase in "noise", grainy distortion in the pic. Process the pics through a noise program to clean it up and your pics will look much better.
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 8:39 PM   #6
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John G and Spy - Thank you for the feedback.

I looked at the original image again and it appears to be sharp. But it is 3.8MB, way bigger than the 250K file size suggested. The one I posted was reduced to 50K and it looked soft when I viewed it again. What size photos do you post here?

I understand that being on deck will provide a better shooting angle. This shot was taken at a college swim meet. I'm not sure if I will be allowed on deck.

Spy - you mentioned that I should stop down to improve sharpness, shoot at ISO 3200 and underexpose the image. You then suggested lightening and removing the noise. What software do you recommend for processing and removing noise? All I have is Canon's DPP that came with my 30D.

Also, as the day went on, I lost the light coming through the windows and was shooting at 3200, f/2.8 at about 1/200 - a real challenge & not very good for stopping action.
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 7:09 AM   #7
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ricciardella wrote:
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John G and Spy - Thank you for the feedback.

I looked at the original image again and it appears to be sharp. But it is 3.8MB, way bigger than the 250K file size suggested. The one I posted was reduced to 50K and it looked soft when I viewed it again. What size photos do you post here?
I thought about that. It is a common problem with resizing. I actually use my website host, smugmug, to post images from. They do resizing and their process (whatever it is) seems to do a great job of keeping sharpness.

If you're resizing and uploading yourself, you'll want to apply sharpening AFTER you resize - not before.
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 9:20 AM   #8
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ricciardella wrote:
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Spy - you mentioned that I should stop down to improve sharpness, shoot at ISO 3200 and underexpose the image. You then suggested lightening and removing the noise. What software do you recommend for processing and removing noise? All I have is Canon's DPP that came with my 30D.

Also, as the day went on, I lost the light coming through the windows and was shooting at 3200, f/2.8 at about 1/200 - a real challenge & not very good for stopping action.
I process with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 and noise process with Noiseware Community Edition. It is an excellent noise removal program that is fast, easy and free.

To address the lack of light problem, I shoot using the 580ex speedlite, set the WB accordingly. There's enough light output with this flash to light up clear accross 8 lanes if needed. It's a pricey flash but there are others more affordable as well. Before I decided to buy it, I rented it for $15 for a weekend from a camera store a few timesto see how it worked.
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