Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Sports & Action Photos

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 30, 2006, 12:09 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
inneyeseakay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 1,379
Default

All of these shot with my *istDL and Sigma 100-300mm f/4.5-6.7 handheld at ISO800 - ISO3200. Let me know what you think! I take criticism very well, so tell me what you think.












































All of these shots need to be run through NeatImage, but I am on my brother's computer in a hotel room, so choices are limited at this moment, just wanted to share!

_____


-Nick
inneyeseakay is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 3, 2007, 9:35 AM   #2
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Nick,

Since no one else has chimed in, I'll do so. I'm not a big fan of trying to take action shots from the stands and these shots illustrate why. There are several major problems - all of which are beyond your control as a photographer:

1. You're too far away to capture detail in most - let's face it a 300mm lens on a DSLR is only going to get you good detail out to 40 yards or so - you've exceeded that range and thus there isn't enough detail.

2. Vantage point - you've got a lot of backs and few faces. That's the problem with being in the stands. I realize you can't change that and get on the field - but it's a limitation that's going to prevent you from getting many good action shots. You want faces, not backs for a good action shot. Most of these shots don't work because you are behind the action and not in front of it. Again, you can't change your seats but it does mean you just aren't going to get good action shots.

Those two factors make it virtually impossible to get great action shots from the stands - regardless of the photographer. So, don't feel too bad. My suggestion is to go wide angle and go for atmosphere shots instead - that is easily accomplished from the stands. If you must shoot action then you have to get better seats AND wait until the action is coming towards you AND is within appropriate distance so you have detail. So, I'm not saying you did a bad job - just that you tried to do something that wasn't possible given the limitations of your shooting position.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 5, 2007, 12:19 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
rfortson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 349
Default

Thanks for posting these. Now I know what they'll look like if I try to take the same shots. (I'm not trying to be an a$$...I truly wondered about taking shots like thesesince I have similar gear as you.)

JohnG wrote:
Quote:
My suggestion is to go wide angle and go for atmosphere shots instead - that is easily accomplished from the stands.
I agree with JohnG, particularly with this suggestion here. Of all your shots posted above, I think the wider shots showing all the line and action are better than the tighter shots. Even those shots are too limited by the lens for larger prints.

JohnG, can you reprint your suggested guidelineson lens focal lengthneeded for good shots at XXdistance? That's very handy. In fact, you should just post that one your website and then point us to it everytime something like this comes up. I know I'll be looking for it again in a few months.



Russ
rfortson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 5, 2007, 7:12 AM   #4
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Russ,

Glad to help. Based on my experience in sports shooting, if your goal is to shoot action and fill the frame (either in camera or with cropping)a reliable guideline for lens coverage is as follows (assuming a 1.5 or 1.6 crop camera body):

200mm is good for about 25-30 yards

300mm is good for about 40-45 yards

400mm is good for about 50-60 yards

Beyond those ranges you really are taking a crap shoot that focus will be accurate and that you'll have enough detail in the photo to crop down and fill the frame. It's why football fields especially make it difficult to take photos from the stands because the stands sweep back - and the stands end about 15 yards or more from the field in most places. Baseball stadiums tend to go more up and stands are closer to the field of play.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 5, 2007, 7:26 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
rfortson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 349
Default

JohnG wrote:
Quote:
Russ,

Glad to help. Based on my experience in sports shooting, if your goal is to shoot action and fill the frame (either in camera or with cropping)a reliable guideline for lens coverage is as follows (assuming a 1.5 or 1.6 crop camera body):

200mm is good for about 25-30 yards

300mm is good for about 40-45 yards

400mm is good for about 50-60 yards

Beyond those ranges you really are taking a crap shoot that focus will be accurate and that you'll have enough detail in the photo to crop down and fill the frame. It's why football fields especially make it difficult to take photos from the stands because the stands sweep back - and the stands end about 15 yards or more from the field in most places. Baseball stadiums tend to go more up and stands are closer to the field of play.
Thanks, John!

(Said in my imitation "Tick" voice) "Such good information! Now... to retain it!"



Russ (who is not The Tick)
rfortson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 5, 2007, 7:29 AM   #6
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

"Roof Pig, most unexpected"



Great show - I hear first season is on DVD now - I'll have to get it.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 5, 2007, 9:22 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
inneyeseakay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 1,379
Default

Thanks for the tips... These are my first attempts at any type of action.

Just a quick question... How do you get into the world of sports photography? How do you land a job that will put you on the sidelines to get the good shots?

_____


-Nick
inneyeseakay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 5, 2007, 9:58 AM   #8
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

inneyeseakay wrote:
Quote:
Just a quick question... How do you get into the world of sports photography? How do you land a job that will put you on the sidelines to get the good shots?

-Nick
Nick - gettin access to Division I NCAA sidelines or pro sidelines is reserved for people with "propepr credentials" - basically people with the press, national magazines, etc. These folks have their paper/magazine apply for credentials for a specific event. Usually access is controlled by the home team and a press pass alone will not get you in - you have to apply for a sideline pass.

Now, the logical follow-up question is: how do you land one of those jobs? That's TOUGH. There are few positions at major newspapers or magazines for sports photographers. And College newspapers. So you can try to get a job with them - assuming you're a student or independently wealthy and don't need to be paid. And, they are truly the best of the best. To get on staff, it's much like journalism - you need to work your way up through the ranks:

1. Learn photography

2. Learn sports photography

3. Practice, practice, practice - shoot high school, little league, rec league - whatever where you can get near the action (but always get approval from whoever is running the game to shoot the game) - more info available on this point if you wish.

4. Beg/borrow/buy top notch gear to work with - talking about thousands of $$$ here - why? because you're competing against the best and brightest in an industry - there may be a dozen pro sports shooter jobs at major newspapers near a given city - how often is there an opening?So, you have good photographer A shooting with Canon 1dMII N and his 300mm 2.8 lens and you have good photographer B shooting with his Canon 30d or Nikon D200 and 70-200 2.8 lens and good Photographer C with his Nikon D50 or Canon 350 and 70-300 5.6 lens. Everyone submits their 10 best shots - if all 3 are equally skilled the one with the mkIIN and 300mm 2.8 is going to have better stuff - end of story (again, IF ALL 3 HAVE EQUAL SKILL - having the right equipment doesn't make you a good photographer).

5. Must be willing to make it your CAREER - you don't shoot NCAA Division I bowl games or pro games as a hobby - your craft won't be good enough.

6. Keep your eye on the publications you want to get a job at - is your work as good as the photog's they already have? No? Too bad - someone else out there is just as good. The only other route is to get a job as a general staff photographer and work your way up to the sports beat. That takes time.

If you're really interested in sports shooting, see point 3 above - pick a sport you like and shoot the sport at lower levels - high school is great for this.


Hope that helps somewhat. Bottom line is: hobbiests don't get sideline access (unless you donate lots of money to college :G) - and pro jobs are scarce. So if you want to be a pro and shoot the big time sports you have a tall mountain to climb. It's certainly doable - if you have the talent, the dedication and the drive to pursue that career.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 5, 2007, 9:59 AM   #9
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

There is no easy way to get into sports shooting and possibly I'm not the best person to answer this as the US market might be different to the UK but for me I started with local level teams which are open to the public and you are close to the action. From there get some shots printed up at 8x10 and speak with the team managers, coaches etc to see if they will let you on the sidelines. To make this easier then suggest that they can use your work free of charge for their website/advertising. From here I would start selling shots to players and family members. Once you are getting good shots then submit them into the local papers to try and get published. I am now at the stage of registering with the Sports Journalist Association which allows me access to professional games so I have a chance of getting work in the national papers (I am working on getting better lenses for my camera which will be needed for this). I have made contact with some full time sports shooters and they have assisted me up to this point which is great but it has been luck that I have found people willing to share the route to go in the UK as it seems that there is a lot of competition and people don't want to you encroaching on their potential business. I think it is helpful that the photographers I have been in touch with are more mature so realise that I won't be coming in and instantly be at the top of the business and as they are not over local then it is unlikely we will ever be covering the same events anyway.

Johnwill probably be able to put an American slant on this to give you more suggestions.

Oh forgot to mention that if you want to be getting good sports shots then you need to have a good camera and glass otherwise you won't get the type of quality that will get you on the sidelines.

Keep on shooting!!!

Mark

Edit, I hate it when 2 of us reply at the same time!!!

Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:26 AM.