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Old Apr 11, 2007, 11:23 PM   #1
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Hello, Here are some images from a high school rugby match. This game is non stop!!! I used a Sigma 120-300mm with a 1.4 TC. It was slightly overcast, which is what we have been having for quite some time now. C&C welcome. Thanks, Jeff





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Old Apr 11, 2007, 11:25 PM   #2
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Oh well, I guess that didn''t work!! I will try again.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 3:38 AM   #3
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Hi Jeff and welcome back as it looks like you've not posted for a long time!!!

Always good to see different people posting sports shots on here as it helps us all to improve by seeing what works and what doesn't. I've only shot Rugby a couple of times but I would always have kept the feet in shot however looking at these that is not essential as a lot of the action is in the upper body so will give that a try next time I'm out.

The only suggestion I have it to check exposure is it seems that the white has tricked your camera so you are under exposed on the faces a little.

Happy shooting,

Mark
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 8:40 AM   #4
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Hello Mark, Thanks for the C&C. All help is greatly appreciated. I also think that the images are somewhat soft. I look at the images throughout this forum, and the images that you and John G post are tack sharp. Even the ones that you post on your weekend outings are sharp. I'll get there. I see what you mean about the exposure levels. The faces are too red. In PS I tried to adjust it but I think it made the image worse. Oh well, trial and error. Once again, thanks for the help. Jeff
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 9:26 AM   #5
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Hi Jeff,

You are welcome. I find that sometimes when I have an under exposed shot (usually do to being in Av and having a mainly white subject) after increasing levels you do get a red face to resolve this I reduce the red channel of the saturation which seems to fix things.

As for how sharp you shots are, do you apply unsharp mask (USM) before posting work here? I make it the last thing that I do after any edit and level vary depending if they are for web or print and what size they will be printed at. Even the package I use (Breezebrowser Pro) for compiling my website applies USM after it has resized the thumbnails and main shots. You will probably notice though that shots from my site (the watermark is in a box) are never quite as sharp as those I edit by hand for posting here but as I don't check each one individually I don't want them to be over sharpened as they will not look natural.

You probably know this, but to ensure that you get the best results straight from the camera then try to track the subject for about a second so the AF can lock on to the moving subject. By doing this you will get a better success rate. Am I right in saying you are a D50 user?

Mark
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 10:04 AM   #6
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I'll add to Mark's advice regarding focusing:

Make sure in a sport like this you are using a single focus point and that you are framing tightly in-camera and not just cropping heavily (this allows more of the subject to cover your focus point). That way you can track your subject specifically. Also, when you do this - when reviewing your photos, see if your software tool allows you to view the focus point used. I know with my breesebrowser software it will superimpose the focus points from my camera. So I can see on a given shot that is OOF where the focus point was. You'll be surprised how many times it isn't where you thought it was. But note, this goes away if you edit/crop the photo.

That is the curse of working with shallow DOF - you get the blurred background which is ideal for this type of shooting but you gotta nail your focus points.

I'll also reiterate Mark's comments about USM -it makes a huge difference so if you're not using it now you should start.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 10:07 AM   #7
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My turn to add something. By croping tightly in camera it means you are generally shooting a subject that is closer which means the AF is going to be more accurate. Once you get to about 30-40m with your 120-300 the accuracy of the AF is reduced as you are getting closer to infinity.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 2:28 PM   #8
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Hello Mark and John,

Thanks for the info. I will need to upgrade the profile. I upgraded to a D200 just recently, and am still playing with all of the functionality. In regards to software, perhaps I need to do some research on products that will allow me to make some adjustments to get more out of my images. I will post more images as time goes and incorporate different techniques. Thanks again, Jeff
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 2:31 PM   #9
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Hey John, What I tried to do was to keep the majority of the shots tightly cropped by staying at either 300mm or close to it. I did keep the 1.4 TC on at all times. I did this to try to get a feel of an actual prime lens. I dont know how they do it, but it was fun trying. Also, single focal point was used.

thanks, and I enjoy your work.

Jeff
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