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Old Apr 20, 2007, 12:26 PM   #1
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I tried to take on board lasts weeks advice,so hear is this weeks efforts,

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Old Apr 20, 2007, 12:27 PM   #2
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 12:27 PM   #3
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 12:28 PM   #5
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 12:29 PM   #6
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 12:30 PM   #7
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 2:47 PM   #8
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Colin,

Glad to see some more work from you. Here is some feedback and suggestions based upon your current shots:

#1 - by far the most interesting shot - great timing and great framing. The only problem is it isn't sharp - there's too much blur. It'sa combination ofmotion blur and camera shake. The exif data is only partially showing - I can see you were at 200mm and 1/160 shutter speed. That's WAY too slow of a shutter speed. I can't see the ISO in your exif data. But the camera goes up to ISO 1600 and I'm guessing you weren't using 1600 here - so jack up the ISO. You need at least 2 more stops - so if you were shooting at ISO 200 then go to ISO 800.



#2 - no idea whatsoever what's going on in this photo. There are a whole bunch of players standing around and the ball is in the air off to the other side of the frame. There are 2 problems at work here. The first is timing - you need to get the shot closer to the peak action - nothing in the shot tells me whether the ball is coming into the frame or leaving it - is it a throw in, did someone kick it, did someone head the ball? Can't tell. You want to capture the ball closer to impact with a player. In shots 1, 4 & 5 the timing was better - you can tell what's going on in those photos. The second is framing - too many people in the shot. that aren't adding to it. This is primarily a result of not framing tight to begin with. You're already at 200mm so it tells me the action was occuring too far from your vantage point - unless this photo is uncropped.

#3 - too early. Need to time it so he's closer to striking the ball - ideally the best timing is just after impact with the ball in the frame - but the closer you can get to that point of impact the better. Unfortunately there's no magic to getting that timing down - it just takes practice and experience. But that point of impact shouldd be your objective.

#4 - good capture but you've cut off the players and have a lot of dead space. This is a result of shooting in landscape orientation. 90% of the action in soccer is better captured in portrait orientation - typically there are only 1 or 2 players of interest and they're all within a foot of each other so vertical framing works better.

Here's an example of a similar style shot - used foot and not knee but still illustrates the point (note the whole body is in and there isn't a lot of dead space):



5. Way too much dead space. The action was too far away and again you were shooting landscape. If there is enough detail in the photo you need to crop down so that you change the orientation from landscape to portrait and isolate the 2 players in the air - everything else is just a distraction. If you can't crop down that far it tells you the subjects were too far away when you took the shot (since you were already at 200mm).

For example ( this would be fine with full bodies too - it doesn't need to be this tight - but the subjects need to fill the frame):



#6) Don't shoot from behind players. This shot would work better if the focus were on the goal keeper. It's about faces - you always want to shoot your subject facing you. Unfortunately in soccer this means that if you're only shooting one team and the action passes your position you're not likely to get good shots until the action starts coming back your way AND your players are facing you. That's a hard lesson to learn when shooting a sport like soccer - especially when covering just one team: you really are very limited in the shots you can get from a given position. That's why you shoot from one spot for a while and get the action best achieved from that spot - then you move to a different location. I'll typically shoot from at least 4 locations during a match. So, plan for the TYPE of shot you want - then go to the best position to get it and wait. You can't work under the mindset of just reacting to the action - it don't work that way IF you're covering just one team. Now if you're covering both teams that's different. But The advice is still the same - the subject should be facing you or at least a good profile - you want faces in focus and not behinds :G

7 - out of focus and #12 is obsuring the action. Another tough lesson - other players and officials will ruin at least 10 great shots in any given shoot. Guaranteed. Even so - this shot should have been in portrait orientation so you have feet and not all the dead space to the sides.

But please don't get discouraged. We ALL - every one of us went through this same learning curve. It takes a LOT of effort to develop good sports shooting skills. You've got a keen interest and good subjects, so just keep plugging away at it.

So, biggest take-aways for your next shoot:

1. Shoot portrait - 90% of the time.

2. Wait till the action is close enough so the subjects fill up 2/3 of the frame - if they don't then they're not close enough to your position.

3. Work on your timing. This is going to be an ongoing thing - you got real close in a couple of these - in the couple you didn't, those go to the cutting room floor. Happens to all of us. My virtual floor is full of shots that are in great focus but were too early or too late.

4. Keep at it. You'll get there in short order.

5. Don't get offended by my or other's comments. We want to help - otherwise we wouldn't take the time to comment. Some people just want their ego stroked so they avoid posting or post photos in forums where all the feedback is "great shot". I know I've gotten a lot better by getting feedback from more experienced sports shooters - my learning curve was accelerated immensely that way. I like this particular forum because there are some good shooters here and they give good constructive feedback - so we make each other better. Other forums are either full of snobs that won't even comment on non-pro work or back-slappers where everyone just tells each other what great photos they take even if they aren't great. And those people never get better because they don't know they could be doing things a little better. So, bottom line - please don't be offended. You're making progress - sports shooting aint easy - if it were I'd be working for Sports Illustrated right now

Keep shootin and keep postin'. And we'll keep trying to help you along!
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 4:48 PM   #9
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John no offence taken, i take all comments good and bad as a way to learn, you take the time to respond so thank you, it is frustrating waiting on the shot ! i always seem to be in the wrong place (lol), pic 1 should of been my shot of the day but i got the chance just as i pulled the camera out the bag and the settings were not ideal,iso was 1600 after shot 1 andi tried to shoot as much as possible at 200mm(last weeks lesson)but found timing harder! role on next week and i will give it another go, not looking for sympathy but i was on the outside of that fence surrounding the fence:Glol.
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