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Old Jul 14, 2007, 6:00 AM   #11
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Thanks TG for your helpful advice. And for your very impressive pics. (I'm getting increasingly embarrassed with my efforts!)

John
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Old Jul 14, 2007, 6:53 AM   #12
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RosemanJP wrote:
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Thanks TG for your helpful advice. And for your very impressive pics. (I'm getting increasingly embarrassed with my efforts!)

John
John,

Whatever you do, don't be embarassed by your efforts. Good action shooting is difficult. Most of us who post in this forum have come in for criticism at one time or another. There are some very good photographers here. From experience, I can tell you that the sports shots I've taken have gotten far better because these gentlemen have taken the time to critique my work and given suggestioins that have resulted in genuine improvement of my skills.


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Old Jul 18, 2007, 6:48 PM   #13
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Trojansoc wrote:
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John,

Whatever you do, don't be embarassed by your efforts. Good action shooting is difficult. Most of us who post in this forum have come in for criticism at one time or another.
I will second that!!!

Don't be embarassed at all. We all have to learn. And the best way to learn is to continue to practice and to seek honest feedback. Forums where everyone just pats each other on the back don't really help you improve at all. Each of us here has gotten better thanks to honest feedback from those with more experience.

The key is to pick up on tidbits about how to improve and to practice them. For instance, TG's advice about getting your lens right up against the fence - that's key. Do that and you'll see your sharpness improve.

Also, keep in mind - some people have been shooting sports regularly for years so they have logged quite a bit more experience than others just starting out in serious sports shooting. So, don't expect your results to be as good right off the bat as someone who has been doing sports shooting seriously for several years (or in some cases decades). Keep at it and I guarantee you'll see huge improvement!
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Old Jul 20, 2007, 9:20 AM   #14
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Despite the softness in the first shot, i like the second one. What is causing that softness? Is it the lens, or the fence, or the exposure?

The second set (by another user) - wow. You must have a nice lens and a photo pass to get closer

IN toronto, I took shots that, too were soft due to the stupid fence. TWO fences, in fact. The only way to get to the pit and past the fence was with money:

paying $250 for a media pass and having nicer lenses (if not beyond the fence).
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Old Jul 20, 2007, 9:37 AM   #15
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cgl88 wrote:
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You must have a nice lens and a photo pass to get closer


paying $250 for a media pass and having nicer lenses (if not beyond the fence).
You've hit on a couple key points regarding sports photography. First, location, location, location - to take quality sports shots, your location relative to the action is important. It's why very, very few people can get quality action shots from say an NFL football game - fans are too far away from the action. Doesn't mean they aren't fabulous photographers but location matters to a large extent. This also means if you want to shoot sports you have to either choose to shoot sports where you can get close to the action or be willing to pay for pit passes or ringside seats or floor seats or whatever gets you close. Having said that you always do the best you can - if there's a fence you need to get your lens right up on the fence (not sure what you can do if you have 2 fences to shoot through though).

In general you'll find most sports shooters do the majority of their work at ameteur events for the above reason. It's a lot easier to get up close on a little league field or on the floor at a HS basketball game then to try and get close enough at a pro venue.

Second - proper equipment. Sports shooting just happens to be one of those genres where quality equipment makes a HUGE difference. And that equipment can get very expensive. Telephoto lenses are a great example - there is really a very noticable difference in photo quality between what you get from a pro quality telephoto lens and a consumer grade lens. It's an unfortunate fact. The key is to buy the best quality gear you can afford AND learn how to use it properly to get the best affect. For example, a typical mistake novice sports shooters make is trying to shoot too far away. For instance, a 300mm lens is good for about 40yards of coverage. You'll see people trying to take shots from 80 yards away - of course they're not going to be good. A 200mm lens is good for about 25 yards. So people tend to get poor results with such a lens because they're trying to shoot action 50 yards away. Using the same 200mm lens if you either get closer to the action or allow the action to get closer to you before taking the shot, the quality goes WAY WAY up.
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Old Jul 20, 2007, 10:23 AM   #16
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cgl88 wrote:
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The second set (by another user) - wow. You must have a nice lens and a photo pass to get closer

IN toronto, I took shots that, too were soft due to the stupid fence. TWO fences, in fact. The only way to get to the pit and past the fence was with money:

paying $250 for a media pass and having nicer lenses (if not beyond the fence).

Sorry no photo pass :sad:, shots were taken from the public area. We have two fences as well at the Australian Grand Prix (main fence and another small fence aprox2m fromthe main one where the public stand behind).

As JohnG mentions proper equipment makes a difference, I have good lenses (Would like better). Shots were taken with Canon 400mm f5.6 Llens& 1.4x tele convertor &a1D MKII N. Had a 20D before,10D before that and got excellent motorsport shots withthese cameras. Also with good lenses they usually have faster AF motors as well which make a huge diference when shooting sports.

It also helps to do some homework. Look aroundthe track for best location, into or out of a corner is good when cars are going slower. Trying to take photos down a long straight when F1 cars are doing 300 km/h+ is very difficult. My shots weretaken as close as I could get to the track and out of a corner andwas lucky with theweather beingovercast. If it is a sunny day and I am shooting through a fence I try to look for a spot on the fence where a shadow is being cast whichhelps minimize the fence showing up.





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