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Old Dec 27, 2007, 9:03 PM   #1
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This is my first outing with my new 85mm f/1.8 lens and also my first time shooting basketball. Thanks to everyone posting here, I think I hit the ground running. I was very fortunate to be in an unbelievably well-lit gym for these shots. Noiseware removed the exif, but all were shot between 1/400-1/640, f2.2-f2.8 ISO 800..

You can view all the pictures here:

CCS

http://picasaweb.google.com/jschoenr/CCSLadyKnightsBasketball?authkey=SG0TPoQqlTA



I had a lot of trouble with getting the focus right - any tips on making sure I getting the subject in focus more often than not? Also, I seemed to have trouble getting the subject face in the picture - any tips on my position for that (I was mostly on the end-line to the left of the basket).

C & C more than welcome!



#1



#2



#3



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Old Dec 28, 2007, 4:26 AM   #2
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Ilike #2 pretty sharp

I am sure John G will give you some more words of wisdom soon, (he has been very helpfull to me )



My 85mm f1.8 is in the post, cannot wait.
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 5:53 AM   #3
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Jason, congratulations on some pretty nice shots for your first time out. I looked at the shots on your picasa site and there were some nice ones there. You've done a nice job capturing action points.

Congratulations on your 85mm. I've read that is a really nice lens for indoor sports.

There are a couple of things I would suggest. One is to get your ISO higher. Some of your shots are a little dark, particularly in the facial areas. You can also open your lens all the way to get more light. The second thing would be in your post-processing. You can do a lot with just a few simple adjustments with levels and, very importantly, unsharp mask. About 80-90% of the shots I take follow the same workflow pattern: crop to size...levels...save...noiseware....then unsharp mask...and save final product.

You ask about focusing. With a fast moving sport such as basketball and a lens like your f1.8, that can be a challenge. Often out of focus is caused by the lens locking on the wrong player. Make sure that you use center point focusing. It sounds like your shooting position was good for faces. It may just be a matter of timing.

Nice start and keep after it. You'll find the only way to get better is to take lots and lots of shots.
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 7:11 AM   #4
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Jason,

I took a look at the gallery and it does look like you hit the ground running. For the first time shooting basketball I think you're doing great.

Quote:
all were shot between 1/400-1/640, f2.2-f2.8 ISO 800
Just curious - why is both shutter and aperture varying? What mode were you shooting in?

The biggest area you can improve upon instantly is getting the exposure right. As Trojansoc pointed out, you're a bit underexposed - especially in the shots around the basket (which is where 90% of your shots are going to occur). In general I recommend using a manual exposure, set to expose correctly ARROUND the basket. This means that shots taken at half-court will bea bit overexposed if you forget to change your exposure for those shots. But really, the best action is around the basket so it's those shots you want exposed properly.

Quote:
I had a lot of trouble with getting the focus right
Yep, focus is tough. You didn't say what camera you were using. Unless it's a mkIII or a 40d, use center point only. On a mkIII all 19 selectable points are cross-type and high precision. On 40d all 9 points are cross type (but only center is high precision). I prefer to focus on the face, not the uniform. This sucks for framing purposes but improves focus accuracy. For what it's worth, I've also noticed that my canon cameras have more trouble focusing on jerseys when they are white (and yes I use trim or numbers for contrast). Don't know if that's because they are more suseptible to glare or what. Next, however, is you need to actually acquire and track your subject before firing the shutter. I also recommend taking 2-3 shot bursts. You'll typically find one out of the three will either be sharper or just have better facial expression or better action.

Quote:
Also, I seemed to have trouble getting the subject face in the picture
Can you elaborate on this statement? Do you mean the face is blocked by another player, by the shooting arm or by the ball? Or do you mean it is physically not in the frame? Or do you mean it is upturned toward the basket?
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 8:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I started in Av mode, then switched to manual - the manual are the ones that are underexposed. It was an extremely well lit gym - so I was fortunate there as well...

Thanks for the workflow suggestion Trojansoc - My post-processing (only using Picasa2) was crop, adjust exposure, adjust white balance, sharpen, then noiseware - you think doing noiseware before sharpen will make a difference?

My camera is a Canon 350D (Rebel XT).Not sure if that makes a difference for focusing- I will try using more bursts - I was really onlytrying one shot at a time.

My comments on getting the face in the shot were about all the things you mentioned - another player, the ball, an arm, etc.. I think using the 2-3 shot burst will help that as well..

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions..
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 9:20 AM   #6
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jschoenr wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the workflow suggestion Trojansoc - My post-processing (only using Picasa2) was crop, adjust exposure, adjust white balance, sharpen, then noiseware - you think doing noiseware before sharpen will make a difference?
Definitely. Noise reduction software works by blending adjacent pixels to the dominant color in a given area. This almost always results in a softening of the image, undoing what you had done in the sharpening step.

I used to use the same basic workflow you describe and would consistently get the comments, "Your focus is just slightly off," (which it often was) and "soft focus is costing you image detail." This is not a be-all, end-all fix, but I think you will see improvement if you save sharpening to your very last step.

I have also read at least a couple of suggestions that noise reduction should be done on the uncropped image to allow the software to have a wider sample of pixels across the image, but I have continued to reduce noise after I get the colors & crops where I want them.
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 2:53 PM   #7
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I made a couple changes for today's game.

1. Shot only in Av mode, increased ISO to 1600 (darker gym).

2. Changed the AF mode to Automatic AF point selection - this really decreased my out-of-focus shots.

3. Followed Trojansoc's advice on workflow - doing the Noiseware before sharpening..

This gym was a challenge on one end because of the huge windows, but it made for some nice shots in the second half (with my back to the windows). All in all a much more successful day with 73 keepers out of around 200 shots.

Here is a link to the album with all the shots:

http://picasaweb.google.com/jschoenr...ey=oBsG1p7lsiM

My favorites are:

#1



#2



#3



C&C welcome as always...
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 4:27 PM   #8
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I made a couple changes for today's game.

1. Shot only in Av mode, increased ISO to 1600 (darker gym).

2. Changed the AF mode to Automatic AF point selection - this really decreased my out-of-focus shots.

3. Followed Trojansoc's advice on workflow - doing the Noiseware before sharpening..

This gym was a challenge on one end because of the huge windows, but it made for some nice shots in the second half (with my back to the windows). All in all a much more successful day with 73 keepers out of around 200 shots.

Here is a link to the album with all the shots:

http://picasaweb.google.com/jschoenr...ey=oBsG1p7lsiM

My favorites are:

#1



#2



#3



C&C welcome as always...
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 7:09 PM   #9
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in your second series #1 is a nice expression. #2 the player looks very akward - so even though the exposure and sharpness are good, the end result is IMO not a keeper. #3 is out of focus but I like the timing of it. Keep at it - you'll get there!!
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 9:26 PM   #10
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Jason, definite improvement. I went through the shots on your picasa site and saw several that were very nice, particularly several of jump shooters Do you feel like the workflow change helped you?

I agree with John's comments on the ones posted--I particularly like #1. Not only is the expression a nice capture, but it is good and crisp.
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