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Old Sep 12, 2008, 8:27 AM   #1
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Gday

Over the past 6 months Ive been going to my brother inlaws hockey games taking photos with my Canon 20D Sigma 70-300mm Lense. Out of the 2500 + shots Ive taken I sadly say I think I have only got 11 good photos so far for the season. Took me a while to learn the sport and understand lighting and sometimes where there was non at all...

Please enjoy and comment on any...

See the following link for some of my good shots

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3007259...7607244434702/









Kronn!c

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Old Sep 12, 2008, 11:05 AM   #2
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Does flickr give you the ability to post URL links? If so, I'd advise posting some photos here rather than just a link to a gallery. Those posts tend to get more responses.
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 5:13 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to Steve's forums!!!

I was in almost the same boat as you a few years ago shooting with similar level kit and there is a lot to learn that's for sure, but you are in good company so keep at it.

I agree with John, do post some of the shots here as people generally don't like commenting not shots that are on another link. I'm sure that Flickr allows this if not you can do one per post, here is How to post your photos

I put together a thread a while ago to show my lessons learnt over a few years, yes better kit has helped me but so has getting the technique sorted out. Have a look http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=82

Hopefully that will all help you out!

What settings were you using to get the shots?


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Old Sep 12, 2008, 7:56 PM   #4
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I actually had it set on sports setting and was just pumping away most days. I honestly dont remember the settings

This weekend Im doing my teams Premlim Final and I will be recording all the settings and posting them with the photos.

Thanks for your comments and assistance.

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Old Sep 13, 2008, 3:29 AM   #5
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Let's see if we can get the 11/2500 keeper rate up a bit for you today.

Here are the settings that I would go for that should give some nicer results (these are not the settings I use but they are the next step when coming out of sports modeand should yield much better results).

-Set to aperture priority (Av)

Set the lens to it's shortest length and then set the aperture to f4. The reason you are setting the aperture while at the shortest length is when you zoom the aperture closes to f5.6 so if you set the aperture there you will find that you will not get the widest aperture when you are zoomed out. So basically the camera is trying to be at f4 but if it can't it will drop as you zoom, then when zooming out it will go back to f4. This will allow the fastest shutter speed possible and also help in separating the players from the background by making the background out of focus as much as possible.

-Set wide area metering (this is the square with the circle and the dot in the middle)

This will let the camera take an overall exposure for the whole photo. It's not ideal but it is the best to be going on with.

-Set the focus to AI Servo

This will mean that when you press the shutter half way down it is focusing continuously and also trying to predict where the focus needs to be. You want to start tracking the action about a second before you start shooting as this will allow it to get a lock.

-Use only the centre focus point rather than all of them.

This will stop the camera getting confused and focusing on the background or other players around. Keep it on your subject as you pan with the play.

-Select continuous shooting high speed so you get 5pfs.

By having a higher frame rate you have a better chance of getting some good action and also better focus. Don't machine gun everything, 3 to 5 shots at a time will be more than enough. Look for the action, don't shoot if a player is going away from you or if they are not on the ball (unless you are doing a portrait type shot) as these are not usually interesting.

-Select the ISO that will allow a high enough shutter speed

This is where you need to set something specific on the day. I would try to get about 1/800s and higher when shooting in good light. With the camera set as above then zoom in (300mm) fully on a player as long as they are not wearing white or black as this will change the settings quite a bit. If you are unfortunate and one team is in really light and the other is in really dark then use a ref or some other subject that is in the same light as your players will be. Half depress the shutter and see what shutter speed you are getting (btw if you are not seeing the aperture at f5.6 then make sure it is set as discussed). If it is at about 1/1000s then you are OK, if it is down below 1/800s then make the ISO higher, if it is above 1/1600s then make the ISO lower until you are getting within that range. Unless the weather changes through the day then you will not need to be playing with the ISO setting again.

Lastly I will talk about framing, and I'm going to be lazy and just copy in here what I wrote in the post I linked to as all the detail is there and I need to go out.

"Framing tighter and using awideraperture work in conjunction with eachother in certain ways as they both remove distractions.A tighter frame means that players and other objects not relating to your photo areout of the equation meaning that you see the action more. A wideraperturedoes somethingsimilaras it willreduce the depth of field (the amount in focus infront and behindthe subject). This will set off your subject against a much cleaner background. Also byframing tighter (more zoom) the depth offield is reduced more, so always try to get 2/3+ of your frame filled by your subject, if you are not doing thisthen zoom more, or wait longer before taking your shot. Another advantage of framing tighter is that youshould be in the 'range' of your lens making for sharper images. As you get closer to infinity you will find that the focus is generally softer, so wait for your subject to come nearer to you and keep that frame filled. The last advantage of using a wider aperture is you are letting more light into the camera so you have a higher shutter speed which will freeze you shot and again help with sharpness. There are times you don't want to do this but no need to worry about those for now."

It might take you a little bit if time to work out how to get those settings but honestly it will be worth it.

If you didn't check out the post I linked to I would strongly suggest having a quick peek as there is some other useful info that might help regarding your position etc etc.

I hope you have a great day and I look forward to seeing your results.

Happy shooting,

Mark

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Old Sep 13, 2008, 4:57 AM   #6
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Thanks Marc Ill use your suggestions tomorrow at the game and some new settings I am trying myself also.

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