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Old Nov 18, 2008, 10:54 AM   #11
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Well done, Texx! The whole series was a joy to observe with the mood of the event conveyed throughthe ambitious facial expressions of these tough ladies who are playing hardYou might blur the background (a slight motion blur for example) in some pictures isolating the subject,imo. Btw, my faveis #2!
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 11:46 AM   #12
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terry@softreq.com wrote:
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I would think that after one "season", practicing everything we talked about - plus some decent glass, could probably rise above amateur in one season I would think.

What's your thoughts?
I think it's not worth speculating on. It depends on what you consider the next level to be. If your definition of the next level is pro then I'd say unlikely. But then there is no one posting SPORTS imagesat Steves that is producing pro quality sports images - and by that I mean a consistent quality such that they could get a job as a working photographer for a major daily or any other instance where they were making their entire income off of sports photography. A number of posters making some cash. But none of us here are at a level we can quit our day jobs.

To me, however, it's pointless to categorize like that. From my perspective it comes down to when I look at an image, is it perfect - i.e. do I say "WOW I can't think of a thing that would have been realistic to improve the shot". Failing that, there is almost always something that can be improved. So, good sports photographers consistently try to improve their shots. Trying to create artificial categories to rate a given shooter serves no purpose IMO so I don't bother. The closest I come is to look at a shooter's body of work and say "they're competent for this sport" or not. And it's a by sport thing since sports are very different. The only reason I even do that mental categorization is so I know whether or not to lend credence to that person's advice. And I do that across the board for other styles as well. If I don't think a shooter is a competant portrait photographer I really don't care what their advice is for HOW to shoot portraits. They can still have a valued opinion for whether or not they like a shot - so for instance I welcome all feedback on my sports shots - you don't have to be a competant sports shooter to say what you like or don't like about an image. But IMO you do have to be competant for me to listen to advice on how to do it differently or what equipment to use, etc.

So - the long and short of it to both Terry and the OP - don't worry about classifications - just keep trying to improve.
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The problem is we can't freeze the action and go out and meter the subject. So I guess a decision to use EC would depend on how bright and "contrasty" the scene looked - or just use experience.

As for timing, it's just a matter of being more discerning and practice I suppose.
Terry - as I said their is no magic answer. You have to go out and actually shoot soccer matches. The nuances will be different than shooting football or lax for instance. So if you want to learn how to properly meter when shooting soccer I would suggest the first step is to actually start shooting soccer. Once you do and start posting some images I and others who shoot soccer can help you improve on your technique. Lighting conditions vary by region / time, uniform colors vary as do skin tones. But it all starts with a willingness to learn and adapt - take photos, get feedback from other (hopefully qualified) sports shooters about what to improve and apply. Some people adapt rapidly game by game - others spend years with no improvement. Usually that comes down to either lack of hands-on practice or unwillingness to seek out and accept honest critique.

I think this horse has been beaten to death enough.

Texx - again, good job, looking forward to seeing more in the future.








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Old Nov 18, 2008, 12:29 PM   #13
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JohnG wrote:

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Looks like it was mid day - tough lighting. So most of the shots are slightly overexposed. My recommendation in conditions like that is to dial in about -1/3 to -2/3 EC and then use the dodge tool on faces that are still in shadow.


John:

When you mentioned "dialing in -1/3 to -2/3 EC" due to the lighting conditions is that the meter that runs from -2 to+2 at the bottom of the display? Could you explainwhat that does and how itis important? I apologize upfront forasking this as it may seem basic to most but I want to learn as much as possible to be able to improve my shots.

My goal with getting into this hobby is to be able to chronicle my kids/family events and eventually be able to cover my game room walls with their photographs through the years.I want to be able to have these photos for my kids to show to there kids etc later in life. Sorry for the ramble.

I appreciate all of your advice as well as the other replies on myshots.

BT

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Old Nov 18, 2008, 12:43 PM   #14
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Big Texx wrote:
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John:

When you mentioned "dialing in -1/3 to -2/3 EC" due to the lighting conditions is that the meter that runs from -2 to+2 at the bottom of the display? Could you explainwhat that does and how itis important?

OK. The camera looks at the scene and determines what it thinks should be the proper exposure. How MUCH of the scene it looks at to determine this depends on the metering mode (evaluative, center weighted, partial or spot). The handbook will tell you how much of the scene is used for metering. For what it's worth, I would suggest Partial metering - it gives the most weight to the center of the image - and since you are typically using the center focus point your subject will contribute the most to metering. SPot is too tricky and evaluative uses too much of the surroundings.

Anyway, here's the problem. The goal of sports shooting is to get the most important parts of the photograph metered properly. For this type of sport, 99% of the time that's the face of the player. Do this test - next game in bright sunny conditions, using AV mode fill the frame with a player from one team and mentally note the shutter speed. Now fill the frame with a player of the opposing team in the same light from the same shooting position. Because one team is usually in white and one in dark colors you can see up to a 2 stop difference in the exposure the camera meters at. But, guess what? Assuming the same skin types the RIGHT exposure from that position and that lighting is the same regardless of which team you are shooting. So, depending on who your subject is (white jersey or dark jersey) you might have to use EC to adjust the exposure. The less bright the light, the less that jersey color will affect exposure.

What Exposure Compensation (EC) does is tell the camera: go ahead and determine what exposure to use BUT I'm going to override that and say the answer you come up with is underexposed - so figure it out and then increase the exposure by X (which is +X EC) or conversely I think you're going to overexpose by Y in which case I want you to drop the exposure by Y (-Y EC).

In your situation you have bright directional light. That light is hitting the faces and overexposing them slightly. So, by dialing in -1/3 or -2/3 exposure compensation you're telling the camera to underexpose a little bit. This will keep those skin tones more natural. This is why every sport is different.

In football the challenge is: the face is inside a helmet with deep shadows. So very often you need to use +EC to expose for the faces and not the uniforms otherwise if you used AV mode with no EC you'd end up with torsos exposed pretty well but the face inside the helmet would be in shadow and the shot wouldn't be so good.

This is one of the VERY nice things about the new LCD screens on the latest cameras. You can take some test shots and there's good enough resolution that when you look at the faces in the playback you can get an idea if they're under or over exposed. On the older cameras the LCDs weren't good enough to judge that.


Edit: the meter inside the camera will show you this EC. When you dial in -1/3 you'll see a line one notch below zero. That meter is your guide to remember you've got EC dialed in.
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 3:01 PM   #15
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So if I understand this correctly, if I am shooting soccer on an overcast day then I may need to dial in +EC to compensate for the lack of direct sunlight.

Thanks for your help.

BT
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 3:11 PM   #16
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Big Texx wrote:
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So if I understand this correctly, if I am shooting soccer on an overcast day then I may need to dial in +EC to compensate for the lack of direct sunlight.

Thanks for your help.

BT
No, I'm not saying that. Here's an easier approach:

1. Do set up as before.

2. Take test shots with subject filling frame

3. Review on LCD. Depending on how the FACES look dial in +EC if the faces look dark or -EC if the faces look to bright.

4. The EC you dial in on step 3 may need to change whenever you switch shooting positions (so that the light is hitting your subject from a different angle to you)) OR the light changes. When either of these 2 events occurs, repeat steps 2 and 3

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Old Nov 18, 2008, 3:37 PM   #17
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Stunning work for a first timer, proof that technique is the key not having the fastest/longest/most expensive lenses.

I hope you are very pleased with the results.

I've done some house keeping as you had posted threads the same and it better lends itself to the sports section so it is all here.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.


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