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Old Nov 17, 2008, 2:19 PM   #1
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First DSLR, first sports shots, Comments and suggestions welcome!

Canon 40d, Canon 70-300mm
















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Old Nov 17, 2008, 4:46 PM   #2
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For a first time these are EXCEPTIONAL!!!

Really very well done. Better than some people that have been shooting sports for years.

Focus is sharp, there's action and timing is pretty good except for the 2nd to last shot - not much going on in that shot. Your horizons look good (i.e. shots aren't crooked). So, very well done.

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.

But, really I'm very much impressed how well you did for a first time out. Looking forward to seeing more - make sure to post in the sports forum!
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Old Nov 17, 2008, 6:59 PM   #3
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Nice work, Texx!

What did you use for settings for those shots?

Terry
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 7:37 AM   #4
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Terry:

The settings were as follows:
[*]Set camera to AV mode. [/*][*]Set Aperture at 5.6 (max value for your lens), [/*][*]Set ISO at 400. [/*][*]Set WB to auto. [/*][*]Set focus mode to AI-Servo [/*][*]Set shooting mode to continuous [/*]
*Compliments of John G.

Without you guys on the forum I would have been lost!

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Old Nov 18, 2008, 7:55 AM   #5
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Glad to help Texx.
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 8:08 AM   #6
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Just curious, what shutter speed did you end up with those settings?
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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terry@softreq.com wrote:
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Just curious, what shutter speed did you end up with those settings?
Looking at his Smugmug gallery it appears shutter speeds ranged from 1/1000 shooting the goal keeper to 1/4000 in the field. Majority of time seemed to be in the 1/2000 to 1/3200 range. A good example of where TV mode can be dangerous - set it too low (say 1/1000) and aperture would have been closed down on a number of shots. 5.6 is already narrow for good subject isolation - closing down to f8 or f11 would produce poor results in that regard. By using AV the shutter speed was free to move all over the place - as long as it never dips too low (which it didn't)the OP has good results. The next step in the evolving process is to learn proper EC techniques and eventually shooting manual exposure. But I think that gallery is a good illustration of why shooting shutter priority is a bad idea for his purposes.
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 10:10 AM   #8
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Yes, it worked out.

I supposed if the shutter speeds were unnecessarily fast, he could
reduce his ISO to 200 or 100.

The only thing that separates these shots from "very good" and "total pro" is that they are slightly over-exposed.

For instance, the tone of the face in the first shot is great but the white sweatshirt is sort of washed out. Do think it's just the overall dynamic range of the shot - something the 40D can't totally handle?

What would you recommend, JohnG.

Big Texx - I'm not criticizing your shots unnecessarily, you've already created shots that many people who have spent years trying to shoot sports would love to accomplish. I'm just figuring out what tweaks could be done to take you to the next level - pro.
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 10:23 AM   #9
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Terry - I already included my advice in my original response:
Quote:
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.
And, as I said in my second response:

Quote:
The next step in the evolving process is to learn proper EC techniques and eventually shooting manual exposure.
But that takes experience. There's no golden rule for what EC to use or what manual settings to use. It takes experience so you can evaluate the lighting and evaluate how skin tones and uniforms are going to react to that lighting and how the specific camera model tends to meter.

It's why sports shooting is NOT a point and shoot thing. You have to make adjustments when you change positions or when the lighting changes. You have to recognize when the camera's metering can be trusted or not (typically it can't which is why most pros shoot manual unless lighting is constantly changing because sun is moving in and out).
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The only thing that separates these shots from "very good" and "total pro" is that they are slightly over-exposed.
I'll disagree slightly - these shots ARE very good. Better than most people's I see. Now, the gap to "total pro" is rather large. Exposure isn't the only thing. Timing isn't there yet, subject isolation isn't there (impossible to get with 300mm 5.6 lens for most shots). Even looking at the whole gallery it's good. THere are 3-4 posters at Steves doing a better job but I think it's easy to see Texx is a natural at this. Again, long way from here to pro level. But not a far gap from "very good ameteur" (which is how I would currently rate them) to "exceptional ameteur - get better glass and you can get stunning shots".

And, I think forum members will back me up on the fact I don't offer unnecessary praise when it comes to sports shots.










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Old Nov 18, 2008, 10:35 AM   #10
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JohnG

Would you suggest a lens along the lines of 400mm, and a faster lens to boot?

I can see your point about manual exposure. If your going aperture priority F/5.6, and then dialing ISO to get best quality with appropriate shutter speed, it's not too much of a step to run manual and watch exposure levels.

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.

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?
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