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Old Jan 16, 2009, 11:34 PM   #1
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I went snowboarding in Utah (Park City resort) last week and took a some pics. I didn't realize until after that I was on aperture priority and should have been shooting on shutter priority. but they turned out so so. pics were taken with Sony A700 and tamron 70-300 lens.

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Old Jan 16, 2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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last one...

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Old Jan 17, 2009, 6:11 AM   #5
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Some nice action here. And nice and tightly cropped!

A few comments though. First they're all a underexposed - very common in snow. The camera tries to meter the snow as neutral grey rather than white. Usually +2/3 to +1 EC will take care of that. Also, did you apply any USM to these? If not, give it a go as it will improve them. Some additional comments:

Shot 1: nice timing and good action. Reasonably sharp. But I would suggest a looser crop - faces are always going to draw attention and the face is pushed to the bottom of the frame.

shot 2: great action but not in focus

shot 3: nice action and I like the background. But try to capture faces and not backs.

shot 4: great action again but focus looks a bit off - maybe back focused. Correcting the exposure and applying some USM should really help this shot out.

Here's an example (hope you don't mind). You can get much better results editing an original size image:



I'm also curious why you thought you should be in shutter priority?
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 11:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips and thanks for the example!
First off, what is USM?
And as for the shutter priority question I just assumed that's what I should be using in fast action situations. But I'm still learning =)
So was I right by using AP?

And yes I think some of the images may have been back focused... It's harder than I thought to focus on people when they are flying down the mountain.
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 1:09 PM   #7
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USM stands for Un Sharp Mask. It's a sharpening technique. Most photo editing packages have it. It provides more control and better results than a 'sharpen' tool does because you have more parameters to change.

As for focusing - make sure your continuous focus is turned on (not sure what Sony calls it). And yes, action photography is harder than it looks.

The shutter priority thing comes up from time to time. People just starting out in action photography often think that's the best mode - after all, you want fast shutter speeds, right? Yes, that's true. BUT, there are a couple problems with shutter priority:

1. You can set a shutter speed too high for the aperture value your lens has and you end up with underexposed shots.

2. You are setting an artificial ceiling on the shutter speed. Very often you want to make sure you have a MINIMUM shutter speed - but for stop action sports, more shutter speed is better. If you can get 1/2000 then that's great.

3. You lose control of your depth of field. Depth of field is important in action photography. As the photographer you want to decide whether the background should be in focus or not - not leave the decision up to the camera.

Typically, action photographers will use manual exposure if lighting is constant. If lighting is variable, aperture priority is the the next step. You set the aperture for the amount of DOF you want and you use ISO to make sure your shutter speeds are fast enough. And if the lighting gets a bit brighter and your shutter speed gets faster - so what? That's a good thing. But in shutter priority if lighting gets brighter your aperture gets narrower and your DOF increases.

Keep at it. And keep sharing. Really that's how most of us here got better - peer review. There's a good group of posters here and we push each other to get better. That's what I like about the contributors to the sports forum. Some other forums are more likely to give you a pat on the back for every shot but that doesn't help you become a better photographer.

I hope we see more of you around here. Good luck!
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Old Jan 22, 2009, 9:11 AM   #8
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Oh man,I bet that was fun to shoot! great timing with these, even though its always best to get faces, youve done a great job in timing these tricks. As mentioned, a looser crop would give a better idea as to how high these guys are, etc... Also, John'sdisplay of his post processing skills show how a drab photo can bemade to "pop". Very cool, Id like to see more if you have any.
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Old Jan 22, 2009, 12:58 PM   #9
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It was a lot of fun to shoot. Its always fun to shoot new things and try your best to learn what to do while your doing it haha.

here are two more that are more loosely cropped but still could be in better focus I think.

also, JohnG, did you use photoshop to fix the exposure on the example you uploaded? if so what tool did you use? did you just adjust the brightness?


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Old Jan 22, 2009, 12:58 PM   #10
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2nd pic...


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