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Old Feb 2, 2009, 7:16 PM   #1
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After seeing some of JohnG's photos, I almost didn't post. Too intimidated and embarrassed by my first effort at volleyball shots. After reading some posts on here, I tried to do what was suggested but it's "easy said than done" me thinks.

I shot these with a Nikon D60, using abrand new Nikkor70-200 f/2.8 VR lens. Most were shot manual at 1/400, 2.8, ISO 800. Some were ISO 3200. I read some of JohnG's tips prior to the weekend, but I still need to frame the shot better (along with just about everything else).The noise, blur, and overall lack of sharpness is beyond me to figure out. I had tons of noiseso I used NoiseNinja, butit seemed to just make stuff plasticky.

I don'teven know where to start in terms of what to fix the next time I head out in two weeks, soyoursuggestions will be much appreciated. I'm a newb some please don't hesitate to "dumb it down" for me....

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Edited to try to resize photo 1 (but now itseems too big when I preview it)and to add numbers to the photos.

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Old Feb 3, 2009, 7:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. Don't worry about being a "newbie", this is the place to ask your questions and learn. You will find a great group of people who are more than willing to help.

Pic 1 did not load fully, I don;t know why but ow well
Pic 2 + 5 I liked
Pic 3 needs to be cropped tighter and straightened
Pic 4 maybe a little too close
Keep at it and keep posting.

Best regard,
Phil
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 8:43 AM   #3
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Hey, no need to be weary! This is a great start. Youve captured peak action, faces and the ballin most of the shots. Believe it or not, thats the toughest part of shooting...when to press the button and how to compose the frame. One you get the settings down, itll be automatic. Here are a few observations:

-get rid of the -1EV

-level your shots

-#3 is out of focus-thatll happen from time to time, esp when shooting at f2.8

-if properly exposed, dont be afraid to shoot at 1600ISO and even at 3200. 3200 will need some NR but apply it only in post processing-not in-camera.

-refrain from having to crop too much, youll lose Image Quality in general but, esp when shooting high ISOs

-make sure VR is turned off on the lens

-learn hot to read a histogram-itll be your best friend until you get this down

-Also, if you can, number your photos so its easier to comment on each one.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 10:23 AM   #4
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Thanks for the help so far. Couple of follow up questions.

1.I confess to needing to google "EV compensation" and then having to look at the manual to see what it does. I'm not sure how it ended upneg 1 and I didn't think I could adjust it in Manual mode, so any tips on that would be helpful. Told ya I was a newb.... :?

2.Is it better to manual focus, auto focus or just experiment with both depending on where I am on the court. It seemed like auto focus was a problem when trying to get a picture through the net.

3.Can you give me some morehelp understanding why I'd turn off VR on the lens. I thought the purpose of VR was to avoid the need for atripod, which I wasn't using. Do I need a tripod? I have thought of getting a monopod.Any thoughts on using a monopod.

4.When Iedited my post to re-add picture 1,itlookedreally big. I've uploaded the pics to photobucket and resized them to "large" beforeinserting them. Is there something different I should do?

5. Any tips for the best way to keep shots level. With so much else going on it seems to be the last thing I think about, but I see why its distracting to not be level.

Thanks again. What a great forum for us newbs.


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Old Feb 3, 2009, 11:12 AM   #5
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I felt like you, but everybody is so helpful. The advice is great and will only help you take better pictures.

I like number 2, great timing and all the players eyes are concentrating on the ball.

Keep posting.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 11:18 AM   #6
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No need to be embarrased. As Phil mentioned there are a number of helpful folks here and peer critique is how we all get better.
I would say you're off to a very good start here. Did you lighten these in post processing or do you have the worlds best lighting? f2.8 1/400 ISO 800 is extremely bright conditions - 2 full stops better than anything I shoot in. But your comment about ISO 3200 confused me - if you could get 1/400 at 800, why jump all the way up to 3200? If you lightened these in post then I can understand. In my experience it's always better to get exposure correct in camera. While degradation in quality might not be so noticable at these small image sizes it is at larger size or print size. So the recommendation is - use a higher ISO and get the exposure correct in camera. If you didn't lighten these then thank the sports gods you have the best lit gym in America.

Image 1 - no ball. Just a matter of timing which will improve with practice. And even then you'll miss the timing - happens to all of us. That's the toughest part about the next step in the sports shooting process - tossing out images that are sharp and in focus.


Image 2 - this is a good shot. Nice timing. It's reasonably sharp but tough to tell - I suggest posting larger images next time - it's tough to identify sharpness / detail / focus with such small images.

image 3 - I'm going to deviate from Phil's advice. This shot needed to be FRAMED tighter. You can't crop down on this image and have any type of quality left. It's especially true at higher ISOs that you need to frame tight to begin with so you have a lot of detail. That way after you remove the noise you still have detail left.

image 4 - no ball. And a bit too much motion blur. You'll get that with jumps when using shutter speeds in the 1/400 - 1/500 range.

image 5 - just a matter of personal taste but it's a good example of why I don't prefer 'thru the net' shots. The net is distracting and it's tough to get sharp focus.

All in all, GREAT first start. Looking forward to seeing more.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 12:12 PM   #7
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Thanks much. I kid you not--everything I did (and know)was based on printing out some of the threads on this forum and reading them two or three times before going out. After trying thisonce,I'm convinced that you professional photographers are worth your weight in gold.

John, I shot in two different gyms. One was brand new andhad really good light, so that was the one where I used ISO 800; the other gym wasn't so good so Iused ISO3200. I also used Photoshop and just hit "auto levels" and then "auto color" for almost all of the pics. Did I mess that up? Also, I wonder ifI pushed some wrong buttons on the camera and ended up with -EV settings (and didn't even know it). I'm still trying to figure all that out.

Sorry to re-post about the above questions, but I'm sure curious aboutsome of theabove comments--especially the use of VR. And, John,I think I've seena post from you awhile ago where you said you mostly use manual focus at volleyall games. I'd be curious about any specific tipsfor focusing. Theshotsyou have of the team in red are sofocused and crisp; mine seem way off compared to that.

Finally,I was relieved to see that the pictures look a lot betterposted in a forum thread than they do on my 22" lcdsreen. They were really blurry and grainy when viewed in Windows andin photoshop. And really plasiticky after using Noise Ninja.

I'll try to add some bigger ones, but I'm still trying to get the hang of inserting them at the correct size.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 12:23 PM   #8
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a quick answer - I NEVER use manual focus. I use manual EXPOSURE. But manual focus for volleyball? No thank you. :-)
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 12:30 PM   #9
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DEC22 wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the help so far. Couple of follow up questions.

1.I confess to needing to google "EV compensation" and then having to look at the manual to see what it does. I'm not sure how it ended upneg 1 and I didn't think I could adjust it in Manual mode, so any tips on that would be helpful. Told ya I was a newb.... :?

2.Is it better to manual focus, auto focus or just experiment with both depending on where I am on the court. It seemed like auto focus was a problem when trying to get a picture through the net.

3.Can you give me some morehelp understanding why I'd turn off VR on the lens. I thought the purpose of VR was to avoid the need for atripod, which I wasn't using. Do I need a tripod? I have thought of getting a monopod.Any thoughts on using a monopod.

4.When Iedited my post to re-add picture 1,itlookedreally big. I've uploaded the pics to photobucket and resized them to "large" beforeinserting them. Is there something different I should do?

5. Any tips for the best way to keep shots level. With so much else going on it seems to be the last thing I think about, but I see why its distracting to not be level.

Thanks again. What a great forum for us newbs.

#1 no worries...Ive often inadvertently adjusted settings and still do.

#2 Def use Auto focus over manual. The action is just way too fast. There are techniques to use to manually focus sports, afterall, thats how it was done in the old days, LOL. As far as shooting beyond the net, this is the primary reason I have found for using the AF lock button to focusinstead of depressing the shutter release button half way. I can lock onto my subject, hold the AF lock button down and shoot when Im ready, maintaining the focus the whols time. Ive also used this in baseball when a runner is sliding to a base. Others, more knowledgeable may be able explain it better. It takes a little bit to get used to however.

#3 VR off will allow your lens/camera to focusfaster. When Im shooting birds, on a lake in a boat, I use VR, for instance.With the 70-200 you dont need a monopod. It can be hand heldwithout any issues. If youre 90 yrs old, arthritic and have a bad back, then a monopod would help. Tripodslimit mobilityand are too cumbersome for sports.

#4 I resize all my shots to 900 on the longest side. I upload to photobucket and then copy and paste to my thread.

#5 Right now you have alot to concentrate on. Proper camera/lens holding technique will help you keep the shot level, but I wouldnt worry too much. Its easy enough to level in your post processing program. Which one do you use, by the way.

#6 You also need to be using AF-C instead of AF-S, if youre not.




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Old Feb 3, 2009, 1:12 PM   #10
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Didn't even think about the AF Lock button. I bet that would help with certain shots.

VR off, huh? Who would have thunk. I guess I got caught up in the marketing of VR (it appears I reallypaidfor it in more ways than one).

Thought I'd try a couple more to see if I can size them correctly.

Again, any and all tips are appreciated.

1. Seems out of focus or suffering from motion blur (not sure how to tell which):



2. The ever unforgiving framing issue:




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