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Old Sep 1, 2011, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default Night Football C&C needed

OK, just got my 7D and this is my first football game of the year. WOW hard to believe I havent done this in 3 years. I obviously have some settings off. Let me have it...

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


#6


#7


#8


Equipment:
Canon 7D : Sigma 70-200 f2.8
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Old Sep 1, 2011, 1:47 PM   #2
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Edward,

Good to see some Friday Night Lights work. I'm jealous.
OK, a few observations in general:
  • 1/320 is way too slow. You have your aperture set at f5.6. There's no good reason to do that. Open it up to f2.8.
  • You're cropping your images way too much. Yes the 7d has a lot of mp, but you're cropping too much and you don't have the detail to support the crops. So, while I like some of the final framing, you just can't get to that framing by cropping. So, until you can get a longer lens, lighten up on the cropping.
On to the specific shots:
shot 1: not really sure what's going on here. So not much interesting in the way of a shot. WB looks good and exposure is pretty good - but shutter speed is too slow - and you've overcropped.

shot 2: shutter speed is way too slow. But even if it wasn't - I can't tell what is going on. Is the blurred image in the foreground the ball carrier or is the ball carrier on the ground? This is a wasted frame.

shot 3: Good action. But shutter speed way too slow. Shot was ISO 4000, 1/160 and f4. Embrace ISO 6400 and open aperture to f2.8. Now, there are a couple other issues: only at 175mm. Did you crop this photo at all? If not, a couple points. Unless there is a severe tilt to the field, the shot is crooked. But more importantly, this is a perfect example of the need to embrace portrait orientation when taking the shot. In portrait orientation you could have used all 200mm and you wouldn't have the wasted space to the side. 54 & 73 aren't part of the play - they don't add anything to the picture.

shot 4: again, exposure level is decent but shutter speed too low. INcrease ISO and open up aperture. Again looks crooked. And again, shoot portrait. Trailing players don't add much. I'll even say the legs of the tacklers don't add much - a tight portrait shot (with proper shutter speed) would show more detail and have more impact because it would highlight the collision. You don't need 'context' with a shot like this. The story is the collision - that collision needs to fill the frame.
For example:

Or even:


shot 5: nothing going on here - player is on the ground. This is an example of over-cropping. Just don't have the fine detail for such a tight image.

shot 6: exposure is a bit bright and things are washed out. You could fix the washed-out look in post processing though. Timing is OK - it's TOUGH getting the ball in the frame. But you should be taking bursts - the next shot at 8fps might be in his hands. But ultimately the shot is over-cropped. You just don't have enough lens at 200mm to shoot across the field like this. It's an aggravating aspect of shooting sports - you have to recognize some action is going to take place outside the reach of your equipment. Here's the simple rule to follow with a camera like the 7d and 200mm lens - your subject should fill 2/3 of the vertical frame IN CAMERA or more. If it doesn't it's too far away. You get about 25 yards of reach with a 200mm lens. So, middle of the field and in toward your sideline. Plays on the opposite sideline - let 'em go.

shot 7: too low a shutter speed but shot is over-cropped. QB under center is a tough shot to make interesting anyway. You wan to be in VERY tight and get good facial expression. But you have to be framed tight to begin with - you can't crop your way to it at high ISOs.

shot 8: I actually like this shot. Though at 1/320 it's soft. But there's interesting composition here. With sharper focus and faster shutter speed this would be a very interesting shot.

Again, you've got some good notions here. Fix the shutter speed (by raising ISO and opening aperture), stop cropping so much and get rid of the shots like 2 & 5 and you'll be doing a lot better. All very easy fixes to make and your shots at next game should be markedly better.
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Old Sep 2, 2011, 2:23 PM   #3
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JohnG
Thanks for the info. I will take this and use it my next time out.

#3 was not cropped. I was thinking if I could get a decent clear shot then I could crop into the play. But is sounds like thats not possble. How much cropping should be done?

I see in those two pics they are pretty bright, I assume that is due to a flash? Would it be a good idea to use a flash with a 70-200 or 120-300?

Not sure if you seen the soccer pics I posed. What settings do you recommend for soccer? My son has another soccer game 2morrow around lunchtime and it would be good to be able to change some settings around. High ISO as well in daytime or slow it down?

Thanks again,
Kevin
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Old Sep 3, 2011, 7:55 AM   #4
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Those photos did indeed have flash. I prefer it. But you need external flash - preferably one that allows the use of an external battery pack. The external battery pack for a flash allows the flash to charge up faster between charges and allows you to get more shots before you have to change batteries.
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