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Old Mar 28, 2005, 8:28 PM   #1
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Hello all,

These are my first attempts at photographing our high school cheerleaders. There routine was very short. So i only got about 20 pics. But here (in my opinion) are three of the best ones.

The performance took place in an elementary gym, with very LOW lighting.I used an OLD (20years +) "Vivitar auto thyristor 283" Flash. And used the following settings on the camera and flash

Camera:
Canon Digital Rebel
Aperture: 3.5-5.6
Shutter: 1/200th
ISO: 200
Shutter Priority Mode
Tamron 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6

Flash:
MANUAL Setting of Aperture 5.6 For 20 Feet

Only minor editing was done in Photoshop CS to adjust Shadow/Highlights (my favorite feature in CS) and Brightness/Contrast.







-Travis-
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Old Mar 28, 2005, 8:41 PM   #2
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Great job Travis, these girls are really good. I can share a couple of thoughts:
1. Stop action is pretty good, but a little faster shutter speed might be better as one of the girls ghoes is OOF somewhat.
2. Any way you can get the girls away from the walls so they don't shadow so badly?
3. Lighting is almost a little harsh. You really got a lot of light. Can't imagine how hard that was to get so much.
4. Don't be afraid to get some closer face/expression shots.
5. Did I say these girls are really good.
Best wishes
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Old Mar 28, 2005, 9:16 PM   #3
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Thanks Golfer for the comments

Yeah, these girls are the best. In a couple of days, they are going down to Myrtle Beach, SC to compete in the NCA National Cheerleading Competition.
It's sad because i can't go :sad:.

The one thing that i concentrated on was capturing as much as i wanted in the frame, and then being able to crop it out later. One nice thing about the Digital rebel's 6.3MP @ 180dpi, is that you can crop a lot of the image, and still be able to produce an excellent 8 x 10. Here is a crop of the middle image above, that i cropped almost over half of the image away, and was still able to print out a beautiful 8 x 10 for my portfolio.

With regards to the lighting. I'm stuck using the 1/200th second shutter speed. I don't believe that the flash can work above that. When i tried it as a basketball game, the lower half of the image was completely dark, while the top half was bright. I think the shutter is firing before the flash fully goes off. I have included and image to illustrate the problem. I think i can go as fast as 1/320 without any problems, but with the performance so short, i didn't want to risk missing a picture.

The gym we were in was a small gym, and there really wasn't many places to move around, so i have to deal with the shadows. And the gym was already dark, so that just brought out the shadows even more. I think that i couldn't have done it any better way.

Here is the cropped image.


And here is the image that shows what happens when i try to use a shutter speed higher than 1/320th As the shutter speed gets faster, the more dark the lower half of the image "when shooting horizontally" . NO EDITING WAS DONE TO THIS PICTURE. Except for the shutter speed everything else about the camera/lens/flash was set up correctly. remember the flash i'm using is a 20 years + old flash.
This picture was shot vertically, so the "lower" part of the shutter is to the left.


-Travis-
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Old Mar 28, 2005, 9:59 PM   #4
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Here are two more pictures that show some very funny expressions in the girl's faces







-Travis-
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Old Mar 29, 2005, 6:42 PM   #5
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tswen Your pics are fun and I'm amazed at what those girls can do. Don't know if you can afford it, but a faster lense would be helpful.
Couple of thoughts, the 50/1.8, the 50/1.4 or the 28x70 2.8. Your lense is no slouch at 3.5, but a faster lense could eleminate the flash and give you much faster shutter speeds.
I enjoyed you other pics.
To bad you can't be at the competition, hope they do well. By the way, I can see the limitations of the small gym, really would be a tough place to shoot well. Looks like some of the girls are nearly touching the ceiling.
Keep on working with them, you have a great opportynity [I assume one of the girls is your daugheter] and reason to take lots of shots.
Best wishes.
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Old Mar 29, 2005, 8:38 PM   #6
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Bounce your flash to eliminate those shadows.. good luck Dale
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 7:33 AM   #7
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Golfer, thanks again. I just purchased off of ebay the Canon 50mm 1.8 Mark II.

I should have it here with in a week's time.

As for taking lots of pics, i'm only 18 so none of the girls are my daughter's, but a couple are friends. The main reason i take the pictures is that i produce a website for my school http://www.shutterlens.com

This is a gret way for my to make extra money for college while doing something i love.

And cowboy, thanks for the tip, i'll definitly try that next time.

Is there any cheep flash that you can recommend that would do an excellent job in gym areas. I'm looking for one under $100

Thanks again

-Travis-
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 8:17 PM   #8
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Travis, I overlooked the thought that you could be only 18. In that case I'm glad none of these girls is your daughter. LOL
Bounce flash may be something you can experiment. Can you turn the head up on your existing flash unit? The only problem with bounce is it will cut down on the amount of light available for a group picture. Should work well for one on one though.
I think you like the performance of the 1.8 lense. I am hoping you can eleminate flash and just use a high ISO and shutter speed.
I looked at your website, well done. Keep up the good work.
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