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Old Sep 21, 2005, 9:35 AM   #1
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(Nikon D70s--70-300mm Nikkor lens)

I've been shooting kids sports for 4 years now, soccer, baseball, swimming, however never football. I found the need for a better camera once I began shooting my sons Jr. Football team action. I'm a rookie when it comes to this type of sports action shooting, so please click the links below to see a series of 10-12 shots put together in Gif format (pics are 2 seconds apart). Any constructive critisism much appreciated!

http://home.comcast.net/~ripsnort60/Good_Run.gif

http://home.comcast.net/~ripsnort60/gggif.gif

I am finding that I shooot approx. 350 photos for each game, and I reduce that down to about 10-20 good photos that I keep. Its really tough having to decide which to keep, as I have a self-set limit of 10-20 for the parents of all the football team members (80-160 photos by the end of the season)


Also, normally I get lower to the ground using my monopod, however this particular field had such a HIGH crown that the grass would fill 50% of the picture, thus the reason that the height I'm shooting at is up there...

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Old Sep 21, 2005, 2:57 PM   #2
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Ripsnort,

Not too bad. But, a couple suggestions. In both sequences, your subject was the ball carrier. In general, it is more effective if your subject is coming towards you rather than running away. being able to capture facial expressions really ads impact to the image.

I also think a wider aperture would be more affective to get subject isolation - too much DOF allows for the background to compete with the subject.

I also like (but this is a personal preference) tighter crops - there are a lot of extraneous players 'milling about' in the images. Try cropping down to just the runner and maybe the closest competitor.

Finally, you might want to try shooting vertical to get more subject isolation - with your shorter subjects you shouldn't have the problem I'm having (cutting off people's feet when I shoot vertical).

Here's a couple examples of the type of thing I'm talking about:

(Before Crop) Looks fairly tight but there are still multiple subjects.



(After Crop) no noubt what the focus is and the facial expression is brought out:



Scenario 2:

Picture 1: sharp and good contrast but got the back of the player:



Now, here's one with the action coming towards me:



I'm not saying my photos are great - I still have a lot of work to do to improve - I only wanted to provide some examples of what I was suggesting.

I'm by no means a seasoned veteren so take my advice for what it's worth - but when in doubt take a look at Sports Illustrated or other sports publications - for angles and cropping ideas if nothing else.

Good luck and keep posting!
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 4:23 PM   #3
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Thank you for the advice. In the TD run series, I was downfield. I was also downfield in the 17 yard gainer, however its evident I wasn't far ENOUGH downfield! LOL!



How many pics do you typically snap in a game?

I will try cropping them alittle closer. Thank you for the advice once again(and nice pictures, BTW)



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Old Sep 21, 2005, 7:11 PM   #4
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I probably shoot around 250-300. But, memory is cheap - so there's no issue with shooting more photos. I would probably shoot more if I was better at tracking the action. I'm still horrible at getting receivers catching a pass. :-) I still have a lot to learn but I enjoy it a lot and in the end, that's really the point
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 9:02 PM   #5
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Hi. I am a newcomer to the boards. May I ask if either of you use a "burst" mode with your cameras? I recently acquired a Sony F707 and have been enjoying the 3-image burst mode with action shots. It seems to help me when trying to time my shots while fighting shutter lag. I have a lot to learn about sports photography. Thanks for your imputs. Lee
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 9:24 PM   #6
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Ripsnort wrote:
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I am finding that I shooot approx. 350 photos for each game, and I reduce that down to about 10-20 good photos that I keep. Its really tough having to decide which to keep, as I have a self-set limit of 10-20 for the parents of all the football team members (80-160 photos by the end of the season)

350 per game! How do you keep track of so many? I try to keep the number down to 100 for softball. Five or six games in a week and thats plenty to drive me crazy post processing. After i have "One" really good picture for each girl, igo to video. (Two music videos isn't a cinch either) After the edits i had 1000good ones for the whole season. 10-20 pictures for each kid!!! Do you print that many out?4X6's right? I do one 8X10 for each kid and then give them as many as i can fit on a DVD data disk. I used to give all pictures until i went to the Reb Xt and couldn't get them all on.

You're a great dad! I hope the other parents realize how much work you're putting into these pictures. But i bet you're having fun no matter what. They're great pictures and JohnG is giving really good advice. The ball and the kid's faceis what i try to get in each baseball picture. Oh and i try to fill the frame as they say.

Good luck

PS: Hi johnG. Told you things wern't going well for NDCL. No W's yet.


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Old Sep 22, 2005, 7:27 AM   #7
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Ticktock, I use high speed mode, with Fine resolution, and med. size picture. I get 3 frames per second with this mode, and it seems I can continuously shoot to my hearts content but I usually only capture about 5 seconds of the action(timing is everything, and as John mentions, its tough to get those catches!)
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Old Sep 22, 2005, 7:34 AM   #8
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thatsanicepicture,'thanks for the reply. I take the 300 pics and view them through film strip mode, it helps to eliminate the bad ones the first "screening" through. Out of that, I usually narrow it down to about 50. Then out of those 50 I narrow it down once again to the best 10-20 per football game. It takes about 2 hours of my time after a game, but I thorough enjoy doing it.

I use Pinnacle Studio 9.0 Plus and put the stills with some video that I've taken from the game as well, combine it with music, some humorous voice-overs when appropriate, and special effects. Its a fun hobby, and so far I'm half way done, I have about 30 hours into this particular football movie. I only print my own pictures of my sons, but I do put up all the pics on my server for the parents to pic and download what they want.

Baseball is alot easier! I probably only take about 100-150 shots. Not as much action, but its much easier to capture players expressions!

Soccer is easier to do than football as well.

I have two sons who are very athletic and love every sport, for 4 years I've been making "still picture movies" for the parents. Most seem to appreciate it. I'm starting to get alot of inquiries about doing this for $$ for special events, so this year I'm going to start promoting (business cards) and see what becomes of it. Figure I might as well get paid for a fun hobby!
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Old Sep 22, 2005, 7:47 AM   #9
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Here are a couple more shots from this past weekends game (Note, on a couple ofthese , I've yet to sharpen and crop some of these)

http://pic4.picturetrail.com/VOL767/.../112292676.jpg

http://pic4.picturetrail.com/VOL767/.../112290612.jpg

http://pic4.picturetrail.com/VOL767/.../112290605.jpg

http://pic4.picturetrail.com/VOL767/.../112681090.jpg

http://pic4.picturetrail.com/VOL767/.../112290579.jpg

This picture below is from my Canon G6, you can see why I chose to get the Nikon D70s, this picture has good action, just poor quality:

http://pic4.picturetrail.com/VOL767/.../112681091.jpg
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 9:49 AM   #10
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I love the third one - the defenders collapsed on the sidelines is priceless - as is the 'not so stiff' stiff arm in 5 (I think). Kids are great to watch. THere was a post on another forum I think of pee-wee football and the quarterback had a play sheet on his wrist - the photog said the playbook was over 100 plays I think - crazy for little kids. I think we had like a dozen plays when I was in peewee - heck, when I played in high school our playbook wasn't that advanced where the QB had to have a play sheet on his body. Sure is fun to watch them though.
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