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Old Mar 12, 2006, 5:19 AM   #11
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The optimal shutter speed depends on the sport you are shooting. Typically for me, I will go with the highest shutter speed possible for all human athletic type sports (basketball, football, boxing, baseball, etc).

However, for auto or bicycle racing, I will go with a slower shutter speed (between 1/125th to 1/250th), and pan with the subject as the subject is moving. This can result in the subject being sharp, while all the other moving parts are "in motion" (like the wheels/tires). This also produces a blurred background. Here is an example shot at 1/160th sec using the panning method:


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Old Mar 12, 2006, 7:28 AM   #12
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Technically it has nothing to do with how long the lens that affects the shutter speed (apart from getting rid of camera shake), it is how fast the the object is moving across the width of the frame. Something moving slow with a long lens can work with a slower shutter than a shot lens and fast object.However as a rule you will be filling more of the frame when using a long lens so this appears to be the case.
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:08 AM   #13
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Is what I meant in a much better worded fashion. :blah:Cheers!

Hope to see Straylights shots soon!
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:14 AM   #14
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StevenC wrote:
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Is what I meant in a much better worded fashion. :blah:Cheers!

Hope to see Straylights shots soon!

LOL...... I have seen some of your work so knew that you knew what you meant :?G:blah:Love the capture that you posted here.:|

Yep, would like to see some shots too.
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:26 AM   #15
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I usually use the slowest speed I can get away with and still freeze the action.

For people running around it's usually 1/250th or 1/500th.

Another factor is aperture.

Sometimes you want to play around with the ISO and the aperture to get a nice wide aperture so you can blur the background.

What would be very cool would be to set the shutter speed at 1/250th, the aperture at F2.8 and let the camera decide the ISO based on the brightness of the scene




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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:26 AM   #16
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I usually use the slowest speed I can get away with and still freeze the action.

For people running around it's usually 1/250th or 1/500th.

Another factor is aperture.

Sometimes you want to play around with the ISO and the aperture to get a nice wide aperture so you can blur the background.

What would be very cool would be to set the shutter speed at 1/250th, the aperture at F2.8 and let the camera decide the ISO based on the brightness of the scene




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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:36 AM   #17
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Hey Terry,

That makes two of us.... or to be able to set limits. e.g. f4, shutter between 1/640 - 1/2000, if shutter goes lower then the ISO will start to move. Or you could have the f stop as the variable and then start moving shutter or ISO. Or have a hierarchical system, where shutter moves, then aperture then ISO etc.

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Old Mar 12, 2006, 8:36 AM   #18
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Like Terry, this just double posted.
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 10:56 AM   #19
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Straylightrun00 wrote:
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Muay thai, MMA training and stuff like boxing.
Well, you've certainly chosen some challenging sports to photograph.

First of all, positioning is really the most paramount aspect of sports photography. Who cares if you freeze action if it's the back of someone's head? You have a challenge because competitors (unless they are very green) will use the entire ring area and will be changing direction. To be successful in this type of situation, I think your best bet is to study the competitors if you can. If you're covering the same group of competitors, you have an advantage. Every martial artist or boxer has tendancies and preferred combinations they throw. Learn what they are and look for them. For Muay Thai, you're going to get a lot of low leg kicks - so you can pracitce capturing action by looking for that. Beyond that, is the competitor a striker or a grappler? If they like to throw, wait for that moment before firing off your shots.

If they're using a ring, the best place is going to be right up at the ropes so you can get your lens into the ropes and remove them from the picture.

When competitors are on the mat, maneuver quickly so you can get facial expressions in the shot. Especially if there is an arm-bar or other submission type hold - focus on the person feeling the pain.

Now, to the technical stuff. For strikes, 1/250 will be way too slow. If they're decent competitors their strikes should be going much faster than that. So your goal should be at least 1/500. And, to make matters worse, you're going to want some DOF. So, be prepared to bump your ISO all the way up to 1600 (I think that's the limit on your camera). You probably want at least f4 if you can get it. If you can't, then you have to be more careful of your focus points. The point of impact and facial expressions make for better images IMO so if you think a strike is coming you're better off focusing on the recipient of the strike rather than the person delivering it - so the strike is in focus. If you're forced to shoot at 2.8 or wider then I suggest using the torso as your focus point.

Finally, start off photographing the lower level competitors. They will be slower and have more of a tendancy to fight in a linear, back and forth fashion which should increase your chance of being in the right position.

Lens choice would depend on how close you can get to the action. So, how close can you get? And, out of curiosity, what type of ring or mat or cage are they fighting in?
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 11:15 AM   #20
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Also,

Go to www.pbase.com and do a search on Muay Thai (a search on MMA didn't reveal much). You'll see a lot of examples of what I'd consider bad sports work - too much noise. But there are a couple of good examples as well. You can see in a number of instances how slow shutter speeds lead to motion blur. It also appears a number of folks are using flash. To me, whether or not flash was advisable would depend on the angles. If they're in a ring and you're on the floor the flash may not be distracting. But if it's just a matt and your flash is at eye level it would definitely be a distraction.
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