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Old May 28, 2006, 12:09 PM   #1
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I took these whilst at my son's football tournament yesterday. Well, I took hundreds but these are just a few random pics. They're also my first ever sports/action shots.

All I have done in PS in just resize the photos. I've left them as they are so I can ask for a bit of critique on them please.

Equipment: Canon EOS 350D with a Tamron 55-200/4-5.6 Di II LD lens.

I would like to print a few of these out, so any advice on adjustments etc. would be useful.

Thank you.







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Old May 29, 2006, 11:58 AM   #2
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Those are nice shots, blurred backgrounds, a lot going for them.

I would suggest moving around, however, to get to the best vantage point so that you can clearly see the players faces and the action.

Good sports photogs use their legs, constantly moving to anticipate where the next best place will be for an excellent shot.

Keep up the good work!

-- Terry
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Old May 29, 2006, 12:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comments, very much appreciated.


terry@softreq.com wrote:
Quote:
Those are nice shots, blurred backgrounds, a lot going for them.

I would suggest moving around, however, to get to the best vantage point so that you can clearly see the players faces and the action.

Good sports photogs use their legs, constantly moving to anticipate where the next best place will be for an excellent shot.

Keep up the good work!

-- Terry
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Old May 30, 2006, 6:44 AM   #4
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Welcome to the realm of sports shooting!

Since you asked for recommendations, here are a few:

First I agree with Terry about faces. For the majority of cases, you want the principal players' face(s) in the shot. That often means an otherwise very good shot doesn't make the final cut in my shots simply because the face is blocked.

Second, IMO, you need to be framing/cropping much tighter to the action. Shot #4 (the save) is the best in this regard. The others have too much clutter distracting from the main focus. In sports photography, the focus is typically peak action and/or emotion. So, if a person or object doesn't help convey one of those two things (or provide reference like a goal on a shot on goal) then it probably shouldn't be in the final image. This is also where those feet come in. 200mm even on a crop camera is a little short to try and cover a soccer field. And, while the 350d allows you the ability to crop quite a bit, I think you'll find you get better results when images are closer to filling the frame to begin with. Also to that end, pics 1 & 5 don't seem to show either of these elements so they don't do much for me. If one of the boys is your son or a person of interest, then frame tighter so they're the focus. I shoot a lot for parents at the games I cover so I have a ton of what I call sports portraits.

Third - along with my second point, you'll find if you're using your lens focused near infinity the pictures aren't quite as sharp and you lose the background blur. Two solutions to this: get closer to the action or get a longer lens. Getting closer to the action is the less expensive - and causes you to think about what you're doing.

Finally, keep at it and keep trying to learn. Look at the work of other sports shooters who shoot the sport you do (unfortunately I don't have any soccer work to share). Their work will provide you with ideas about what to shoot. Good sports shooting isn't so much about being quick enough to capture an event as it happens so much as it is understanding the game and the shots you want and putting yourself in the right position and the right time in anticipation of the shot. You might do a search on pbase.com for football / soccer and see what you get. Spend about 1/2 hour doing that and you should find a couple photographers who do good work and then take a look at their galleries for inspiration .

Nice first outing! Keep shooting and keep sharing
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Old May 30, 2006, 9:45 AM   #5
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Thanks JohnG for taking the time to reply. As stated, this was my first sports shoot so I'm more than happy to receive constructive critisism.

Your invaluable advice has been taken on board.

Many thanks.

Here's a couple more that I took. I don't think they're as sharp as I'd like but that maybe because I had the AF set to single shot (will change next time).










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Old May 30, 2006, 10:01 AM   #6
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Yep,

those show exactly what I'm talking about. Get your focus issues cleaned up and those are the types of shots you want. Good job!!
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Old May 30, 2006, 3:46 PM   #7
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Thanks again John.
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Old Jun 1, 2006, 10:24 PM   #8
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In general, it is best to keep the focus set at the centre focus point (either setting it there in single shot mode, or using A1 servo on the 350d) so that you can choose what you are focusing on. Otherwise the camera will search for the area of greatest contrast.

The solid uniforms make it difficult for the camera to focus as they present no areas of contrast. Aim for logos or waists if they are wearing different coloured shorts at time. It may also help to shoot a bit wider and aim on an oponent who is on the same plane as the member of your team - that takes patience.

In general, I find that alot of photos will get thrown out as they are OOF. The kids are moving pretty fast even at that age and when you are shooting long, even 1/10 of a second shutter lag will see them moving a foot or two and therefor out of perfect focus. It's a hard balance - you want the background blur, but don't want to miss the shot . You can also look for action where they are moving perpendicular to the camera rather than coming at it - panning shots. You often get profiles but the head sometimes turns enough to get a good face shot.

Kevin
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Old Jun 2, 2006, 5:14 AM   #9
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Thanks for the comments Kevin, much appreciated.
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