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Old Aug 17, 2006, 8:39 PM   #1
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Some photos from yesterday's game. Man soccer is a pain to shoot












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Old Aug 18, 2006, 10:01 AM   #2
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Those are quite good - I will be shooting some high school soccer this season as well- any tips? Thanks!






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Old Aug 18, 2006, 12:10 PM   #3
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Thanks, Suzf.

Soccer is one of my weaker areas - I'm still learning the ropes of shooting it. So, I'll give you some general advice that applies to just about any long field sport: football, soccer, lacrosse:

1. Pay attention to backgrounds - this is especially important if you don't have a long telephoto with wide aperture (e.g 300mm or 400mm 2.8). The less disruptive background you have the better your shots will be. You can only control this so much - but if there is one side of the field that has more clutter than the other shoot from the side with more clutter and leave the less cluttered side as your backdrop.

2. Whatever lens you have - shoot wide open - that is the widest aperture you can. This will isolate your subject better. Even if you have a less cluttered background subject isolation is still a good thing.

3. Usesingle only focus in whatever ai-servo mode your camera has. There is too much going on for multiple focus points - so select a point and stick with it - the easiest being the center point.

4. frame tight - the tighter you frame the better your camera will be able to focus and the more detail you'll retain. You really want your subject filling 1/2 the frame at least. So, if using a zoom try to keep it at full zoom and only back off when the subject is coming close to you. Resist the urge to frame too loose - you won't get as fine a focus and you won't have as much detail.

5. Watch your lighting. During this match the sun was going down behind one goal - it created a lot of haze when shooting in that direction as well as blown out skies. Most of the pictures I took from that angle were scrapped. I knew it when I was taking them but I was stubborn. So, about 15 minutes of game time was wasted until I moved and positioned the sun to my back.

6. I prefer AV mode using EC rather than manual mode. I'll use manual mode if lighting is consistant - i.e. you're not early morning or late afternoon and the field is equally shaded. In those cases manual is best. But, many times you don't have consistant lighting so I prefer AV - in any event always use widest aperture.

7. Try to shoot from a kneeling position rather than standing. An upward angle almost always captures more facial features and starting from a lower position you will be more likely to keep both head and feet in the frame - when you shoot from a standing position feet have a tendancy to get cut off.

8. Focal length - I was using a Sigma 120-300mm lens on a Canon 20d (1.6x crop factor). You really get about 1/3 of the field covered with that. You can get cross field shots but only if it's a strait line - if they're 15 yards up field and accross you're out of luck. I'll shoot my next match with my 1.4x TC on.

9. Resist the urge to take shots at the other end of the field or when your past the usable range of your equipment (i.e this combo has a usable range of around 40 yards). Shots farther away are either going to remain loosly cropped which is uninteresting or if you crop them they simply won't have enough detail to fill the frame with the action.

10. Faces, faces, faces - that's what makes interesting shots. A shot with someone's face is always better than the same shot but with the player's back. So, if you're covering just one team and the players have their backs to you wait for some sort of peak action - slide tackle or something similar - don't waste memory shooting someone's back running.

That's about it. I'll be shooting another soccer match next week so I'll have more practice and be able to let you know how the 300mm plus 1.4x TC works out for a focal length.
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 8:08 AM   #4
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I don't think I could ever shoot soccer - I'd end up watching the game.

Those are great shots. Was wondering why no header shots, is that because these lads haven't started to manipulate the ball in that manner yet.
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 8:50 AM   #5
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nlp239 wrote:
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Was wondering why no header shots, is that because these lads haven't started to manipulate the ball in that manner yet.
It's because I haven't manipulated my skill for that shot yet :-) I had several head shots but they invariably were from the back or the ball was just too far away to make it an interesting shot. I just need to get more practice at it. I just started shooting the sport but I'm definitely going to try for some better head shots next game!
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 1:02 PM   #6
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Good luck John - it's definately THE sport to watch and in my opinion quite taxing to shoot.
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Old Aug 20, 2006, 5:53 PM   #7
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Nice stuff, great use of light!
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 7:17 AM   #8
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Thanks Terry!
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 4:36 PM   #9
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John,

I agree on shooting soccer action as tight as possible with the least amount of clutter in the background. It is easier for the camera to focus and the shots will be sharper. The game moves rather quick though and is a pain to get the composition you want as the action unfolds. This is especially tough for me since I can only see out of one eye but I enjoy it all the same.

Take in a game or two without a camera and watch the action. I am sure you will see photo ops galore and wished you had your camera. I find this helpful in understanding the general flow of the game and when you can anticipate in getting those great shots.

I also, look at shots posted in Yahoo Sports for soccer shots and get an idea of composition and what action makes for the good shot.

I enjoy your Football shots very much and am glad you find the time to give Soccer a try.

Tom
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:28 PM   #10
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a nice set John given the lighting conditions!, #5 i'd have cropped tighter & the only one that doesn't work for me is the last one with no ball to show where his focus is!.
As your aware I cannot post my football due to English media rules run by Dataco, however, I have found these links to editorial slideshows for the paper so let me know what you think!. Kind regards Graham.

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.u...tol.6561236.jp

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.u...vil.6537702.jp
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