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Old Oct 29, 2005, 12:20 AM   #1
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My kid is playing his first playoff game and I have never even attempted to shoot night sports, but I thought I was check here and see if it's even possible.

As a more urban or streetscape photographer, I try to avoid action and portraits, but I have had some luck with daytime football.

The only zoom lens I have is an EF 75-300 1:4-5.6, not exactly night action material. I also have an EFS 17-85. I use a 20D.

What setting or techniques, if any could I use for night action?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Here are a couple of day shot I got recently, feel free to critic them:





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Old Oct 29, 2005, 9:59 AM   #2
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You'll have a difficult time with the 75-300 at full zoom. Remembering the 1/focal lenght rule, you're shutter speed will need to at least 1/300. Shoot at the highest ISO at the widest aperature. Ideally, get as close as you can so you can shoot at the widest end of your lens to allow use of its widest aperature. Flash probably won't help because of distance, and really shouldn't be used at sporting events as it can distract participants. Don't let your shutter speed get below 1/250.. you'll have a hard time freezing action at speeds under this. Ideally if you can get 1/500 or better, use it.

Good luck!!
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 1:46 PM   #3
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The problem isn't going to be camera shake - it's going to be the lens doesn't have a wide enough aperture. Unless you're at a tremendously lit stadium you may not be able to get a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action. The 17-85 is just too short of a lens. Use the 75-300 in aperture priority at it's widest aperture. Dial the ISO up to 3200 and see if you can get speeds of around 1/320 or better. If you've got a monopod, use it. Try to stay within 10 yards of the line of scrimage so you don't need to zoom too much and can keep the aperture at a better value to help with the shutter speeds.

Most of all, don't forget to just enjoy the game
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 5:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replys! I rented a 70-200 2.8 canon EF.

I'm leaving soon, but if anybody could give me any tips pertaining to this lens, I would truly appreciate it.

Thanks again!
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Old Oct 30, 2005, 1:11 PM   #5
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A few pics of my first attempt at night football...






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Old Oct 31, 2005, 9:00 AM   #6
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Nice captures. For some reason I really like the last one - maybe it's because all 3 refs really help highlight what a small field of play there is. SOme suggestions:

photo 2 - either crop or clone out the arm on the left. Get rid of that and I think this is a great photo.

All photos - the colors are a little washed out - try setting your black point or sliding the black level towards the middle and maybe bumping up the saturation to see if you can get a little more pop out of the colors.

Well done for a first time.
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