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Old Mar 1, 2010, 4:53 PM   #11
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Will you be able to get some practice before the meet?
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 5:01 PM   #12
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Mark gave some good advice. But one thing he didn't mention - what FOCAL LENGTH to use. That's the big challenge. For Mark's shots he had the benefit of shooting from the floor. Are you going to be able to shoot from the floor? It's very important to know what the shooting situation will be - i.e. where will you have to shoot from? For instance, that 105mm lens is probably only good for about 35 feet - not far at all. The 50mm lens? About 15 feet. You simply can't crop heavily when using high ISO - you won't have the detail.

In general, beam is the easiest to shoot - least amount of motion - assuming it's close to where you'll be shooting from. Floor is a toss-up. Distance is your enemy there. Even on the edge of the mat you need 200mm to get to reach the other side.

So, it's important to keep your expectations in check. Besides battling ISO issues you're going to have issues with focal length. So, figure out what events are even close enough to where you'll be shooting from and concentrate on those only.
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 5:11 PM   #13
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Good point John, I didn't think to add that. For the tighter shots I'm using a 120-300mm f2.8 lens to get me in close (with a full frame body) so a 70-200mm is going to give a pretty similar field of view. Even with that shooting fully to the other corner of the mat it is a bit too far away.
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 8:58 AM   #14
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Hello,

JohnG & Mark1616.

RE: Shooting Position - I've only been to the one meet. And there, the guys shooting were standing at the bottom of the stands. Not much ability to move around. And very tight for space. I've resigned myself pretty much to taking whatever I can get.

RE: focal length - There again, with budget restraints <grin> I am pretty much resigning myself to taking what I can get.

I am trying to be a bit prepared - shoot what I can - and hope that I can PP something to keep. <grin>

All the help is greatly appreciated!

Take care,
Glen
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 10:02 AM   #15
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I would advise speaking to the coach several days before the event and get the coach's permission to be on the floor. Ask the coach for any particular do's and don'ts. If you can get the permission in writing, such as taking a permission form with you to the meeting and getting the coach to sign it.

You'll want to get as close to the action as you can without being a distraction to the gymnasts. Getting permission to be on the floor with a camera is a good idea.

Take business cards with you. Other parents may ask you to photograph their kids, so you may want business cards with an email address on them so they can contact you.

My daughter is a swimmer and I shoot some of her meets. Having the coach's written permission as quickly fixed some problems for me in the past.

Last, set your white balance! Gym lighting is goofy.

Faithfully Yours,
FP
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 10:41 AM   #16
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Gymnastics tends to be quite a bit more restrictive than swimming. Permission would need to be coordinated with the outit hosting the meet. I.E. a team coach won't be able to grant permission for you to get on the floor near each piece of apparatus. With swimming there are almost always a lot of extraneous people on the deck so getting a parent on there for photos isn't too difficult. Just a difference between the two sports.
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 11:00 AM   #17
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Thanks JohnG. With me coming from a really tall family, gymnastics is not exactly out sport, so thanks for the warning. Now, I'm really glad I wrote what I did. I almost did not write it, it sounded rather amateurish at first. But your insights are even more helpful to the origninal poster.

I love Steve's Digicam. You can learn so much more than setting your camera on the green square and push the round button!!!
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 9:10 PM   #18
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Hello,

TCav - I might get a chance to try taking some pictures at my daughter's practise this Sunday. I asked one of the coaches that will be there on Sunday and she had no problem. And she's going to ask the other coach.

FaithfulPastor - Thanks for the reply. As mentioned above, if I get to shoot at my daugher's practise, I'll have to see if they'll let me on the floor for a bit. If so, I might have some close-up shots of her practising to combine with whatever I can take at her meets.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Thanks everyone!

Take care,
Glen
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 9:14 PM   #19
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I'm looking forward to seeing some of the shots you'll get.
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Old Mar 9, 2010, 6:20 PM   #20
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Default Thanks Everyone!

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to say thanks again!

I did make it out on Sunday to try shooting. I didn't get to go on the floor. But did get some practise in for the actual meets.

Here are a couple of what I was able to get. (Cropped to exclude other gymnasts.)

I know they are noisy and low-res, but at ISO1600 and only a 28-105mm, I'm pretty happy that I got this.

Take care,
Glen
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