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Old Sep 10, 2012, 1:33 AM   #11
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Well, the school and all flash photography on the sidelines, because 1) it distracts the players and 2) it dosent reach the players. also what type of lens do i want for sports photography? Keep the tips coming!!!!!!!
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 7:02 AM   #12
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Filters will do more damage than good. Forget them.
A monopod is not going to help at all. The purpose of a monopod in sports photography is to support the weight of the gear - the lens doesn't weigh anything.

A 70-200 2.8 is the lens you need. As I mentioned several times, it won't make a bit of difference what mode you set your top dial in - switching camera modes will not allow your camera to defy the laws of physics. You don't have enough light for the lens you have.

As for flash not reaching players - this is true of a built in flash. Which is why I said it's worthless. A good external flash can reach 40 yards away - plenty of reach. By the way - have you asked the school about flash or are you just assuming it's not allowed? Flash is used quite a bit around the country by professional shooters. Lots of amateurs ASSUME it will distract the players - it doesn't. If the school has a stated policy against flash that's one thing. But don't assume one exists without asking.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 7:17 AM   #13
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Alright, so on my top dial on my camera, should it be on M,A,S,P? and i will try everyone ideas at the next game.
Because the color(s) of the uniforms can and will through off any autoexposure method, you should continue to shoot in M (Manual) mode, but set the aperture wide open (once you have an appropriate large aperture lens), set the ISO to 3200, and set the shutter speed so you get a good exposure off the faces. (You can try using the palm of your hand, and fine tune from there.) If you need to use an ISO of 6400 in order to get a shutter speed that's fast enough, or conversely, there's enough light for you to drop the ISO to 1600, yet still keep the shutter speed fast enough, then do it. You should try to keep the shutter speed at 1/320 at a minimum. You may get a little motion blur, but a little is ok.

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I am also buying a mono pod and some filters does that help?
No. The monopod would help keep the camera steady at the shutter speeds you've been using, but you need to be using shutter speeds that are a lot faster than that. The monopod may help you after you've been shooting with a bigger, heavier lens for three hours, but it won't necessarily help your photography.

And, no, the filters won't help either, and they may even hurt.

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For now i am an amateur but i want photography to be my part time job.Is there a special sd card i should use? Because the one i have right now has a slow reaction.
I use SanDisk Extreme and Lexar Professional cards. They should be fast enough for what you're doing.

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Also how do i practice your ideas before a game?
You could go to their practices.

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... what type of lens do i want for sports photography?
You need a large aperture telephoto lens. A 70-200mm f/2.8 probably will do ok.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 9:40 AM   #14
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For now i am an amateur but i want photography to be my part time job.Is .... Also how do i practice your ideas before a game?
Your best bet of having part-time income from photography is to specialize. Are you dead-set on that income coming from shooting sports or are you interested in other types of photography?

As TCAV mentioned, you can go to practices to try out advice. Of course, that won't help you with working at night under the lights since the practices don't occur that way. My real advice is this - and I say this as someone who actually ran a sports photography business for several years:

If you want to learn to shoot football, shoot lower levels - do the JV or freshman games or pop warner football. You do not have the equipment to shoot under the lights. You're trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. But, you do have equipment capable of shooting in good light. So, if you want to shoot sports - practice on a level where you have a better chance of success. And, truth be told - you'll make more money shooting those sports (eventually) than you will shooting varsity football if you're not shooting for media.

I will say this though - making money shooting main-stream sports is a very difficult proposition today. It really is. Lots of people have DSLRs. Lots of people have good digicams. Lots of people give those photos away. With so much content available for mainstream sports, your product really needs to be WOW for people to want to pay for it.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 2:26 PM   #15
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im not going to suggest any lenses because these guys have probly forgot more about lenses than ill ever know lol
but i did sell pictures from equestrian events for a while, but before i sold any id been to lots of shows, took lots of photographs, learned what settings to use, and most important where to stand and at what moment to get the most exciting pictures.
i only occasionly used flash and surprisingly you may think the organisers didnt mind flash, i always assumed they thought if you go onto higher levels theres goin to be flash photography so get used to it.
i think the only way your going to learn is by practice, so that means going to the games and taking photos.
having the right lens is going to help you a lot but theres no magic lens that will turn all your shots into keepers without practice.
i did it for 2 years and i went from about 30% keepers on my first day up to about 80% by the time i stopped.
and by keepers i dont just mean sharp and in focus i mean good photos that are framed correctly and are exciting and appealing.
so my advice is listen to these guys, buy your lense and then practice practice then practice some more
that said good luck in the future with your venture
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 2:51 PM   #16
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The famous concert pianist, Vladimir Horowitz, happened to be walking along in midtown Manhattan, discussing something with his agent, when a young man walked over to ask them for directions. He asked "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" Without thinking, Vladimir replied "Practice! Practice! Practice!"
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 2:54 PM   #17
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I don't know how prevalent this is, but my experience with Dressage is that the horses don't care whether or not you use flash, but the riders definitely don't like it.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 3:52 PM   #18
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so i am going to rent the 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VR II, for a football game, what settings should i put it too? because i have never used that lens before, so im asking for tips on how to use it.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 6:13 PM   #19
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You should set the aperture wide open. That lens is excellent at any focal length and aperture, so take advantage of that.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 9:02 PM   #20
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I own the 70-200mm 2.8 VR1 and used it on my D7000. As T-Cav has mentioned, the lens is very sharp wide open at F2.8, I would set the aperture at f2.8 and leave it there. As for what mode you should use, I leave mine on M which allows me to adjust the shutter speed and the aperture on the fly - should I need to do that.

A couple of other points already mentioned by John and TCav are:
if the D5000, has the ability to set a high ISO ceiling, I would set the HIGH ISO setting to 6400. the camera will adjust the ISO it requires based on the aperture setting (f2.8), the shutter speed you chose ( 1/400sec.), and the amount of light that the camera "sees".

If you look at the 2nd photo that John posted, you will see that the players face is sharp, in focus and exposed properly. If you ever had the chance to enjoy looking at John's sports photography, you would quickly notice that John does a great job of focusing on the players faces so you can see the emotion in their faces and eyes. It makes for a much more compelling image. He also anticipates the play and positions himself properly to get a clear shot of the players involved in the play
My suggestion would be to use single point center focus as your focus point.
This will allow you to control exactly where and what subject the camera will
focus on.

Also, it would be wise to set your shutter to continuous. Until you get the hang of this, it is sometimes better to focus on a subject, and keep the shutter release down so that you can get a number of shots of the action.

The rest is up to you to anticipate where the action is going to go and being at the right spot at the right time to catch the action. Always be thinking as to what the offense is going to do- as well as the defense.

As for where to practice your settings, go to the football practices.

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