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Old Mar 30, 2010, 12:20 PM   #11
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Shoot a manual exposure - adjusted to expose properly for faces. If everything is in the center of the gym floor there shouldn't be much of an issue. But if events push towards the ends of the gyms you start running out of overhead lights and the ends can end up a full stop lower exposure than the center.
This might sound noobish, but you mean select the proper exposure using the +/- button right, near the trigger?

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If you shoot jpeg, set a custom WB. In most modern HS gyms the lights overlap enough to get a decent 'average' light temperature. Just make sure that when you take your custom WB shot you do so with a shutter speed around 1/60. This will allow the lights to cycle during the shot - giving you an average color temperature.
On my P&S, I used to do this religiously. However, I've yet to figure it out on the dSLR and can't seem to find the proper selection and often end up with pictures that are obviously discolored due to the selection. I just keep it at auto. Maybe it's time to start figuring this out.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 2:43 PM   #12
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This might sound noobish, but you mean select the proper exposure using the +/- button right, near the trigger?
What John is talking about is exactly what I run into at even the Stars hockey games at a professionally-lit American Airlines Center here in Dallas. The lighting at mid-ice is brighter than at either end.

The way I get around it is to use auto ISO. I shoot using Shutter Speed Priority at 1/1000 second to make sure and freeze action and set auto ISO to use up to the maximum ISO 3200. The camera will always pick a wide open aperture using my 50-200 f2.8-3.5 and it may select ISO 1000 or 1250 for a mid-ice shot or anywhere from ISO 2000 to 3200 for shots at either end of the ice due to the lighting variance.

Because the ice is white and I want to keep it white, I also dial in +1 exposure compensation that is used for every shot. otherwise, the metering system would turn the white ice to a middle gray.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 3:06 PM   #13
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A couple follow-up points:

Greg - Sadly you'll always have several shots with color cast in them. Completely unavoidable. But using the slower speed will get you a better average temp so hopefully you'll have less swing in temperature and more shots will be close enough in color temp.

Also in regards to auto ISO. One challenge with auto anything is that you're allowing the camera's metering to determine part of the exposure. You can often find that jersey color or background colors will adversely impact exposure that way. Try it out at your next game - take a shot as tight as possible on home player and do the same on visiting player. I don't have auto-ISO so not entirely sure how thesholds work with it. But see if jersey colors don't swing your exposures.

In a way that is a bit of an asside though. For the OPs shooting - a martial arts tournament or exhibition, they're not going to be following action for the length of the gym. It's more a matter of when they switch locations within the gym they need to re-evaluate exposure settings.

To the OP - what I mean by adjusting exposure is - as I mentioned here, uniform colors and background colors will adversely affect the exposure if you let the camera decide what exposure values to use. SO, take the camera's metering out of it. Here's a simple way to start:
  1. After you set the WB, Set camera to aperture priority.
  2. Select ISO 3200.
  3. Select widest aperture value you have available for your lens
  4. Take a test shot of a competitor under the lighting of the gym floor. Shoot tightly - as close to a head and shoulder portrait shot as you can get.
  5. review the photo on the LCD. If the face is too dark, dial in positive Exposure Compensation (read manual for how to do this - I cant say as I don't have your camera). If the face is too light, dial in negative exposure compensation
  6. Repeat step 4-5 until the face looks good
  7. Note what the aperture and shutter speed values are.
  8. switch the camera to manual exposure and set aperture and shutter speed values to values you got from above.
Now, the only thing you need to do is review shots periodically - especially when you switch to shooting a different area of the gym. Now that you're in manual, you simply adjust the shutter speed up or down to compensate for more or less light in new shooting position.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 3:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
A couple follow-up points:

Greg - Sadly you'll always have several shots with color cast in them. Completely unavoidable. But using the slower speed will get you a better average temp so hopefully you'll have less swing in temperature and more shots will be close enough in color temp.

Also in regards to auto ISO. One challenge with auto anything is that you're allowing the camera's metering to determine part of the exposure. You can often find that jersey color or background colors will adversely impact exposure that way. Try it out at your next game - take a shot as tight as possible on home player and do the same on visiting player. I don't have auto-ISO so not entirely sure how thesholds work with it. But see if jersey colors don't swing your exposures.

There does seem to be a myriad of colors falling into the ice as the color corrections I make are never constant in nature, even though my white balance setting is. I would not doubt the requirements for television lighting having something to do with it. I try and avoid doing a lot of shooting when the action stops and they're flashing multi-colored spotlights everywhere.

If I were down really close, I could see one uniform color over another affecting the exposure using auto ISO, but shooting from the upper deck like I do, shots like the ones posted in the link below, there doesn't appear to be anything adverse happening due to my distance, the maximum size I can shoot the players from that distance with the lens I am using and the amount of white ice that dominates every file,

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...0-200-swd.html

I do hate those gosh-awful black on black uniforms the Stars wear for most home games.

I would prefer being able to just set an exposure of something like 1/1000 second at f4 and let the camera set the ISO that works, but when I go to full manual exposure mode you lose the auto ISO option.

Even so, I pretty much get that anyway as using shutter speed priority and 1/1000 second inside a darkened stadium like the American Airlines Center, the camera keeps the lens wide open at around f3.5 with the one thing changing being the ISO, depending on both the lighting on ice and how much of the stands are included in the image.
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Old Apr 1, 2010, 9:21 AM   #15
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Greg - each situation is different. For fan shots from the upper deck you're not going to fill the frame with your subject like you want to for good sports shots. I don't mean this to be a negative - I take fan shots at pro sports games too. But for the OP, in a HS gym, he'll be close enough to fill the frame with his subject. When you do that, the camera's metering will very much change based upon uniform color - a white gi will meter about a stop different from a black gi. Background lights / signs etc will also throw the metering off. His metering situation is different than yours shooting down on ice from so far away.
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Old Apr 1, 2010, 3:19 PM   #16
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Absolutely, I definitely agree. What I would like to do....one time...is to be down there at ice level, taking pictures through one of those holes in the glass, with a transmitter in my cameras' shoe to fire those big strobes in the ceiling and make all ambient light issues go away!
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 8:17 PM   #17
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I've gotten Olympus Master installed trying to verify settings such as gradation and noise settings. I can find gradation, but not the other one.
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 12:53 PM   #18
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I just got back... what an eye opener. An eye opener in regards to the inadequacies by me/my camera.

I got there and decided to shoot in Aperture priority, ISO 1600 which translated in 1/320 shutter speed. After a few shots, I finally figured out which white balance to use. I was sitting in the stands, 2 rows away using the Zuiko 70-300mm. When the adults got in the ring, the 70mm was enough to catch both fighters in the frame. The younger fighters, I could zoom in which translated to about an aperture of 4.4-4.6.

1. In high speed mode, the first shot would be "perfectly" lit whereas the rest would be all too dark. Is this normal?
2. By simply adding +0.3EV, the shutter speed nose dived from 1/320 to 1/200. Is this normal?
3. In S-AF, regular mode, I frequently saw the busy sign in between shots. WTH? High speed didn't have an issue. I'm using a Sandisk Extreme III 30MB/s.
4. Shutter lag... OMG. Not sure if it due to the lens or the body. I have the E-620. Would the higher model fix this?? I tried the 14-42 (3.5-5.6) closer to the ring, and it was very slow there too.
5. Even though I had selected the WB, the colour from shot to shot would vary. I think this was due to the exposure metering.

Here's the best shot, before I figured out the best settings to use:



I took about 160 shots in 1 hour, selected 5 and this was the winner IMO.

Exif of this pic:

Quote:
[Camera]
Exposure time: 1/320"
F number: F4
Exposure program: Aperture priority
ISO speed rating: 1600/33
Exif version: Version 2.21
Date and time of original data generation: 2010-04-10 13:59:23
Date and time of digital data generation: 2010-04-10 13:59:23
Meaning of each component: YCbCr
Exposure bias: 0 EV
Maximum lens aperture: 4 Av (F4)
Metering mode: Pattern
Light source: Tungsten (incandescent light)
Flash: Flash did not fire, auto mode
Lens focal length: 70 mm
Manufacturer notes: 0x00000DC0
User comment:
Supported Flashpix version: Version 1.0
Color space: sRGB
Image width: 4032 px
Image height: 3024 px
Interoperability IFD Pointer: 0x00000296
File source: Digital Camera
Custom image processing: Normal process
Exposure mode: Auto exposure
White balance: Manual
Digital zoom ratio: 1x
Scene capture type: Standard
Gain control: High gain up
Contrast: Normal
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal

[Camera Settings]
Camera Settings Version: 1.0.0
Preview Image Valid: Yes
Preview Image Offset: 0x004D5434
Preview Image Length: 391926 bytes
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority AE
AE Lock: Off
Metering Mode: ESP
??? (0203): 0
Macro Mode: Off
Focus Mode: Single AF
??? (0301): Unknown (257)
Focus Process: AF Used
??? (0302): Unknown (256)
AF Search: Ready
AF Areas: (121, 118)-(104, 137)
??? (0305): 0, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5
??? (0306): 0
??? (0307): 0, 0, 0
Flash Mode: Off
Flash Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
??? (0402): 0
Flash Remote Control: Off
Flash Control Mode: Off, Off, Off
Flash Intensity Value: 0, 0, 0
Flash Intensity: 0, 0, 0
White Balance 2: 3000 K (Tungsten light)
White Balance Temperature: 3000 K
White Balance Bracket: R-G: 0, B-M: 0
Custom Saturation: 0 (min -5, max 5)
Modified Saturation: Off
Contrast Setting: 0 (min -5, max 5)
Sharpness Setting: 0 (min -5, max 5)
Color Space: sRGB
??? (0508): 0
Scene Mode: Standard
Noise Reduction: Noise Reduction
Distoration Correction: Off
Shading Compensation: Off
Compression Rate: 1:4 (Fine)
??? (050E): 0
Gradation: Low Key, User-Selected
Picture Mode: Natural
Picture Mode Saturation: 0 (min -2, max 2)
Picture Mode Hue?: 0
Picture Mode Contrast: 0 (min -2, max 2)
Picture Mode Sharpness: 0 (min -2, max 2)
Picture Mode BW Filter: n/a
Picture Mode Tone: n/a
Picture Mode Noise Filter: High (value 1, min -2, max 1)
??? (0528): 0
??? (0529): 0, 0, 0, 0
Sequence: Single Shot
Panorama Mode: Off
Image Quality 3?: 0
??? (0800): 0
Manometer Pressure: Not set
Manometer Altitude Depth: Not set
Extended WB Detect: On
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Last edited by TekiusFanatikus; Apr 10, 2010 at 1:11 PM.
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 1:40 PM   #19
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JohnG shoots a lot of sports so I'll let him comment with more suggestions.

But, I'd suggest using his advise for similar events in the future and see what you get (shoot at ISO 3200, use a custom white balance, shoot using manual exposure, adjusting as needed for properly exposed faces). I think you probably missed the part in his instructions about switching to manual exposure after determining the shutter speed and aperture that worked best, and misunderstood what using a custom white balance means (as I see you used a preset instead).

Yes, your metering was part of the issue. Those are underexposed (too dark). That's to be expected with most metering systems with light covered clothing (because the camera doesn't know they're that light, and will assume they're a mid gray instead), and trying to shoot using Aperture Priority can compound the metering problems (because it's going to try and change the exposure based on focus point, subject position, colors, background and more -- even if the lighting is relatively constant (as it usually is in that type of environment), especially using matrix/multi-segment metering.

If you use Manual Exposure instead and adjust settings for proper exposure, you don't have to worry about a lot of variation between shots (since the camera isn't going to be changing exposure anytime the scene it sees changes any), as long as lighting is constant (as it would be in most gym environments like that).

The photos are also too warm (due to the white balance setting, which makes the color cast even worse when combined with underexposure). I see you were using a Tungsten/Incandescent setting. But, many cameras won't do well with that setting. That's why you'll want to use a Custom White Balance (not a preset option like Tungsten) with many cameras. There is a big difference between one of the presets and using a custom white balance.

You'll need to use a gray or white card (or similar target) to set a custom white balance, using a relatively slow shutter speed (for example, 1/60 second as JohnG suggested) to get a better average if you have cycling lighting.

See your camera's manual for more details on how to set a custom white balance. Basically, that lets the camera measure the temperature of the light you're shooting in from a gray or white subject (since those have equal parts of red, green and blue, they're neutral and good targets for measuring lighting temperature). Then, it can adjust the white balance for that lighting for photos you take using that custom setting. If you don't have anything else handy, most anything white can work as a target for setting white balance in a pinch. The less reflective, the better in most cases (for example, if you've got some white, matte photo paper you can use, that can work in a pinch), or you can order a photographic gray card designed for that purpose, or even get a gray lens cleaning cloth that's designed to be neutral for setting it.

Your shutter speeds are also a bit slow (as to be expected trying to shoot at f/4 and ISO 1600 in conditions that dark). If you adjusted your settings for a brighter exposure, your shutter speeds would be even slower (because the camera will need to leave the shutter open longer for a brighter exposure for a given ISO speed, lighting and aperture).

So, for better results, you'll probably need to use ISO 3200 (just to get shutter speeds close to what you were getting at ISO 1600, if you want them exposed properly). IWO, given the amount of underexposure, I'd probably go with something like 1/250 at ISO 3200 and see what you get at f/4 (using your camera's LCD and histogram to check exposure) and adjusting from there (using manual exposure, not aperture priority). At shutter speeds that slow, you can expect some amount of motion blur. If you time your shots so that you're taking them when subjects are not moving as fast, your percentage of keepers should increase. But, an even brighter lens would be better.
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 7:57 PM   #20
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I had read what JohnG suggested, several times. I think some of it still was not assimilated

However, my 4 year old son tagged along and I decided to "wing" it. He also got bored after 30 minutes (stayed an hour) and he kept draping himself over me which made taking pics that much more "interesting". I should have followed my first instinct and went in alone.

The guys where all dressed in white uniforms which is what I shot every now and then to see how the colors looked on the LCD and tweaked my settings.

I almost went to ISO 3200 but figured what was the point with all the noise that was going to be showing up... when I saw 1/320 with ISO 1600, I though, maybe it'll work out okay?

As for the WB, my Canon S2, IMO, seemed to work very well using the presets. This is why I used it. I went through all of them and used the one that seemed to produce the better pictures on the LCD. Maybe I should have zoomed in and looked at histograms... sigh.

I always thought that Exposure Bias was done after the picture was taken, almost like going through PP (but with RAW information to work with straight from the camera).

Next time I'll attempt to follow JohnG's directions more closely. Now I'm really itching to go back and shoot...
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