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Old Apr 10, 2011, 8:05 PM   #1
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Default AFL footy images

Hi Friends,
I had a good trip on the footy match.

Shot all of the images with Olympus E-620 with 50-200 attached. As said earlier I am a newbie and need some serious improvements.

All I am worried about is just the images are not sharper as i would have expected. Is there a technique or me doing some thing wrong? If you guys could shed some light on the sharpness. Also these images are straight out of camera resized to 1024x468.

Here are some images from the album.

http://shaperweb.com/mg2/index.php?id=743
http://shaperweb.com/mg2/index.php?id=698
http://shaperweb.com/mg2/index.php?id=491
http://shaperweb.com/mg2/index.php?id=515
http://shaperweb.com/mg2/index.php?id=604
http://shaperweb.com/mg2/index.php?id=541

Give some advise where should i improve...
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 6:29 AM   #2
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The sharpness is about what I'd expect - the problem is your subjects are filling up too small an area of the frame. You want your subject filling about 2/3 of the vertical frame - your subjects are filling half that. Besides resolving additional detail, framing the shot much tighter will result in more accurate focus. Note: when I say the subject needs to fill at least 2/3 of the frame - I mean IN CAMERA, not cropped later. I would also recommend using a single focus point if you're not already. When using multiple points the camera (any camera) can get confused as to which object is your subject. When you use a single focus point and have the subject filling 2/3 of the vertical frame it's pretty easy to keep the focus point on your subject.
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 7:12 AM   #3
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Hi,

John pretty much hit it on the head. Regardless of the subject, how close you can get to your subject, wether it be sports, flowers or birds, goes a long way towards determining the sharpness and clarity of the subject.

Having said that, I would say that your images are a good start and something from which to build on. If your interests lie in sports photography, I would suggest you try going to the local parks on the weekends and practice by photographing some of the informal games that might be playing there.

You'll probably be able to get a lot closer to the action as well as have time to roam around the edges of the field. Practicing at anticipating where the play on the field is heading will allow you to position yourself much closer to the action and thereby having a better chance at getting the type of results you're hoping for. You'll also want to remember where the Sun is in relation to the play on the field, keeping the Sun behind you-if at all possible.

I would add that you've got yourself a good combination of equipment. But that's only the half of it. Now, you've got to practice at getting the most out of it.


Most of all, have fun.
Zig
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 2:15 PM   #4
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Now, coincidentally, here is a post of shots in another forum. Now, keep in mind, this is from a more experienced sports photographer with better positioning than you'll have and with professional sports shooting camera/lens. But the point is to show you what final images should look like for type of shot and final framing. Without doubt they weren't framed this tightly in-camera but you need tight framing to crop down to this:
http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=194929
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 10:43 PM   #5
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Peru,

John pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as getting images with the most impact. It'd be so cool to get in a position where those guys stand, but they are also using equipment you and I do not have access to. There are definitely some things to look at as far as exposure goes to make the most out of the images you can take given the equipment you have and where you are sitting.

Image #1- Way blown due to the overexposed stands and the grass is washed out. Note how much richer the colors look in the subsequent images where you had the higher angle of view and the stands are left out of the picture. In the 4th image you can see the seats were blue....quite a bit different looking from the blown seats in that first image.

Just from the images posted here it looks like the lighting was probably pretty consistent where you could have just metered for a good exposure and locked it in manually, maximizing your shutter speeds to freeze the action as much as possible. I assume you were using the 50-200, so the aperture should have been locked at f3.5 since, no doubt, you were probably near the 200mm setting most of the game, using a fast enough ISO to produce a high enough shutter speed to better freeze the action. I would figure on wanting at least 1/1000 second if not faster and as the game progresses, watch the histogram and adjust the exposure as needed.
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
The sharpness is about what I'd expect - the problem is your subjects are filling up too small an area of the frame. You want your subject filling about 2/3 of the vertical frame - your subjects are filling half that. Besides resolving additional detail, framing the shot much tighter will result in more accurate focus. Note: when I say the subject needs to fill at least 2/3 of the frame - I mean IN CAMERA, not cropped later. I would also recommend using a single focus point if you're not already. When using multiple points the camera (any camera) can get confused as to which object is your subject. When you use a single focus point and have the subject filling 2/3 of the vertical frame it's pretty easy to keep the focus point on your subject.
I was not using Single Focus point. I would use that from now on. Also I think i need more practice than expecting all in one go. The point given here would mould be to have good photographs. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old Apr 11, 2011, 10:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Hi,

John pretty much hit it on the head. Regardless of the subject, how close you can get to your subject, wether it be sports, flowers or birds, goes a long way towards determining the sharpness and clarity of the subject.

Having said that, I would say that your images are a good start and something from which to build on. If your interests lie in sports photography, I would suggest you try going to the local parks on the weekends and practice by photographing some of the informal games that might be playing there.

You'll probably be able to get a lot closer to the action as well as have time to roam around the edges of the field. Practicing at anticipating where the play on the field is heading will allow you to position yourself much closer to the action and thereby having a better chance at getting the type of results you're hoping for. You'll also want to remember where the Sun is in relation to the play on the field, keeping the Sun behind you-if at all possible.

I would add that you've got yourself a good combination of equipment. But that's only the half of it. Now, you've got to practice at getting the most out of it.


Most of all, have fun.
Zig
Zig, I got your point. Also i will start looking at local matches and practice there. Also I am half way through gear and more and more practice.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 6:12 AM   #8
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Good morning,

A while ago a forum member had much the same questions on the "how to" of sports photography. At the time, I suggested he might want to read this information on getting started:

http://www.astropix.com/SPORTSPIX/NSC/NOTES.HTM

It's a worthwhile read and provides a wealth of information on the subject.

Zig
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 7:16 AM   #9
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Hey Zig/John/Greg

Some really good pointers and all extermely helpful. John, those pics over at the drgin forum are execllent, and checkign the exif's he was shooting wide open at 300 f2.8 @ 1/500 or faster and ISO800 on most of those shots, which surprised me as the DOF looks pretty good to me ie more like what I;d expect from 4/3's or APS. Looking at those shots my thoughts were that he was shooting at F4 or higher.

Cheers

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Old Apr 12, 2011, 7:27 AM   #10
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G'day Peru

For a first go, mate you've not done too badly
However if I may - there's much more that you can do to show the vigour & excitement of an AFL footy game. You will know that AFL is much more active than soccer-football, rugby-pick it up & run like hell-ball or USA flick & kick-ball [sorry to the US people here :-) ]

Okay - lens wise ... 200mm is your absolute minimum, 300-400 is much better; to freeze the action you'll need 1/1000sec, probably also needing ISO-1000 or thereabouts as well

For my AFL shots, I generally position myself in or close to the goal-circle, and get the players as they are coming towards / and kicking for the goal posts. Once the ball passes into the other half of the field, my camera has a rest. Also, I try to get down onto the grass so that I'm looking up at the action - the kicking, marking, passing the ball etc are all above camera level, so the action seems more vigorous

I suspect that a couple of VFL games or even your local club-level games will give you more action closer to your camera position than a major AFL game, shot from the grandstand

Hope this helps
Regards, Phil
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