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Old Aug 28, 2007, 7:31 PM   #1
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Hi all

Does anyone shoot high school football?

My daughter is taking yearbook photos of games with

mixed results getting good light but slow shutter .



She has my DS with a sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 and a manual 50mm f1/1.7

(No fast longer zooms but LBA is kicking hard)



My suggestions were shooting in raw, TV mode (as fast a shutter as possible and adjust levels later

, spot focus, 800 or 1600 iso.



Any suggestions would be great




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Old Aug 28, 2007, 8:15 PM   #2
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I shoot a lot of motorspot with a DS.

I have starfted leasving the ISO on auto and concentrating on Tv mode to get teh rightr impression of motion and action combined with detail. Espiment.


I find jpeg is good enough for sports because your daughter shoulds be taking many shots. Most will end up in the trash can, but that can be the nature of sports photography, especially for beginners who need to experiment.


I tend to prefocus on a specific area of the action, and these spots will be suggested by the lens. The old adage of fill the frame still applies, so I focus on an area where the action wil fill my frame.

For sports a longer lens is really the way to go. I had a lot of success with a reasonably priced second hand Sigma 70-300mm zoom.

Phil
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 9:34 PM   #3
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even in raw at iso800-1600 your Ev is going to be important. if you're outside a 1EV spread it will introduce a lot of noise.
if you are looking for action shots the 50/1.7 should be fast enough at iso400. thing is for shooting football you really need a lens with more reach. the 70-300 has a lot more of that but i'm not sure it has the speed.. if you can get it locally you might want to try it out and then return it. you say ''mixed results'' ,, that's how it's going to be with any lens. if you think these sports photogs shoot 100% then you're in dreamland. what she needs to do is shoot as many shots as possible and settle for 3-4%, if that. what percentage is she keeping now?? i doubt i keep 10% but i'm not shooting sports. i am however always pushing the edge. shooting in raw does not change a mediocre shot into a good one. it cangive you a little edge if the image is good from the get go. it's a misconception of many.
oh, pratice,practice, practice
my delete finger is wore down to the bone. i go thru them fast with irfanview del del del del ah deldel ah del del del del del del del ah del
if you come onto an image and say to yourself ''oh, i can probably help that a lot later'' then it's the del key.. why waste your effort... gawd, this post is an epic for me.

roy
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 10:01 PM   #4
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biggyfry, I am shooting my first season of high school sports with a K10d, and have a grand total of one game football experience under my belt, so you can take my advice with a grain of salt. However, I have worked with a number of cameras for several years on shooting HS soccer under the lights. (I'm a teacher and high school soccer coach.)

The first thing I would suggest is to note that she will not be publishing a huge number of pictures in a high school yearbook...2-3 shots per game would be a huge number in a high school yearbook. Early in the season, and really until the end of DST, she will be able to get most of the first quarter before light begins to be a problem. Try for as many shots as possible before that kicks in. Below is one of my shots from my first effort and the following link will take you to the others.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trojans...7601640614737/

roy mentioned the keep ratio. I had more than 900 shots during this scrimmage to come up with what is posted....so a ratio in his predicted 3-4% range.

I think she's going to need a longer lens, but the availability (and cost) of a 2.8 AF zoom for the Pentax line is a real problem. The only one I know of is the Sigma 70-200, which goes for basically a grand, if you can find one. In shooting the game the other night, I used a Tamron 70-300 f4.0/5.6. I had some focus issues, but action, unless it was coming straight at me was pretty good. And, lighting did not become a major issue for much of the night. Some of the shooters in the Sports and Action forum suggest that your goal for action should be 2/3 of the frame full of action to avoid loss of quality through heavy cropping. The shot posted below was a near full-frame shot with only slight cropping, then resizing for the forum.

I'm going to experiment with a Sigma 28-200 (same speed) Friday night and see if I can get crisper focus.

For soccer (all under the lights), this last season we used a Fuji s6000fd, usually shooting at 1600 ISO. (I got my K10d after the season was over.) As long as we stayed with the 2/3 rule, we got pretty decent results, although certainly not what you would expect from a quality DSLR. Most of the time we were at 300mm zoom equivalent, which meant f4.9, and light was generally decent as long as we didn't try to pull something in from the other side of the field.
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 10:42 PM   #5
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

thanks for the tips I will pass them on I think she did well for the first game

I linked to 5 pics she kept

the ratio is right 15 keepers to 300 trys

I have a 28-200mm I Will send with her this week

she gets the side line i get an old bleecher
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 10:53 PM   #6
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biggyfry wrote:
Quote:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

thanks for the tips I will pass them on I think she did well for the first game

I linked to 5 pics she kept

the ratio is right 15 keepers to 300 trys

I have a 28-200mm I Will send with her this week

she gets the side line i get an old bleecher
i'd say 5% is amazing!! mixed results??? give me a break. i've read that a typical national geo spread of maybe 15 shots will be 15 of 10,000 actually shot..

roy
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Old Aug 28, 2007, 11:21 PM   #7
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biggyfry, we'll be looking forward to seeing how it goes this Friday. She's definitely on the right track. I should point out that many of the shots I posted were also shot by a high schooler. One of the managers on my soccer team has shot soccer match photos for me the last two years, then turned the cards over to me for post-processing since she doesn't have a computer.

She's going to shoot home football for me this season because I'm assigned to the PA in the pressbox. I only get to "play with the camera" on the road. During the scrimmage game from which the photos I posted were taken, I got to practice early in the scrimmage before we added the PA and I had to give the camera to my manager. I really can't tell you which of the photos on the flickr site I took and which ones were hers because we were both trying to learn football angles, etc.. (It was the first game she had ever seen.) One reason I have to do more experimenting in the first road game is that she forgot to readjust the ISO and we never went faster than ISO 640. (In addition to her first football game, it was also the first time she had shot the DSLR.)

I think the 28-200 will do a good job. Keeping focus on the ball is very difficult without AF. I used Continuous Auto Focus with center point focusing. That does a pretty decent job jnless the play is coming right toward you. In that case, the AF has trouble adjusting rapidly enough to be really sharp.
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Old Aug 29, 2007, 8:21 AM   #8
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Biggyfry,

I thought I'd add some thoughts to the discussion as I shoot a lot of sports and high school football.

The posted shots are pretty good for someone just starting out - they're exposed well and reasonably sharp. As already mentioned it's going to be tough with only 70mm 2.8 lens - but I'd still stick with that lens over the 28-200. The 28-70 is a much better lens.

First, the camera settings:

Proper exposure is critical to success. When shooting at higher ISOs the more the image is underexposed the more noise will be present. Also, most cameras metering systems are designed to protect highlights so if the team is wearing white jerseys the camera can meter up to a full stop underexposed.

Now, the problem with shutter priority is you could set a shutter speed the camera can't obtain and get a proper exposure. The camera tries to choose an aperture that will give you that shutter speed - but (given the lens) once you hit 2.8 the aperture can't go any wider - so you can get underexposed shots. I would recommend shooting aperture priority - this way you may get a slower shutter speed and a little motion blur but at least the photos will be exposed properly. And depending on what's going on in th shot the motion blur might not show up as poorly. Also, to combat shadows I recommend +1/3 to +2/3 exposure compensation. Again, trying to get proper exposures - especially in faces. Set ISO to keep shutter speeds at least 1/400 or more - which means she'll hit ISO 800 fairly early and 1600 before halftime probably. By the time the sun sets it's time to pack up. I typically shoot ISO 3200, f2.8 and 1/320-1/400 once it's full under the lights.

What to shoot:

Faces & Numbers - these are the critical things in the photo. People want to look at a yearbook photo and recognize themselves. So this means shooting in a way that will show faces & numbers. I like the shots of the linemen at the line of scrimmage. For receivers, running backs and quarterbacks she should set up just in front of the line of scrimmage (1 mean like a yard) - so she can get a face. And BE PATIENT. Wait for that person to come to that sideline. So, if the ball is on the opposite hashmark just hang back and watch the play. Wait until the ball is on the close hash. Guaranteed she'll get plenty of opportunities where the qb is rolling out to the short side or the back is coming off tackle or on a sweep. Recievers she can catch coming off the line. The key here is - taking photos of players 30 yards away is a waste of energy. Simply be patient and let the players come closer to her.

Also, a GREAT opportunity is shots of players coming off the field after a big play - showing some emotion. Catch the celebration after a touchdown.

Also, shots of the coaches are great for the yearbook too - preferably showing emotion.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

RB coming on a sweep:



Quarterback coming on a sweep:



Celebration after fumble recovery:



Profile of a player looking to the sideline:



Play at the sideline:





There are a lot of shots she's just not going to get - so my advice is not to bother trying. Stay within the limitations of the gear and be ready for the shots that DO come her way.
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Old Aug 29, 2007, 11:13 AM   #9
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Fab shots esp that 1st one.



Great advice, esp the last bit - stay within the limits of the gear used!



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Old Aug 29, 2007, 11:23 AM   #10
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Thanks Dal. The other shots aren't what I would consider my best but they're representative of the types of shots I'm suggesting the shooter try to get (that and they happen to be in a gallery available for posting on my website :G).

Understanding the gear and staying within the limitations is the toughest lesson to learn. That's how you get a 5% keeper rate. On the plus side, the lens being used is a pretty good one - so when the subject is close enough for 70mm she'll get some great shots.
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