Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 24, 2009, 7:35 PM   #41
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 627
Default

Two thoughts came to my mind as I continue to read this thread.

1. Personally, maybe not you, maybe not anyone else, but I post photos here hoping people rip em apart and tell me what I did wrong. I don't get better by someone telling me my work is great when everyone who knows what they're doing knows it stinks. So I'd rather get beat up than lied to.

2. I had a teacher in both undergrad and seminary who was known not to smile or compliment anyone. He knew his stuff inside and out, but sympathy and empathy were in the fiction section of his library.

Once he handed a paper back to me where he had "bled all over it" with his red pen. As he handed it back to me, he said, "Young man, that's not half bad work out of you." Everyone in class heard it and asked for a copy of the paper. It was as close to a compliment anyone ever got.

The tougher the teacher, the better the student.

So if you need something translated out of greek, hebrew, latin or aramaic, I'm your guy. But not because of me, but because I studied under a few teachers who expected perfection and were quite capable of helping me understand what that looked like.

We learned to check our ego at the door and expect great advice from those teachers. Now, I can say I am also glad that not every teacher I had came with that same tough approach, but I sure am glad I had some who did.

In hoc signo vinces,
FP
FaithfulPastor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 24, 2009, 7:54 PM   #42
Senior Member
 
Black Knight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Oxford, CT
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by penolta View Post
I don't wish to ruffle any feathers, but I have been a forum moderator for some time elsewhere (not photography, although photos are used), and from that perspective I feel constrained to speak up now. This forum has been successful in part because it has become a friendly community. People can post pictures to display their abilities as photographers, to show capabilities of equipment, or simply for their content, where the pictures, although some may be less than perfect from a technical standpoint are of some significance to the poster or of interest to the viewership as a whole. It has served to educate on all these fronts - from the technical standpoint at least, some constructive criticism may be both warranted and welcomed, but it can be overdone. No matter how well taken, once the point has been made and acknowledged, a certain amount of discussion can be productive, but repeated polemics (from either side) can become authoritarian, arbitrary, and/or argumentative in appearance, to the point that participation in the forum can be discouraged and members lost. It is time to put this one to rest and move on. That's my 2 cents.
Penola

I agree with You also!! The thing that attracted me to this Forum in the First Place was The fact that every thread was not a Shout fest.
If asking for help the poster was presented With peoples opinons in a Clear and non threating way.

Phil
Black Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25, 2009, 9:00 AM   #43
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Jim,

I completely understand about not having unlimited funds. I'd love to be able to do some studio work but don't have the space to set things up and at the moment don't have the money so we do the best we can with what we have.

For outdoor sports work, here's how to maximize your results:
1. Faces, faces, faces. Position yourself to be able to capture faces. Make sure it's the faces that are in focus and make sure it's the faces (not uniforms or skies) that are exposed properly.

2. Positioning - if you can you always want to be at your subject's eye level or below - don't shoot down. If your on the field / inside the track - kneel or sit so you're shooting up. Even if you're not allowed on the field get out of the stands and get down to ground level.

3. Lighting & backgrounds - these are two things to always keep in mind when you choose your position. If the sun is bright you want it at your back or on the side - never behind the subject if you can avoid it (sometimes you can't). You also want to select a position for what is in the background. Especially in HS and below, backgrounds are hideous. You want the least distracting background you can get. An example in track is a 400m race - you've got all corners you can possibly shoot from, so choose the one where the background and lighting gives you the best result.

4. Get faces exposed correctly in camera. Shoot either aperture priority (with EC as necessary) or manual exposure. This is more critical at higher ISOs - but skintones will always look their best when exposure is right in-camera. Getting it right takes practice - there's no golden rule on settings.

5. Frame tight in camera. You want your subject filling 2/3 of the long portion of the frame. A big mistake people make is assuming they can crop down with all the MP in today's cameras - but you lose way too much detail that way. And more importantly you dont get as accurate focus. Framing tightly gives your camera the best opportunity to focus and highest detail.

6. Be patient - in order to accomplish #5, wait till your subject is close enough to fill that much of the frame. Hurdles is a great example - don't waste your energy shooting the first couple hurdles if you're at the end with 300mm lens. 2/3 of the frame and you're keeper rate will go way up.

7. Use pre-focus when it makes sense. Yes hurdles is a good example - I didn't use it above because I wanted shots over several hurdles so I would acquire the runner and shoot as they went over. you could pre-focus on a hurdle though.

8. Back to backgrounds - isolate your subject as much as possible. Use widest aperture and longest focal length you have to get shallow DOF. Now, when using consumer zooms you have to balance this advice with your experience on lens sharpness. Most consumer lenses are soft at the longest length. You'll have to experiment to find a balance between sharpness and shallow DOF.

9. If using continuous focus - acquire and track your subject for at least a second before firing - give your gear time to lock on the subject. Realize sudden direction changes (soccer has a lot of these) will cause the most problems for continuous focus.

10. Practice, practice, practice. Seek out honest feedback on how to get better. Practice makes PERMANENT not necessarily better. If you're just hearing every shot is a great shot you don't know where you can improve.

That's about it for now. PM me for sport specific advice and I'll be glad to help anyone out who isn't giving away sports photos for free. For personal use - great. For profit - great. But I don't agree with giving sports photos away for free - a discussion for another thread.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25, 2009, 3:38 PM   #44
Senior Member
 
kazuya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,006
Default

i go to lots of horse events with my other half and naturaly i combined my hobby with hers and started photographing the action, i was getting what i thought were good shots, but it was after reading JohnG's advice i totally changed the way i took action photos, now im consistantly getting shots like this one, i dont know how much better id be with a nikon camera or hsm lense but i do know im much better than i was.
kazuya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25, 2009, 4:26 PM   #45
Senior Member
 
jack55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Jim,

I completely understand about not having unlimited funds. I'd love to be able to do some studio work but don't have the space to set things up and at the moment don't have the money so we do the best we can with what we have.

For outdoor sports work, here's how to maximize your results:
1. Faces, faces, faces. Position yourself to be able to capture faces. Make sure it's the faces that are in focus and make sure it's the faces (not uniforms or skies) that are exposed properly.

2. Positioning - if you can you always want to be at your subject's eye level or below - don't shoot down. If your on the field / inside the track - kneel or sit so you're shooting up. Even if you're not allowed on the field get out of the stands and get down to ground level.

3. Lighting & backgrounds - these are two things to always keep in mind when you choose your position. If the sun is bright you want it at your back or on the side - never behind the subject if you can avoid it (sometimes you can't). You also want to select a position for what is in the background. Especially in HS and below, backgrounds are hideous. You want the least distracting background you can get. An example in track is a 400m race - you've got all corners you can possibly shoot from, so choose the one where the background and lighting gives you the best result.

4. Get faces exposed correctly in camera. Shoot either aperture priority (with EC as necessary) or manual exposure. This is more critical at higher ISOs - but skintones will always look their best when exposure is right in-camera. Getting it right takes practice - there's no golden rule on settings.

5. Frame tight in camera. You want your subject filling 2/3 of the long portion of the frame. A big mistake people make is assuming they can crop down with all the MP in today's cameras - but you lose way too much detail that way. And more importantly you dont get as accurate focus. Framing tightly gives your camera the best opportunity to focus and highest detail.

6. Be patient - in order to accomplish #5, wait till your subject is close enough to fill that much of the frame. Hurdles is a great example - don't waste your energy shooting the first couple hurdles if you're at the end with 300mm lens. 2/3 of the frame and you're keeper rate will go way up.

7. Use pre-focus when it makes sense. Yes hurdles is a good example - I didn't use it above because I wanted shots over several hurdles so I would acquire the runner and shoot as they went over. you could pre-focus on a hurdle though.

8. Back to backgrounds - isolate your subject as much as possible. Use widest aperture and longest focal length you have to get shallow DOF. Now, when using consumer zooms you have to balance this advice with your experience on lens sharpness. Most consumer lenses are soft at the longest length. You'll have to experiment to find a balance between sharpness and shallow DOF.

9. If using continuous focus - acquire and track your subject for at least a second before firing - give your gear time to lock on the subject. Realize sudden direction changes (soccer has a lot of these) will cause the most problems for continuous focus.

10. Practice, practice, practice. Seek out honest feedback on how to get better. Practice makes PERMANENT not necessarily better. If you're just hearing every shot is a great shot you don't know where you can improve.

That's about it for now. PM me for sport specific advice and I'll be glad to help anyone out who isn't giving away sports photos for free. For personal use - great. For profit - great. But I don't agree with giving sports photos away for free - a discussion for another thread.
Good tips. You illustrate what I was talking about... it is the Photographer who knows how to use his equipment, not so much the camera equipment.
Sure, expensive equipment helps someone like you maximize the shots. But time and time again in the past I've seen these guys with expensive equipment get poor shots. Case I have in mind, I went to the big McChords Air Force Air show last year with some buddies with "expensive" gear, Nikons, Canon's w/$5K lens and they kept missing shots and when they did get them, they were so-so. I was using the Sony H50 at the time and got some great shots because I knew what I was doing... predicting the shots and composition with the right camera settings. Granted, the pro who shoots for magazines and papers know what they're doing, but the majority of us on this forum are not Pros.
jack55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25, 2009, 6:44 PM   #46
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Essex, UK
Posts: 1,868
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack55 View Post
Good tips. You illustrate what I was talking about... it is the Photographer who knows how to use his equipment, not so much the camera equipment.
Sure, expensive equipment helps someone like you maximize the shots. But time and time again in the past I've seen these guys with expensive equipment get poor shots. Case I have in mind, I went to the big McChords Air Force Air show last year with some buddies with "expensive" gear, Nikons, Canon's w/$5K lens and they kept missing shots and when they did get them, they were so-so. I was using the Sony H50 at the time and got some great shots because I knew what I was doing... predicting the shots and composition with the right camera settings. Granted, the pro who shoots for magazines and papers know what they're doing, but the majority of us on this forum are not Pros.
I think that says it all....


Dal

(not even close to pro!!!)
__________________
Dal

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dal1970/

Nikon D7000
Dal1970 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25, 2009, 8:33 PM   #47
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,974
Default

This is a great shot! Thanks for sharing what you learned on this forum and the results are impressive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazuya View Post
i go to lots of horse events with my other half and naturaly i combined my hobby with hers and started photographing the action, i was getting what i thought were good shots, but it was after reading JohnG's advice i totally changed the way i took action photos, now im consistantly getting shots like this one, i dont know how much better id be with a nikon camera or hsm lense but i do know im much better than i was.
vIZnquest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2009, 8:06 AM   #48
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Kazuya - great shot!

Jack, you said:
Quote:
Sure, expensive equipment helps someone like you maximize the shots.
Two points I'd like to address:
1) The RIGHT equipment for the job helps any photographer. Just like an external flash helps a photographer doing flash work over a built-in flash. It has little to do with pro vs. non pro. The non-pro makes sacrifices though - a sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM for outdoor sports and just be patient for the action.

2. Don't confuse RIGHT with EXPENSIVE. For camera bodies the Canon xsi has a great focus system at entry level prices. For indoor work, a $370 85mm 1.8 (which has canon's ring USM focus motor) and a person can get outstanding results. That sigma 70-200 2.8 is $800. In good light outdoors, canon makes an excellent 70-300 IS USM lens ($560) and a pro-grade 70-200 f4 USM ($560). AND, with the new T1i having ISO 6400 capability, it COULD open up the ability to use that 70-200 2.8 INDOOR - so same lens indoor vs. out. Perfect example of how equipment matters - old xsi only had 1600, so 2.8 isn't fast enough for indoor - new entry level camera has 6400 and if it's clean enough (as the 50d is) then that provides flexibility to use same lens for indoor and out. So, you don't need to spend $10,000. But this is an example of where system choice makes a difference in the case of sports shooting.

In the end, there are 4 components to successfully shooting sports. If you're missing ANY of these your results will suffer. THere are pro options for camera/lens but there are also some alternatives
1. Sports shooting skills & techniques. Sports shooting is it's own animal. Lots of people that take an occasional shot or shoot other things think they know what they're talking about - usually they don't. Each sport, in fact, has it's own unique challenges so you have to be careful when extrapolating from one sport to another.

2. Right camera. Like it or not the body DOES make a difference. I've never seen a qualified sports shooter that would claim otherwise. My own personal experience has proven this out to me. Like it or not, here are the DSLR bodies I would recommend as capable of good sports work:
Nikon D3, D700, D300, d90,d80
Canon 1dmkIII,50D,40D,30D,400D (500d - t1i - new to market but no radical changes to sensor or AF since it inherits from higher models so should be good)
Sony A700
Only time will tell if the K-7 can be added to the list - hopefully for Pentax users it can.

3. LENS. Again, you don't have to like it but the right lens for the job makes a difference. It has to have a wide enough aperture for the venue and ISO capability of the camera (again - better camera ISO performance more flexibility). You also need a fast focus motor in the lens - it makes a difference.

4. Access. Again, you don't have to like it but you need to be in a decent place to take good sports photos. Want to take photos of a football game? You can't take good sports photos from the stands. NOW, for volleyball you can (as long as you have a long enough lens). For basketball in the same gym as volleyball you really can't - simply because of where the action occurs in relation to your shooting position (i.e. tough to get faces from stands without VERY long bright lenses like a 300mm 2.8).

Do you need better equipment to shoot sports than to shoot family snapshots? Yes. Do you need to spend $10,000? No. For $2000 you can get some quality sports results assuming you have the access and you are willing to acquire the skills.

The reason I'm pointing this out is I strongly disagree with the assertion that equipment only matters for the semi-pro or pro. No, equipment matters for the hobbyist as well. Now, if $2000 is too much money for a hobbyist then yes, sports shooting is not for you.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2009, 9:30 AM   #49
Senior Member
 
jack55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
The reason I'm pointing this out is I strongly disagree with the assertion that equipment only matters for the semi-pro or pro. No, equipment matters for the hobbyist as well. Now, if $2000 is too much money for a hobbyist then yes, sports shooting is not for you.
Kazuya - That was a great shot! I love it! What were you using to take that?

John, I agree with most all of your points except the last one. Most folks on this forum, (I'm counting DSLR & point & shoot) and elsewhere are your average photographer, with most wanting to improve their shots. Most of them are not going to spend $2K on equipment. People like you are in the minority. Me? Well, I've spent just $60 short of $2K on my Pentax system:
http://1-4u-computer-graphics.com/Pe...10D-outfit.htm

I absolutely love photography. I don't shoot hardly any sports, so I'm Ok. I'm more into wildlife, nature & automobile photography. Shots like you see here on my Corvette page:
http://corvettec3.com/1977.htm
jack55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2009, 10:12 AM   #50
Senior Member
 
kazuya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,006
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack55 View Post
Kazuya - That was a great shot! I love it! What were you using to take that?
Thanks, i use a K20D with a SMC Pentax DA 55-300
i would say my biggest change was to stop using shutter priority and start using Aperture priority, shooting as wide as possible and changing the iso to keep the shutter speed quite fast, ive also found that focusing on the horses chest gives best results and i never shoot unless im using a monopod or resting on a fencepost.
kazuya is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:37 PM.