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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 29, 2011, 12:17 AM   #1
Senior Member
mtngal's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,111
Default Spring Track Practice

I occasionally will wander up to a practice field to try my hand shooting sports. It's been over a year since I tried my hand - what a disaster! I managed to get a blurry body and a sharp building a quarter mile away, a couple of pony-tails without a body and once a yellow bag with only a knee sticking up. When it finally occurred to me to check the camera's settings and change them from the f11/1/250 sec settings (had been shooting flowers the day before) I was running out of time.

Some things that I was doing differently this time - I was using an AF lens, previously I had been using a manual focus lens. It added things to think about that I'll have to work on - its more natural for me to pre-focus and wait for the action so I panicked when the camera changed its focus point due to me losing the subject in the viewfinder.

After reading here about some of the suggestions for good sports shots, I moved much closer. I got a lot more detail, but my timing was way off so framing was very difficult - got lots of bodiless pony tails and bodies without legs (or legs without bodies). So practice means everything - even having top sports photography equipment won't get you good shots (and my set-up isn't really the best for this).

The last couple of shots weren't so bad - not great but considering how awful the other ones are, they came close to being acceptable (I could write several volumes about how NOT to photograph sports!). I did some different processing because I was shooting at noon (horrible light), I'd be interested in what others think of these.

After the jump:

As you can see, I was having real trouble with framing. It probably doesn't help that I know zero about this sport - other than you are supposed to go OVER the pole, not under it.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 29, 2011, 2:09 AM   #2
Senior Member
Frogfish's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 2,774

I haven't tried shooting this type of sport yet (I'm trying to get a press pass for the X Games in Shanghai this weekend though !) but in fact I think you may have been too close (if these are uncropped).

The Pro I am now working with on a regular basis always seems to say - "shoot wide & crop" - which seems to make sense because you can then compose the shot you want (and certainly with the K5 and whichever lense you were using, you have both the DA*200 & 300 don't you ?) that isn't an issue IQ wise. AF-S on the bar may have got you some great shots. You are always going to have a low keeper rate for fast sports though so high burst mode would help considerably.

Don't see anything wrong with the processing at all - you can see the harsh shadows from the high sun but that's going to be unavoidable when you are limited by shooting location.
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
Frogfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 29, 2011, 6:33 AM   #3
Senior Member
mole's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 8,522

Definitely no expert on sports photography, but the action looks very good, and it looks like you conquered the lighting problems well.
mole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 29, 2011, 9:13 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Mount Shasta, California
Posts: 1,525

I know something about the sport and that is a very good sequence. Nice, sharp shots. FYI: First timers almost aways go under not over the bar.
pboerger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 29, 2011, 9:26 PM   #5
Senior Member
Wingman's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hebron, Kentucky (northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati):KCVG
Posts: 4,339

Nice crisp shots with a somewhat defocussed background. If you had a f2.8 it would have throuwn the background into more of a blur, but then you'd have to contend with a shallower DoF.

I like the first 2 since you can see some facial expression. Not sure that #3 says anything to me (looks like a girl sitting on a mat holding a pole).
Wingman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 29, 2011, 11:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
mtngal's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,111

The last one appealed to me because of the light/dark and the relaxed stature after the jump. But there isn't much going on unless taken with the one before. I did lighten the skin because it was so dark/contrasty and while I thought it worked reasonably well, wasn't sure how others would see it.

The pictures are mostly full frame (taken with the DA*300), next time I'll try a couple of rows further back. The K5 does have quite a bit of ability to crop, so I could probably be able to frame better.

The background on the first ones was horrible - I had the camera set to TAv using f11 and 1/250, definitely NOT the settings for shooting sports of any sort! The buildings that were the backdrop were almost in focus - definitely distracting. The DA*300 has nice bokeh if used correctly, and even those with too small an aperture weren't jittery. It was a fun exercise, I want to go back and try again.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 2011, 12:43 AM   #7
Senior Member
Rodney9's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Yeronga, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 3,518

Well done and they say Pentax can't shoot sports.

My Flickr Photos

Pentax K-5 K20D K100D
Pentax DA 55-300mm 4-5.8 ED / Pentax M 200mm F4 / Pentax Tak K 135mm 2.5 / Pentax M 100mm F4 Macro / Tamron SP AF90mm 2.8 Di Macro / Pentax M 1.7 50mm / Pentax M 2.8 28mm
Rodney9 is offline   Reply With Quote

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 6:52 AM.