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Old Nov 30, 2006, 1:09 AM   #1
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I shoot a lot of sports and see a lot of great pictures here that seem to jump off the screen. What do I need to do with my pictures that would make mine POP? Here is a sample of the pictures I take but it just seems flat or off compared to the ones I see on the post. I shoot a 20D with a sigma 24-70 2.8.

HELP Please.


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Old Nov 30, 2006, 4:11 AM   #2
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I cna't see any exif data but from the angle and the lens you're using I'm guessing this is a crop of a much wider shot. The depth of field is too large to isolate the subject. You would get more 'pop' by using a longer f2.8 lens and even more with a wider aperture. With the lens you have you really need to be on the sideline to get good subject isolation @ f2.8.
Try hiring/borrowing a 70/200 f2.8 or something similar. Faster would be better for depth of field and motion blur but you look to be getting ok shutter speed at f2.8.
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 5:28 AM   #3
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This shot was from the stands. It was shot with my 70-300.

f-5 1/400 1600 iso and 205mm. It is a crop but not that much.

Any PP that I can do to get the POP?
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 6:07 AM   #4
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Well, there are a couple things that contribute. As already mentioned, a wider aperture is VERY helpful in getting your images to pop. Subject isolation makes a huge difference.

For this particular photo: the focus is soft. A properly focused image is really the first criteria - without it, there isn't much you can do. It's gonna be very tough to get good focus in low light situations with a lens like the 70-300.

Second thing is - this image looks washed out - the colors are all flat. Don't know if this was an exposure issue when the shot was taken or is a result of post processing. You can help that by doing levels or curves adjustments and then adding contrast. Most notably you need to darken your blacks. That will help quite a bit - I think you'll be surprised how much better the shot looks with that fixed.

And, of course USM adds pop to images. So if you haven't applied any yet, you can do that to add pop.

But, for future images if you want pop you need better subject isolation and better focus - both of which will be difficult with that lens in low light. Same lens outside in the day time and your focus will be much better.
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 7:39 AM   #5
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RP33 wrote:
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This shot was from the stands. It was shot with my 70-300.

f-5 1/400 1600 iso and 205mm. It is a crop but not that much.

Any PP that I can do to get the POP?
For an indoor action shot at 200mmf5 this is actually pretty good. That gym must have fantastic lights! JohnG has given some good tips to make the most out of your shots but you're really beyond the limit of your equipment here.
The focal length seems good as you've only cropped a bit to get a nicely framed shot but you need a wider aperture.
f2.8 would see those front-row guys blur out a lot more. You'd also be able to use 800iso (that pic is a bit noisy, esp on the black shirts) AND get a faster shutter speed while doing it, plus the camera will be able to focus a better with nearly four times the light.
See if you can rent a fast 200 for the next game. Be warned though, you might end up buying one.

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Old Nov 30, 2006, 7:54 AM   #6
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I agree with the above...focus on the point of interest, adjust levels to bring your whites & blacks into line and apply contrast.
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 9:26 AM   #7
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Hope you don't mind but this is my very quick 2 minute edit to make it pop. Unsharp mask, levels, hue adjustment and slightly saturate, andgaussian blur with lasso tool. Obviously the blurring could use a little detail around the edges but you get the idea.
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