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Old Feb 28, 2011, 8:18 PM   #1
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Default Swim Meet

My daughter is on the swim team. The coach permitted me to shoot what ever I wanted during the meet.

In this shot, two young men were at the end of the 100 meter butterfly. The boy in the lane nearest me won the race.

I would really appreciate c&c on this shot. I'll be honest, I really like it. But I don't know if it's very good.

It's like I know bad shots when I see them, but I'm not so sure about good ones. It's easy to lie to yourself about the quality of your own work.

ISO 1000 f 5.6 1/320 -2 step shot at 95mm using a 70-200mm canon lens.

Faithfully yours,
FP
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Old Feb 28, 2011, 9:09 PM   #2
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Always fun trying new things. Generally speaking for fly you want to shoot from in front of the swimmer so you get a better view of the face. You generally don't want to shoot from behind the swimmer - at least not for that stroke. It can work for back-stroke.

Now, having said that - did you use flash on this shot? You didn't mention it and the exif has been stripped, but it looks like you did - the water and surrounding frame is dark and there are hot spots on the water and a few on the skin. Flash can be OK - but in this case it's a bit to stark a difference between the light around the swimmer and the swimmer himself. If you're using the f2.8 lens I would personally suggest wider aperture and higher ISO and if you use flash, use it more as fill light. And try the same timing (head up and arms out) but head-on at the end of the lane.
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Old Mar 1, 2011, 9:48 AM   #3
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I agree with John... Head-on will be better.
You might want to use a 'better beamer' and at the opposite end of the pool so you don't interfere with the finish line... Also in the middle of the pool with a tight crop on 1 swimmer showing his face (when up for air)
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Old Mar 1, 2011, 10:09 AM   #4
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Hi John & NHL,

Thanks for the advice. I do have some head on shots of different swimmers that I took, but at the opposite end of the pool.

The start/finish line has the starting blocks on them so it's better to shoot head on at the opposite end of the pool....if your goal is to shoot the face of a swimmer.

What I as trying to capture in this photo is the "photo finish" of the race. The two boys finished about 1/100 of a second apart with the boy who came in second really closing the gap in the final few yards.

I don't think it's possible to shoot straight at them with starting blocks in the way and still get a photo of how tight the race was.

Is my thinking wrong on this?

Yes, I did use a flash. And an aperture of 5.6. My goal with the aperture was to get both boys in focus. Was that a mistake?

I see the hotspot on the skin that you're referring to. The pool is indoors and the lighting is not very strong, so I wanted to use a flash. I could have stepped the flash down a bit, would that have helped? The dim light in the pool creates lots of shadows that can drive me nuts.

Last, I posted this shot prior to any pp. I think the photo can helped, but I wanted you to comment more on the photo than on my skill with software

Hope to hear from you guys again.

FP
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Old Mar 1, 2011, 10:19 AM   #5
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Here's the same shot, but with a little bit of processing. I lightened the shadows and brightened the entire photo. I now notice the redness on the swimmers right arm. He got that from a pretty flat entry dive to start the race.

I also sharpened it a little and tried to reduce the noise a bit. So just a few minor tweaks, nothing major.

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Old Mar 1, 2011, 11:46 PM   #6
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I don't see how one can shoot the end of a race head on without the swim meet director altering things to accommodate the photographer or by mounting a remote controlled camera in a starting block. Well done, given the ambient light, the single flash and how cluttered the end of the the pool must be at a race finish, what with the starting blocks and people.
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 6:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItDontMeanAThing View Post
I don't see how one can shoot the end of a race head on without the swim meet director altering things to accommodate the photographer .
Agree that you can't shoot the END of the race head-on. You have to shoot from the opposite end:
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 9:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Agree that you can't shoot the END of the race head-on. You have to shoot from the opposite end:
If one shoots from the opposite end, one can photograph the start, individual swimmers, and the turn. But the OP wanted to shoot the finish of the race:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
The start/finish line has the starting blocks on them so it's better to shoot head on at the opposite end of the pool....if your goal is to shoot the face of a swimmer.

What I as trying to capture in this photo is the "photo finish" of the race.
Some of the discussion in this thread is about shooting the finish of a butterfly race and some of it is about how to shoot swimmers doing the butterfly stroke. It's not the same thing. Am I missing something?
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 9:45 AM   #9
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That information (that the OP wanted to shoot the finish) wasn't in the initial post. So, judging the photo on it's own merit, that angle doesn't produce a compelling shot. So I suggested what a more compelling shot would be.

Even with the knowledge that the OP wanted to capture the "photo finish" I would still suggest the shot type isn't that compelling. For example, if the goal is the "finish" then you want to capture the touch, not the stroke. Which, would be an even less interesting shot.
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 8:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
That information (that the OP wanted to shoot the finish) wasn't in the initial post. So, judging the photo on it's own merit, that angle doesn't produce a compelling shot. So I suggested what a more compelling shot would be.
You're right, he didn't say he wanted to shoot the finish in the OP. I inferred he wanted to because he took the shot.
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