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margstamps Jul 20, 2008 8:56 PM

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I purchased my canon 40D and 85mm 1.8 lens . . . now, I'm having a lot of fun trying to capture "the perfect shot"

Out of 1000 pictures taken I deleted down to about 155. This one is one of my best. The gym was very dim. I shot at 250 shutter and lightened it up at home a bit with picasa.

JohnG Jul 21, 2008 5:46 AM

Glad you're enjoying the new toys:cool:

Here are some suggestions to help you along:

1. Get out of shutter priority mode - it's the last mode you should use for most sports. For volleyball I recommend using manual exposure - lighting may be poor but it's consistant. Using Tv or Av, the metering will get thrown by uniform colors.

2. Bump ISO up to 1600 - that will give you the shutter speeds you need.

3. You need to be much closer. You're too far away to use the 85mm effectively. You need to be within 20 feet or so.

4. keep practicing. It's not easy, but you'll get there.

margstamps Jul 21, 2008 6:23 AM

Thanks for the input . . . I've not done any light metering at all . . . is my manual the best place to start to understand what adjustments in settings I need to make?

JohnG Jul 21, 2008 11:17 AM

Start with ISO 1600, 1/400 and f1.8. Take a couple test shots. If they are too bright, increase shutter speed. If they are too dark, decrease shutter speed.

jschoenr Jul 21, 2008 7:27 PM

Welcome to the (tough) world of volleyball photography! You've got great equipment, so you are ahead of the game. Keep on shooting and follow JohnG's advice and you'll see dramatic improvement.

Keep the 20ft limit in mind for the 85mm lens otherwise faces will be really soft.
Try your best to get faces in the shots. Volleyballers have great facial expressions.
Try to stay as low as possible - or if the opportunity presents, shoot down - over the net, but you'll probably be limited by the 20ft limit for that lens.. Don't be afraid to try different angles and locations.

One trick I found that was successful is if you are shooting everyone on the team, just focus on one player for an entire play or two at a time. You'll get a feel for where they are going and have a better chance for timing shots with the ball in them (of course, it makes it difficult to actually watch!)..

margstamps Jul 22, 2008 6:34 AM

Thanks JohnG and jschoenr for the encouragement and advice. My last shots from last night were not very memorable, I have a lot of pictures of backs of heads. :-) andmany with the netin focus and out of focus everything else. . . . :-)however, I'm getting it all figured out and I really appreciate this forum. Ihave ideas to try for next time. . . . . and I'm excited for the season. Thanks!

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