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lakeida Oct 6, 2006 10:25 AM

Please help, my 5th grade son is playing football tonight, I have never shot

night time football, I have the Canon digital XT, the kit lens, and also the

Canon 75-300mm lens. ISO? Shutter Speed? Flash on, or flash off?

Aperture? I will be able to stand on the sidelines. Thanks so much for your help!!

JohnG Oct 6, 2006 11:01 AM

I''m afraid you're going to have a difficult time with that equipment at a night game. So, assuming the game starts before sunset you'll want to get as many photos as possible in the first quarter. After that, unless you're 5th grade son will be playing in an amazingly well lit stadium you just won't have enough light to get good shots.

But, here's what you can do to maximize the shots you can get:

Use the 75-300 lens. - the kit lens is too short.

Set camera to aperture priority and set to widest aperture.

Set ISO to 1600

Set focus to AI Servo and select center focus point.

Stay as close as you can - if you can stay close enough to zoom down and still fill 1/2 the frame with your subject (and your subject should be a single player) maybe you can get the aperture down from 5.6.

Remember what I said about filling 1/2 the frame. Your camera is going to have difficulty focusing. The more of your subject that fills your frame the better your camera will be able to focus. Also, using only the center focus point will help out as well - camera won't get as confused by all the other players. But it means you need to keep that focus point on your subject.

Next point - lighting is almost always the best from 35 to 35 yard line - the greatest overlapping field of light is usually around mid field. Light can fall off significnatly by the endzones unless the field has corner light towers (most don't but nicer stadiums do). So, plan on getting most of your shots there. As you get close to the endzone you may not be able to get any shots.

Next point - try to kneel rather than stand - being at your son's level will help the pictures a lot.

As to flash - if it's the onboard flash, forget it. It's useless for action shots.

If it's an external flash let me know and I can give you some additional tips.

But, get shots early - having only ISO 1600 and a 5.6 lens means you'll be short about 3 stops needed for nighttime football without a good external flash.

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