sports shoot advice needed asap!
Sorry for not using search but it's almost 1am and I have to get up in 5 hours to go to my son's optimist football game. I just got my DSLR in June and have practiced almost exclusively on stationary subjects in full manual mode..

I shot my first real game today (my daughter's first soccer game) and made some big mistakes (will share later and ask questions to hopefully salvage some shots). Good thing is I get to try again tomorrow..

One of the few things I think I got right was getting permission to shoot from the coaches side of the field from the refs so I had sidelighting (game was at 6pm in Idaho sun) instead of the parents side and shooting INTO the sun. It's funny how a decent camera with a longish (to regular people) lens gets you places some times! ;-D.

So here's the details and what I plan to do..

20D camera, Sigma 70-200 2.8 macro (yes a bit short for football but was decent for soccer - It's what I have so I'll make do for now) on a good tripod with my shutter release cord.

Outside game starts at 8:30am In Idaho morning sun so good light - don't have a polarizer yet though.

ISO 400 (should I go higher? seemed ok for tonight's game).

Shutter Priority - used 1/1000 for soccer but noticed in some shots from tonight's game needed a faster shutter speed perhaps? Recommendations here? Differences between 9/10 year old girl's soccer game and 11/12 year old boy's football game?.

Al Servo AF (not sure I used this tonight - will have to check).

Daylight WB (left it in TUNGSTON tonight!!! AAARG! I almost NEVER use this setting and forgot to check it!).

Corrections for the above? Recommendations? Suggestions etc? Will be checking in the AM so hope there are some night owls out there willing to help out!Heather.

My favorite pictures:

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Comments (6)

Heather, it sounds like you have most of it covered, apart from re-setting the white balance of course .

You could try using aperture priority, leaving the lens on f/2.8 (or may be one stop down to get better quality) and then letting the shutter speed vary - in decent daylight at ISO 400 you should easily get 1/1000 sec or faster. Servo AF is great for tracking moving subjects... but alternatively you could pre-focus (manual if necessary) on a spot where something interesting is going to happen sooner or later, and wait for the action to arrive (e.g. the goal mouth)..

Good luck (ans lets see some pics later).


Comment #1

Thanks Mike. I think I'll try Aperture Priority. That sounds like a great idea and actually this sounds crazy probably but switching to manual for a good shot like you said is actually easier to me right now then Av or Tv so I will for sure try that too. My husbands suggestion was to just use the sports mode but I haven't used an auto mode since I got this camera, I mean, why spend $1000s to use my equipment like a P&S? Besides that takes all the fun out of it! Any ideas how I can save a few of my soccer shots? I only have photoshop 7 but maybe I can buy an action that will help a bit? I'll post some of those soccer shots too so you all can see what I did to them... LOL!Heather.

My favorite pictures:

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Comment #2

One more point (just remembered). It can be better to use manual mode than any auto mode if the players are wearing strips that are black or white. If someone in a white shirt is filling a lot of the frame the auto metering will be fooled into thinking the whole scene is bright and will underexpose. Conversely, if there suddenly are a lot of dark shirts in the frame the shot will be overexposed. Normally you can compensate for this using the exposure compensation, but you will not have time to do this when shooting sports. the solution is to set the exposure manually in advance (say, 1/2000 at f/4 or whatever), based on an average readingh of the whole scene (e.g.

If the light is pretty constant, e.g. on a clear bright day with the sun well up, you might not need to change the meter setting at all..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #3

Thanks again Mike. That is how things are here in Boise Idaho as far as light at that time of day. Hardly ever a cloud in the sky so I will try that as well. My son's colors are yellow and white but I don't know about the other team. I'll post photos to show you how things worked out.Heather.

My favorite pictures:

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #4

Re>I think I'll try Aperture Priority. That sounds like a great idea <.

Well, it isn't..

Use manual exposure..

Take an exposure reading off some midtoned subjects in the same light as most of the game..

Pick a good shutter speed football is not as fast as you might thing..

In bright sun, your exposure will be arround 1/100 at f 8 at ISO 400..

Now, when you zoom, when you get more sky in the shot, or get more field in the shot, or get more of the darker uniforms in the shot, your exposure will stay the same, and your selection of shots will be consistent..

You don't need a polarizer, and the two stop light loss from a polarizer meansyoulose depth of field and you lose shutter speed sharpness..

Shallow depth of field shots are fine for pros who know what they are doing, but for most amateurs, it means that the running players will be out of focus, especially if they are close to you..

A 70-200mm lens should be fine for kids' football. If you can walk along the sidelines, you'll find yourself at 70mm a fair bit of the time..

Remember the purpose of the picturs nice shots of kids having fun, not recordning every single play. There will be lots of action close enough thatyou don't need to worry about isolating a couple of players on the far side of the field..

The more sports you shoot, the more you'll appreciate a monopod. This lets you keep the camera up by your eye without wearing our your shoulder muscles..


Comment #5

In bright sun, your exposure will be arround 1/100 at f 8 at ISO 400..

BAK, I think you meant 1/1000 sec....

For Heather: in bright sunshine the f/16 rule suggests a shutter speed of 1/400 sec at ISO400 (call it 1/500 sec) - equating to 1/2000 at f/8. A little cloud cover or shade would give 1/1000 at f/8..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #6

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