PDA

View Full Version : My typical sports shooting error- help needed


Galaxy99
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 01:29
I have to commit that I am not a good sports shooter until this day. But I am not sure what I did wrong. My common mistake is that most of my images are NOT sharp (in focus as I want). I don't know it is out of focus, camera shake, incorrect setting or wrong exposure. I used to blame my camera not being a 1D series. However, I did see some awesome sports shots w/ D-400 on Sports category. Therefore, I humbly post one of my common frustrating shots for case study here. (this kind of result applies to my baseball shots too)

Here is my setting:
400D, 70-200mm, Monopod, iso200, 1/4000m, AV mode f3.5, CF 4-3 back focusing w/ Ai-servo, evaluating metering.

That's what I got from above setting.

Thank you very much in advance for your input.

4g63photo
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 01:35
Do most of your shots turn out this dark in the face?

Galaxy99
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 01:37
that's right. I know it was at 2:30pm and the sun was a bit behind/above me...

vetkrazy
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 01:41
I have a few questions. Are you using the center focus point or all the focus points? Since you are using CF4-3, do you keep the "*" pressed while you are shooting? Since you have the 70-200, why not shoot at 2.8?

Galaxy99
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 01:47
center focus point. the * pressed all the way(my thumb never left *). Didn't shoot at 2.8 cuz trying to get better image quality just in case of out of focus (I suspect what I often do). 2.8 shots are as same as f/3.5 or f/4...

another problematic one @ f/4 & 1/2000 (I did not crop my image in order to reveal the center of the image).

Galaxy99
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 01:53
Oops, the image is here.

vetkrazy
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 02:01
Was this part of a burst or a single shoot? Do you have or use zoombrowser? It will highlight where the active focus point was at the time of exposure. Normally only the first shot of the burst will show up. It also might help to add +1/3 or +2/3 of EC, it would help with those shadows.

Do you get clear sharp photos with this setup when not shooting action?

30DShooter
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 02:08
Try using spot metering instead of evaluative. I find that my sport shots come out better using spot metering. Also your shutter speed was 4000, telling me that there was WAY too much light coming in. That in conjunction with ISO 200 and evaluative metering mode did not properly expose the face. If the sun was at your back like you said, then it should be in their face. You can stop motion with 500 but for a fast sport like soccer i would use 1500. Lower your ISO to 100.

Galaxy99
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 02:10
my 400D is too slow for burst, so I am a single shot shooter.

Never used zoombrower... How can I add +1/3 or 2/3 on my camera?

Yea, my close-up shot photo are sharp, even action shots. It seems the distance affect my shots a lot when my 200mm still can't get the detail of the object. Is that normal?

30DShooter
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 02:18
my 400D is too slow for burst, so I am a single shot shooter.

Never used zoombrower... How can I add +1/3 or 2/3 on my camera?

Yea, my close-up shot photo are sharp, even action shots. It seems the distance affect my shots a lot when my 200mm still can't get the detail of the object. Is that normal?

Even though your XT is 3fps, that is still faster than trying to catch action in single shot mode. You'd be amazed at what 3fps can capture. I use to shoot sports with a Pentax K10D which is 3fps and I walked away with some great shots.

Croasdail
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 02:23
In a word.... Yes. The single most important thing to getting really good sports shots is to fill your frame with the subject. This not only improves metering since your getting less stray light, but also dramatically improves focus performance. It is hard to do, but there are times when the subject is just too far away - no matter how exciting the action is - that it is best not to shoot. When you crop, you are dumping tons of image data, and what was a 8 to 10 mpx image, becomes a 1 or 2 mpx image. There just isn't any way you will see the same level of sharpness.

So save yourself some hassle, and when the action is a ways away, just enjoy it. When the ball comes closer, then be ready to shoot. You'll end up with a lot less shots and a much higher percentage of keepers. There is a reason sports photographers who do it on a regular basis have those $3-6k lenses, and it's not because white lenses are just cooler then the others. 200 mm for field sports is still on the short end. So just be patient, and be ready when the action is close.... and enjoy the game.

Galaxy99
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 02:59
thanks for the input... as far as metering, I don't think 400d has spot metering... :(

Also if I shoot @ burst mode, 2 out of 3 will be out of focus as the result after tons of test. It sounds like the ratio of MK3, doesn't it? But it is just sad to have burst mode in the body but not worth to use it...

StewartR
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 09:46
I should stress that I'm not a sports shooter, so take this with a pinch of salt. But...

I'm surprised at this discussion of spot metering vs evaluative. With some players players wearing white shirts and some wearing dark shirts, surely that's asking for trouble? Your profile says southern California, so that means endless blue sky, doesn't it? In which case I'd suggest just taking a meter reading off the grass or the sky or a grey card, dial that in Manual mode, and be done with it.

Croasdail
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 10:01
Pretty sound advice. Generally speaking with sports I find any automatic mode will end up in disappointment, particularly If you have constant lighting. Make the camera think less by going to manual.

wannasmaxx
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 10:21
Something is definately wrong with your exposure... I agree with what others have said, which is only shoot what's happening within range of you. I saw you had Image editing on, so I had a little play. A quick 30 second job of playing with layers in elements 2.0, but I think you could see what I'm after.

PhotosGuy
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 11:00
AV mode f3.5, evaluating metering. Some guys like Av & add exposure compensation (EC). I prefer to use manual settings & eliminate the variables. This might help you to easily set the "right" exposure, which for some things, may not be the "correct" exposure, but it generally works well coupled with using a RAW negative.
Need an exposure crutch? (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=89123)

Sports Shooting Tutorials and Advice (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=135417)

Galaxy99
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 19:47
Does the incorrect exposure cause the sharpness of my shots or the distance between my max. focus length(200m) and the object cause it?

Thanks for the suggestion of EC and Manual setting.

pigtailpat
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 20:41
center focus point. the * pressed all the way(my thumb never left *). Didn't shoot at 2.8 cuz trying to get better image quality just in case of out of focus (I suspect what I often do). 2.8 shots are as same as f/3.5 or f/4...

First a couple of things - -

there a dedicated sports forum, where you'll get so much better feedback from the regular guys - like dennis, jerry and quite a few others....

there is a BIG difference between shooting at 2.8 and smaller apertures like 3.5, 4, etc. the larger your aperture (i.e. the 2.8 - the smaller number is actually the larger aperture), the more light you are letting in. I have the 70-200 and this lens is a great lens at all apertures, and my favorites though with that lens is the largest aperture at 2.8, this is why people get a 2.8 lens, so it can be used at the large aperture.

Next the faces are shadows, and you used AV mode, did you try increasing exposure compensation (if that exists on your body)??

As to focus, did you try to physically get your center point (I'm assuming you selected the center point focus point) (not sure if your camera body has a selectable focus point??) on the chest of the body of the person to be in focus. This was my error in the beginning. I was trying to focus on faces, but in active sports where there is running and lots of movement, you're actually better off in trying to hold your center point on the chest/beltline of the person you're trying to shoot rather than the face.

I hope this helps you. Please frequent the sports forum though, you'll find that there are so many knowledgeable people there that can help you.

Crunchy
9th of July 2007 (Mon), 23:09
I am fairly new myself... so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I am pretty sure the exposure problem is independent from your out of focus problem.

It was a little hard for me to tell based on your pictures... but the first picture, it looks like focus might have been just behind the action (just behind the yellow line).

Again, I am fairly new and I notice a number of my shots turn out this way too. (an action sequence coming towards me begins. I hold down * to focus on my subject, and start continuous shooting.) I do get shots that are totally in focus and sharp... and I also get some that are off focus by just a few feet or so. Are you ALWAYS getting out of focus images? How about stationary subject?