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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk
Thread started 04 Feb 2017 (Saturday) 21:54
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HDR and Sports Photography

 
galelegg
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Feb 04, 2017 21:54 |  #1

Recently I adjusted the camera settings on my Pentax K20D to HDR via the Fn button and have left it that way for several months. I have been experiencing variation in picture quality while photographing sports action (cricket), underexposure and lack of focus, especially with manual focus lenses. I did some reading on the internet and came across an article that said:

When You Shouldn't Use HDR

Photos with Movement (see above): If any of your subjects are moving (or might move), HDR increases the chance of a blurry photo. Remember, HDR takes three pictures, so if your subject moves between the first and second shot, your final picture won't look very good.
http://lifehacker.com ...uld-i-use-it-in-my-photos (external link)

I have also applied similar settings to my Canon 550D and found similar problems. Has anybody who has taken sports or movement action found this statement to be true?




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DesolateMirror
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Feb 05, 2017 11:28 |  #2

I think you might need a K20 expert here, I haven't used one but from what I've read it does some fancy sensor stuff which is different from the usual digital photography HDR process. Sensor sensitivity changes to suit the bright/dark areas which is interesting and could possibly be used for sports but I don't know the details.


The 550D would still use the old process which is definitely not suitable for sports:

HDR = High Dynamic Range, which in itself doesn't really mean anything without context. In terms of digital photography HDR usually means capturing a greater range from the brights to the darks than you usually would be able to capture (or view on a standard monitor) and compress the brights and darks so you end up with an image where both the brights and darks are exposed correctly. This an be very useful for certain situations, eg. a sunset where you want to capture detail in the dark rocks in the foreground and also the bright clouds on the horizon.


Assuming you're using the in-camera HDR function:

Usually the method used for this is bracketing, taking multiple photos that expose the dark areas and bright areas correctly then merging them into one image with an algorithm that keeps the properly exposed dark and light areas.

As the usual method to make a HDR image is by taking multiple shots, anything that moves between the shots will be an issue, not to mention that when exposing for the darker areas the shutter speed will slow down a lot and may also blur fast moving action.

You can only really use this if nothing moves while the multiple exposure are taken, this includes you holding the camera, and anything in the frame (people, cars, animals, trees, water, etc.)

There's sometimes a small tolerance for movement but not enough for standard handheld shots of people moving, definitely not sports or anything moving quickly. Most HDR shots are taken using a tripod, usually of landscapes/architectur​e/things that don't move.




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Dan ­ Marchant
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Feb 05, 2017 21:01 |  #3

galelegg wrote in post #18264965 (external link)
I have also applied similar settings to my Canon 550D and found similar problems. Has anybody who has taken sports or movement action found this statement to be true?

Any HDR that entails the taking of multiple exposures will be unsuitable for sports or other scenes where there is significant movement. The system relies on taking 3+ images at different exposure settings and them merging them. If areas are significantly different from frame to frame that area of the merged image will be a blur at best.


Dan Marchant
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Hannya
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Feb 06, 2017 11:38 |  #4

I've played with 'tone mapping' on Nik. One image. Often the edited pic looks 'unreal' so use it carefully. Would never use multiple files for moving action.


“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson

Sports Picsexternal link

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mfturner
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Longmont, CO
Feb 06, 2017 13:40 |  #5

The 550d could run magic lantern, with which you could use dual iso I believe, which gets around the multiple exposure problem.




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galelegg
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Feb 06, 2017 22:10 |  #6

Thanks very much to those who replied, much appreciated. Mistake was made as I did not evaluate my photographic colleagues ravings of the merits of HDR photography, he was referring to landscape photographs, I incorrectly applied his ideas.
As a further point it appears to me when using all manual lenses on a Canon 550D the camera shoots only in MF (displayed on rear screen), not a camera setting on the camera. Should AF setting be ONE SHOT, the other two AI FOCUS and AI SERVO will not work with manual lenses? Correct me if I am wrong.
PS The Pentax K20D has a manual focus option via a lever on the front of the camera.




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Dan ­ Marchant
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Feb 07, 2017 10:43 |  #7

galelegg wrote in post #18266564 (external link)
As a further point it appears to me when using all manual lenses on a Canon 550D the camera shoots only in MF (displayed on rear screen), not a camera setting on the camera. Should AF setting be ONE SHOT, the other two AI FOCUS and AI SERVO will not work with manual lenses? Correct me if I am wrong.

It doesn't matter what AF mode was selected because AF won't work. If you press the AF start and point the camera at something that is out of focus nothing happens - The lens is manual focus so you have to focus manually by turning the focus dial on the lens.

Note: If you press the AF button while pointing at something that is already in focus the camera may bleep. That is just the focus acquisition alert that sounds when the camera detects something is in focus.


Dan Marchant
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Nathan
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Post has been last edited 9 months ago by Nathan. 2 edits done in total.
Feb 08, 2017 12:11 |  #8

On HDR photography:

  • The Pentax K20D uses a new metering system which allows their CMOS sensors to take simultaneous readings of both highlight and shadow areas. The user then simply needs to access the camera's HDR mode through the menu dial, set the camera up for the first shot, press the shutter, and off it goes. The internal sensors will then take three shots and combine them into a single HDR image. (Click HERE for source (external link))
  • What this tells me is that the camera takes separate images and then combines them into one. Each image is taken in succession, perhaps only milliseconds apart. Any movement that occurs in between images are recorded. The resulting HDR image is a superimposition of each of these images and the final image will show any movement of the subject in addition to any movement of the camera.
  • Because this is the general process of how HDR images are made, HDR is not appropriate for action sports. This is true regardless of the camera you use.


On manual focusing:
  • Manual focusing means that you've removed the camera's ability to automatically focus (AF) for you. Hence, any AF setting, including AI Focus and AI Servo, will not work. One Shot is an AF setting and it too does not work.
  • Some lenses have a switch that allow you to switch between automatic and manual focusing modes. So-called manual lenses function in manual mode only. That is, they do not have the circuitry necessary to communicate with the camera for automatic focusing.
  • Manual focusing does not require the display on the rear screen. In fact, manual lenses existed long before digital cameras. Photographers would use (and can still use) their ability to see and focus through the viewfinder. This may be aided by focusing screens, microprisms and other focusing aids.

Taking photos with a fancy camera does not make me a photographer.
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5D3 x2 | 16-35L II | 35 L | 50L | 85L II | 135L | 580 EX II x2

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HDR and Sports Photography
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