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Old 22nd of May 2006 (Mon)   #1
kevbailey
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Default Indoor Speed Skating-low light

I am trying to photograph speed skating in a very low light setting, indoor! I am using an EOS Rebel 300D. I am open to any and all suggestions and tips. I've got my lenses open all the way, shooting in RAW, AV Mode, Manual focus( EOS limited on focus speed) I shot a few during practice yesterday, and was not unhappy, but just wanting to learn any tips to help.

I have discovered the brightest point on that floor, and so I tried to capture the skaters at that point. It also works well, because they are just coming out of a turn and the movement within the frame is minimal for that split second.

Kevin

Last edited by kevbailey : 24th of May 2006 (Wed) at 10:26.
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Old 22nd of May 2006 (Mon)   #2
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

What are your settings? You might be able to underexpose the photo using a faster shutter speed and the compensate in RAW but even then, the shutter speed may not be fast enough.
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Old 22nd of May 2006 (Mon)   #3
kevbailey
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

I'm trying to log into my home computer to see what the settings were on a couple of pics. I was using my 50mm lens at 1.8, and my 135mm 2.0, which was giving me a SS from 60-160 at a 3200 ISO (I have the un de-touchables firmware) depending on where I caught the capture. The most difficult thing is getting the focus.

As soon as I can grab a pic, I'll post one up here.

Kevin

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Old 22nd of May 2006 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

Here is one that I cleaned up in PS. Noise Ninja works wonders! I found a bright spot under one of the lights which helps a lot here. How do I go about underexposing then compensating in PS. I would love to shoot at a lower ISO if possible because of the loss of IQ. Even with software, I'm not completely happy with the end result full size.
1/160 SS
f/2.0
ISO 3200
135mm EF L 2.0

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Old 22nd of May 2006 (Mon)   #5
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

It's my opinion that your difficulty has more to do with your focusing than anything else. What focus mode were you using? Were you using AI Servo mode? At 1/160 and f/2.0 your focusing will be challenged, so try different focusing mode to achieve your best results.
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Old 22nd of May 2006 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

I know that focusing is the biggest hurdle right now, especially with my lens fully open. My DOF is not much more than a couple inches it seems, at best. I am bound by the limitation of the camera. The autofocus is way too slow for this type of photography, so I am having to focus manually. This camera doesn't have focusing modes. The hacked firmware allows for a type of AI Servo, but, you are unable to activate the shutter while using it, making that function completely in-operable. I did try using sports mode, because it attempts to predict the focus, but it's really slow, and I lose all of my other control. It's one of the limitations that has me wanting to upgrade very badly. I just can't justify the cost at this time. This is so that I can photograph my children's sports, but my wife is not open to me putting out another few hundred dollars for a different camera, at least not right now. I'm trying to get her to change her mind though. LOL So, for now I have to really work on my manual focusing abilities!

My last photos are a whole lot better than the week before.



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Old 24th of May 2006 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

hacked firmware? on the 20d you should have AI servo. if you're too close, it won't let you actuate. also i've found the the 135 L is pretty quick to focus and AI servo works quite well.
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Old 24th of May 2006 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

The 20d has a very good AI servo mode, one thing to remember when using it is to shoot a burst, take one or two coming into the bright light and let the AI servo lock on to the subject. The first shot may or may not be in focus but the remaing shoots on the burst will be. As blackviolet says the 135 is a quick focusing lens and should not be a problem.
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Old 24th of May 2006 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

LOL The hacked firmware was for my rebel. I just got the 20D last night

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Old 24th of May 2006 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

ah ok! it will make a huge difference - the 20d over your rebel. btw that has to be the youngest skeeler i've ever seen. he/she will be fantastic when older if they stick with it.
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Old 24th of May 2006 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

He's 5. He started when he was 4 and is the regional divison champion for his bracket. His trophy's are bigger than he is! LOL

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Old 25th of May 2006 (Thu)   #12
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbailey
He's 5. He started when he was 4 and is the regional divison champion for his bracket. His trophy's are bigger than he is! LOL

Kevin
Congrats! I grew up speedskating, so I know that just by looking at your photo, his cornering technique is good.
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Old 25th of May 2006 (Thu)   #13
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

He is a natural at skating. He has the potential to do very well at it, and at 5, he's already learned how to work the female crowd at the rinks. Everywhere he goes, he's got tons of cute girls, from 5 year olds to full adults, all around him.
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Old 27th of May 2006 (Sat)   #14
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

What would be a recommended shutter speed for this type of shooting? Now that I have the 20D, focusing should not be such a problem. I would like to stay away from 3200 ISO if possible, but may be locked into that. If so, I can live with it.

I was trying out the AI servo focusing today and it blew me away! Had my son on his skateboard and shot about 40 shots while he came at me on the sidewalk. Every shot was right on!

I won't get another chance to shoot his skating for a few days!

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Old 28th of May 2006 (Sun)   #15
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Default Re: Indoor Speed Skating-low light

Not sure what to recommend for you...if you can't be on the rink then it's not always easy to get close shots without longer focal length, which limits f-stops. You could possibly use flash to get a 1/250th sec speed (20D's max x-sync), though your distance may be too great; I'm not sure. Or, if you can get in closer somehow, you might consider an EF 85mm f/1.2 L in the future.

Last February, I took this one with my Rebel XT and EF 50mm f/1.8 II @ 1/160th, f/2.5, ISO1600, no flash. It's not a speed skating shot, but it IS a skating shot, of a very, very skilled dance skater, as he's rotating. I was on the rink with him, so distance wasn't a problem. I underexposed a little to get a faster shutter. This was shot in JPG; it lightened up fairly well, though I couldn't safely push it past the level shown.



On a side note, I was ordered to put my camera away that night because some people complained to the manager about me taking pictures during the session. Interestingly enough, noone ever complains when someone's carrying around a little compact and snapping shots (WITH FLASH, I might add). And I've seen people on the sides with their Sony prosumer cams flashing away, and they never get told to cease and desist. I didn't know I was that scary ;\
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Last edited by form : 28th of May 2006 (Sun) at 18:28.
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