ShelleyG wrote in post #11304464
I generally use ~16 for bright days and ~9-11 on overcast days. I use the lower setting for darker pictures. I use the larger f so that more of the picture is in focus (larger depth of field)
Sdiver2489 wrote in post #11304530
F16 and 9-11 are both overkill and are causing your shutter speeds to be too slow. Lower this setting for action shots. Like I said, use F3.5 for this type of shot.
Yup, and larger depth of field is great for landscape stills, but in action shots, there is one thing that's important, and should be the centre of attention; your subject. Using the low F-stop means you will have the rider in focus, and the fore and background blurred, this is desirable! You want them to pop out of the frame! Give it a shot, i think you'll find your pics improve dramatically. With a big F-stop, the trees in the background will overpower the rider, he'll disappear into the background noise.
THAT SAID, a slow exposure can be desirable, BUT, in order to blur the back ground, instead of trying to get it in focus like you were. You need to be tracking the subject perfectly yo pull this off nicely, and not blur the subject. Have a look at this shot, quoted from the 450D thread.
Instead of choosing a high Fstop to get the background in focus, he's chosen the shutter speed, and set the aperture accordingly for exposure, in order to blur the background with motion blur.
"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." - Carl Sagan.
450D, 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS.