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Thread started 11 Oct 2011 (Tuesday) 11:28
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40D & 85mm 1.8...Dark Gymnastics Meet..Now what? Help!

 
amyskis
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Oct 14, 2011 11:29 |  #31

Lacks_focus wrote in post #13244463 (external link)
Crank the ISO, shoot RAW and in Manual mode. A grainy image is better than a blurry one, you can clean grain with a NR program to some extent. Also, grain cleans up pretty nice on a normal size print. Looking at an ISO 3200 shot at 100% on your monitor will make you want to give up. Actually printing that same shot at 5X7 or even 8X10 will make you feel a little better! Shooting too dark and trying to brighten in post often makes for a noisier image than shooting higher ISO. I use the latest version of DPP. It's free and the later versions make for a fast workflow. Using RAW does not excuse you from trying to "get it right" in the camera, it just gives you some latitude for corrections due to cycling fluorescents and uneven lighting.

Keep in mind, shooting RAW requires you to use a RAW converter. A RAW file is not a pic you can look at, it’s analogous to a negative from the film days. It has to be “developed” with a converter. Changing to RAW is a simple as selecting it in your camera's menu under quality (first camera icon, right at the top of the list). You really need to get a manual. They can be downloaded in .PDF format from the Canon website.

There is much to this. Composition, anticipating the action (know the routines), getting the exposure correct and post processing tricks will all come to you in time. Gymnastics is one of the more challenging (for both equipment and photographer) sports to shoot. It’s crazy fast, often done in dark gyms with busy cluttered backgrounds. Parents normally can’t get a good shot from “outside the ropes”, and you really need to have some decent equipment. No one can tell you what settings to use (very venue dependant) and how to do this and get the shots you're after in one post. Shoot, a lot. Experiment, a lot. Post here, a lot. After all that, you still get more bombs than good shots. I know I do! I post some on my site that I don't really like, but the parents of some of the other girls I shoot like them. No one will be more critical of your work than you!

I have a level 9 this year. She does both high school and club gym and she is already shopping for colleges based on the school’s gymnastics program and major she is interested in (physical therapy, go figure)… Been where you are, in fact I started with film… Now that sucked! Moved on to a 10D, a little better, then on to 1 series cameras. The 1D3 does a nice job of it. I find the 40D usable, but a bit limiting. You may want to look into some of the newer bodies that can shoot cleaner high ISO at some point. The 85 1.8 is very nice for this work.

Welcome to film! The grainy past...
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A few from her level 8 season that I liked.
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This is exactly what I wanted to see and hear, thank you! Great shots and I appreciate you showing me the difference...amazing!

Knowing the routine...definately got that one down. I know when she hits the more stationary poses as well, which is helpul, that's the easier part for me. With the help of you guys, I"m getting my settings figure out...mainly cranking my ISO as high as I can (which is 1600 for 40D). 1/500? And I'll have to play around with learning about white balance but Lightroom really helped with the noise, that was the biggest thing I learned here, what a difference!

You are so right, each gym is so different. Last week was super dark, this weekend will be dark as far as no natural light but the walls are so white white white, it doesn't "feel" dark.

Level 9, wow, that's awesome! They work so hard don't they? I'm not trying to publish anything, just trying to get some nice decent shots of my beautiful little Level 5 girl:)




  
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Lacks_focus
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Oct 14, 2011 11:36 as a reply to  @ post 13250357 |  #32

Hope you don't mind... Slow day today, so I ran one of your pics through a quick levels adjustment in Photo Shop and then a pass through Neat Image noise reduction. Neat Image was done in auto mode. Noise cleans up well with the right software. Some NR programs give a plastic look. Others, like Neat Image, keep things more natural looking IMHO.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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1D MKIII | FujiFilm X10 | 24-70 f/2.8 | 70-200 f/2.8 | 135 f/2 | 85 f/1.8 | 580EX |
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Lacks_focus
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Oct 14, 2011 11:46 |  #33

amyskis wrote in post #13250503 (external link)
1/500?

That would be fantastic! Faster the better, but shutter speed often comes second to proper exposure in darker gyms. I have had to shoot 6400, 1.8 and 1/250 and lower to get a shot to work with... Knowing those stationary poses becomes valuable under those conditions! I'm typically in the 1/400ish territory.


1D MKIII | FujiFilm X10 | 24-70 f/2.8 | 70-200 f/2.8 | 135 f/2 | 85 f/1.8 | 580EX |
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amyskis
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Oct 14, 2011 15:16 |  #34

[QUOTE=Lacks_focus;132​50542]Hope you don't mind... Slow day today, so I ran one of your pics through a quick levels adjustment in Photo Shop and then a pass through Neat Image noise reduction. Neat Image was done in auto mode. Noise cleans up well with the right software. Some NR programs give a plastic look. Others, like Neat Image, keep things more natural looking IMHO.

That was amazingly thoughtful to take the time to show me this, thank you! Do you think LR NR (check me out with my lingo:)) gives a plastic look? With kids and their youthful beautiful skin I think we can get away with it but I haven't quite developed the eye for it.




  
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amyskis
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Oct 14, 2011 15:30 |  #35

Also, my brother-in-law has a huge Canon 70-200 2.8, has anyone used that at a meet?




  
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pelsh
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Oct 14, 2011 15:41 as a reply to  @ amyskis's post |  #36

This is all I use shooting mostly gymnastics.
canon 70-200 2.8 II (the best)
canon 24-70 2.8
canon 85mm 1.8
all on 5D mark II
http://photos.elite-gymnastics.com/Photos-from-Meets (external link)




  
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Lacks_focus
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Oct 14, 2011 15:57 |  #37

amyskis wrote in post #13251447 (external link)
Do you think LR NR (check me out with my lingo:)) gives a plastic look? With kids and their youthful beautiful skin I think we can get away with it but I haven't quite developed the eye for it.

I don't have LR, so I can't say. Problem with the plastic look, and over reducing noise, is it also kills detail. A little experiment here.

This crop of your pic is with Neat Image, again at conservative auto settings. I did the NR on the full size shot and then cropped way in. Not too bad...

IMAGE NOT FOUND
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This one is with Noiseware Pro. I used the "Full Suppression" level which crushes noise. Again, NR on the full image first, then a big crop in. You can see that a lot of detail is gone. Granted, I over did this, but it is to show what too much NR can do.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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The 70-200 f/2.8 I use A LOT. I try to use the 85 f/1.8 and 135 f/2 on Beam, Bars and Vault, but Floor demands the zoom and the 70-200 does it well.

1D MKIII | FujiFilm X10 | 24-70 f/2.8 | 70-200 f/2.8 | 135 f/2 | 85 f/1.8 | 580EX |
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pelsh
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Oct 14, 2011 16:26 |  #38

Try TV mode. Routines go fast - in Manual mode it's quite challenging to adjust it all. Usually in gymnastics venues light is not consistent even under the same event.
Learn how to control focus point fast. Aperture will be in f1.8-f2 most of the time, so always have your focus point on the face of the gymnast. Your lens is very fast to focus - I use it a lot and I love it.
ISO: Auto
Shutter speeds:
Beam: 150-300 (depends on what you are capturing)
Bars: 300-400
Vault: 400 and up
Floor: Again - depends on what you want to capture. Poses - 150-250, jumps and tumbling 500 and up
You have to shoot RAW and learn how to correct the images on the computer.

http://photos.elite-gymnastics.com/Photos-from-Meets (external link)

Vadim Balakirev
Elite Gymnastics Academy, Burnsville Minnesota
www.elite-gymnastics.com (external link)




  
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dmwierz
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Oct 14, 2011 17:24 |  #39

amyskis wrote in post #13250357 (external link)
dmwierz, why do you bother to take the time to read this thread and respond if you are just going to be a jerk about it? Does it make you feel really good and powerful to make someone feel bad? Are you so awesome at photography that anyone who is trying to learn it is just wasting everyone's time here? Go away and let the kinder and more helpful people who care to share their knowledge about this very specific sport feel good about helping someone like me.

I've been a moderator of a couple of forums on different topics that I have become rather "expert" at and there are always people that pop up that haven't gone through the A-Z of experience that I have but that's the nice things about forums...there are always SOME people who are happy to walk someone through the basics in a more personal and understanding way then finding the same info in a book, manual or website. For some people, especially women, reading manuals isn't a time issue, it's a learning style issue.

But if it makes you feel really good to go tell me to read a manual than do me and everyone who has been kind enough to send me private messages to avoid people like you a favor and just go away.

ExCUSE me? How was I a jerk? I took my own time to locate the manual for you and post a link to it, and then to provide you not only a link to a description of what RAW means, but also a simple explanation in my own words.

If you're feeling I was a jerk by nudging you in the direction of spending the time to research something yourself, then I guess I'm a jerk.

In no way do I begrudge you a lack of experience. Anyone who's been on the site more than 13 posts (your count, not mine) knows I have gone WAY out of my way to help quite a few shooters on POTN through the years. However, learning is not a spectator sport, at least in my world.

And, BTW, I find your comment "For some people, especially women, reading manuals isn't a time issue, it's a learning style issue." to be more than a little sexist and insulting to all the incredibly talented and bright, hard-working women shooters I've known. Seriously?


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Oct 14, 2011 18:16 |  #40

amyskis wrote in post #13250357 (external link)
For some people, especially women, reading manuals isn't a time issue, it's a learning style issue.

Seriuosly? Now that has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read on this forum.

I always thought DW was a jerk, and now since I read it on the internet I know it's true. What's wrong with telling someone to read the manual?


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dmwierz
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Oct 14, 2011 18:19 |  #41

Sledhed wrote in post #13252083 (external link)
I always thought DW was a jerk, and now since I read it on the internet I know it's true

Thanks, CP, as they say, with friends like you...:)


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Lacks_focus
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Oct 14, 2011 18:26 |  #42

pelsh wrote in post #13251734 (external link)
Try TV mode. Routines go fast - in Manual mode it's quite challenging to adjust it all. Usually in gymnastics venues light is not consistent even under the same event.

I'll disagree with that to some extent. As always, your settings are venue driven, but I have had the best luck while shooting in Manual. Going on the premise that you care about the subject being at the proper exposure, and you are setting the exposure triangle (shutter, aperture and ISO) to that end, manual makes the most sense. The problem with any of the AE modes is the differing backgrounds and even features on the leotards that may "fool" the camera's meter in to messing up what you hope to achieve exposure wise. Over head fluorescents, glittery things, different colored walls, mirrors and the like all raise hell with the meter. Some gyms are worse than others when it comes to uneven lighting. One gym that I have shot in a few times has these oddly spaced pot lights that have some sort of weird sodium arc bulbs in them. No two lights are the same color temp! I have a shot of my daughter on the beam where one half has a pink tint and the other half has a blue tint! Crazy... You just have to do the best you can. I pick my spot and shooting angle then adjust my settings for that location. When I move to a new location, I do the same for that spot.

What do you think would have happed to this shot if I was in an AE mode?

IMAGE: http://lacks-focus.smugmug.com/CoventryHSGymnastics2010/CoventryRHAM-vs-Southignton/DLEV2232/1222428358_cZFej-L.jpg

1D MKIII | FujiFilm X10 | 24-70 f/2.8 | 70-200 f/2.8 | 135 f/2 | 85 f/1.8 | 580EX |
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Oct 14, 2011 19:23 |  #43

^^ did you use the 40d in your sig for that pic? what were your settings? that is a GREAT SHOT! but i also see a 1d mkiii in your sig.. if you used that i think you had an advantage... just sayin....

now im not saying anything negative to the 40d... im starting out with a t2i (550d) but i too see the advantages of the superior cameras.... we do what we can with what we have ... but learing the settings takes time and something that cant be overlooked....
OP will learn eventually as the rest of us.. comfort with the camera matters....


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amyskis
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Oct 14, 2011 20:31 as a reply to  @ Lacks_focus's post |  #44

But what about floor where they move all over? How do you get a fix on that?




  
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Lacks_focus
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Oct 14, 2011 21:03 |  #45

amyskis wrote in post #13252431 (external link)
But what about floor where they move all over? How do you get a fix on that?

If you're asking about using manual mode on floor, i've not run into a situation where the floor was lit uneven enough to create a problem. I see more of an issue with color shift from one end of the floor to the other than I do EV change. You'll just have to see when you get there. Give manual a try. Keep in mind that shooting manual is not spinning the dials to center the camera's meter... Once you have EV set for the subject, you completly ignore the meter.


1D MKIII | FujiFilm X10 | 24-70 f/2.8 | 70-200 f/2.8 | 135 f/2 | 85 f/1.8 | 580EX |
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40D & 85mm 1.8...Dark Gymnastics Meet..Now what? Help!
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