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Thread started 07 Apr 2012 (Saturday) 06:49
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Manual mode at a Horse Show

 
yorkiemom
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Apr 07, 2012 06:49 |  #1

I'm going to a Grand Prix show jumping event tonight (will be outside and well lit) and as I usually use shutter priority I wanted to try manual. The only thing is if I up the shutter then I lose that perfect meter reading (the tick mark goes way off). Does that mean I have to up the ISO real high to fix that problem? Not sure. And should I use "spot" metering vs "evaluative"? I'll be trying to get shots of the horse/rider going across the jumps.

I'll be using I think my 70-300 (would like to use my 70-200 f/2.8 but I'm sure they won't let me in with that).

Any suggestions would be helpful.


Canon 7D, 40D, IS lenses EF 17-85, EF 70-300 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, EF 50mm f/1.4, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8L and various other "stuff"

  
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frugivore
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Apr 07, 2012 07:16 |  #2

Yes, increasing the ISO in that case should give you a proper exposure. But you can always just check the histogram in playback to make sure that none of the channels are clipping and adjust accordingly.

When you talk about the metering modes, do you mean to use metering just to look at the tick in the viewfinder? That will give you a better idea of how your subject is being exposed, but I would think that just checking the histogram would be a lot more accurate.




  
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yorkiemom
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Apr 07, 2012 07:43 |  #3

Yeah, I'm talking about my metering looking thru the viewfinder. I think I will make sure to check that after a shot. I'd like to get more great shots than ones where I find just one hoof or something not sharp. That's something that can't be fixed in CS or LR.

I always hate to raise the ISO too much because of the noise but that might be another thing to consider.


Canon 7D, 40D, IS lenses EF 17-85, EF 70-300 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, EF 50mm f/1.4, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8L and various other "stuff"

  
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DunnoWhen
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Apr 07, 2012 07:47 as a reply to  @ frugivore's post |  #4

Manual is best used when the lighting conditions are not changing that much.

Therefore, before the event stars, take a few exposures and then check your settings and histogram until you find an exposure you want. It doesn't matter which of the metering modes you use to acheive this.

If the histogram looks good (ettr considerations) then you are set to go and you can ignore the light meter, and what it is suggesting to you, until you know the light has changed from when you first chose your settings.

What you don't want to do is "chase the needle". If you do, you might as well go back to shooting in AV or TV mode.


My wisdom is learned from the experience of others.
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tzalman
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Apr 07, 2012 07:50 |  #5

Since you will be in M and the light won't be changing, you won't have to do any metering other than when you first enter the site. You can use spot metering if you have an 18% grey or equivalent target in the arena to meter off or another target whose deviation from 18% you know so that you can compensate for it. For instance, if there is a white object (fence, wing, sign, etc.) you can spot meter on it and add two stops for jpg or three stops for Raw. Or plus one to one and a half stops for a Caucasian face. If you don't know how to calculate the compensation, don't use spot. Use Evaluative or CW to read a wider area.


Elie / אלי

  
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tzalman
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Apr 07, 2012 07:57 |  #6

Noise can be fixed, blur can't be. Horses move fast, especially when the clock is ticking. I have no problem shooting at ISO 6,400 with my 40D or 12,800 with my 5D2 and if the only way to get the shot is to go to 25,600, so be it.


Elie / אלי

  
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yorkiemom
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Apr 07, 2012 08:52 |  #7

The event is being held at Raymond James Stadium where the Bucs play so the lighting will be bright even all during the event, if they even have them on which I'm assuming they will. It's at 7:30p. Doing a metering ahead of time I can do because I will be there an hour ahead of time to watch the riders walk the course. So I can check histogram, metering and exposure. Also ISO. The horses move so fast I don't want to get any blur.

Now should I use the back button auto focus? Believe it or not, I don't use that much but I've read it can be a good idea for sports events. That means hold the back button down and focus and take a shot and then just shoot the rest of the evening without having much of a problem?

Also I wanted to use high speed burst mode. Will that make any difference?


Canon 7D, 40D, IS lenses EF 17-85, EF 70-300 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, EF 50mm f/1.4, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8L and various other "stuff"

  
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amfoto1
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Apr 07, 2012 09:49 |  #8

It's up to you, whether or not to use high speed burst... Someone experienced with a particular sport and camera can probably time it better with a single shot... Any time you are "spraying and praying" with high speed bursts, you are leaving it up to chance to some extent, that one (or more) of the frames will be well timed. All cameras have a bit of delay, too... call it shutter lag or whatever. Your 7D isn't bad, though even a split second can make a difference.

Depending upon how close you are, you can use as slow as 1/320 for horses going over jumps (farther away you can use slower speeds). 1/500 is better, if possible. 1/640 would be more ideal. Anything much over 1/800 or 1/1000 is probably just "wasted ISO".

The lighting must be very even to use M... manual. If the event is indoors under artificial lighting, that's the best... but sometimes shadows can be a problem. Outdoors on a nicely overcast day is also great... sunshine is harder, but if it's not a partly cloudy day, lighting is steady, it's doable with M too. Outdoors, you have to check your histogram every 15 min. or so to see if some tweaking is needed. The light always changes in outdoor, daylight, even on a cloudless day... It gradually brightens, causes the heaviest shadows around Noon, then gradually dims toward evening.

I move around to get a position on the sidelines with the best, most consistent light. Outdoors with natural daylight, I try to keep the sun behind me or off to one side. I also try to shoot from different angles.... straight on from the side and with the horse and rider coming directly toward me get boring after a while, do I move around to get shots more from an angle. Some I shoot wide to get the full effect of the two coming over the jump, others I try to shoot tightly on horse and rider's faces, to get their expression and concentration. That's one of the nice things about any sort of arena jumping, position yourself well and you'll have a lot of different opportunities and angles possible with each and every competitor.

Definitely have your camera in AI Servo, select the center AF point only, and use Back Button Focusing. This is the perfect type of subject to use those techniques.

Pick up your subject well in advance with a half-press on the shutter release so you have IS ready and pressing the back button with your thumb to keep AF on and tracking. Follow the subject maintaining the AF point right on them. Trip the shutter when you wish. A short burst of 2 or 3 or 4 over a jump might help get the optimal moment, if unfamiliar with photographing the sport. In typical arena jumping situations, where every you are standing, there will be jumps that are favorable for you to shoot and others that are not (going away from you, partially blocked, or just too far away). I track the horse and rider right from the beginning anyway, ready to shoot.

Particularly shooting from ground level, you will have occasional obstructions around the course. If using back button focusing, you can simply lift pressure momentarily as you pan past an obstruction, then pick up focus again after the subject is past the obstruction. However, 7D you can change the sensitivity to reduce the possibility of AF jumping focus to the obstruction. Custom Function III - 1 set toward "Slow" is how this is set up and that's something a lot of people do. However, I think there is a trade-off doing this, that the camera is less responsive to subject changes in direction when C.Fn III-1 is set to "Slow". I actually have mine set one step toward "Fast" and use the BBF method to keep AF on the subject and avoid obstructions.

Shooting high frame rate, be sure you have plenty of memory cards! Some large events with upwards of 100 competitors, I'll shoot as many as 5000 images in a day using a high frame rate. That's a whole lot of sitting at the computer and editing after the fact, and basically why I prefer to take single shots unless really, really necessary... But hunter-jumpers and gymkhana are two types of equestrian events where I will often use short bursts of shots.

If the shooting is indoors, under artificial lighting, you would probably benefit from setting a Custom White Balance... but only if the nature of the light doesn't change and isn't "mixed" variably around the arena. If, for example, some areas also have ambient light, and you need to take shots in both, then leave the camera on AWB (and if you shoot RAW it will be easy to tweak later).

If I can, I go into the arena in advance and photograph a gray target under different lighting. Keep those images on a memory card and they can be used later to adjust images in Photoshop (or whatever).

Try to be down low, at ground level of the arena if possible. I always try to be even with or below the horse's eye level, to get full effect of them going over jumps. But I only shoot events as an official photographer with full access, so don't have any trouble moving around.... It might depend upon your capacity at the event, where you'll be able to go and shoot.

But - you probably already know - don't be "hiding" from the horses, peeking out from behind something. That can startle the horse. Stand in plain sight.

Reading about that event, it appears there's some concern about this already... the rider's get to walk the course in advance, but the horses will be coming into the arena without any chance to preview it. So there might be some skittishness due to that. Of course, those horses are at a pretty high level, so shouldn't be a problem.


Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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lungdoc
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Apr 07, 2012 10:56 |  #9

Thanks Alan, that is an excellent and informative post!


Mark
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yorkiemom
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Apr 07, 2012 11:05 |  #10

Thanks for all the excellent advice Alan!

I'm not shooting as a prof photographer so I'm mostly going to be stuck in my seat which is 8 rows up. I'm used to horses since I used to ride so I'm familiar with their "skittishness" though these horses are pretty used to it. I think I'll bring 2 cameras, my 40D and 7D, two lenses 70-300 and 24-105. I 'll take my test shots when they are walking the course since I'll be there early...hopefully all will work out well. Who knows. I'll post some and you guys can critique to your hearts content.

My C.Fn III-1 is set one step toward fast.


Canon 7D, 40D, IS lenses EF 17-85, EF 70-300 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, EF 50mm f/1.4, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8L and various other "stuff"

  
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oldvultureface
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Apr 07, 2012 13:01 as a reply to  @ yorkiemom's post |  #11

You can view the real time histogram in live view with exposure simulation enabled without having to take any pictures. Pan around to see how much variation exists in the arena and set exposure accordingly. Changing settings, i.e., aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will be immediately reflected in the histogram.




  
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yorkiemom
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Apr 09, 2012 11:42 |  #12

Well, went to the horse show and it all worked! Here are a few...haven't gotten around to all of them yet. You can critique if you'd like. I have to thank everyone for their help.


IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5443/6914673190_38726ce901.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/37150075@N06/6​914673190/  (external link)
Mercedes Grand Prix Show Jumping (external link) by yorkiemom2 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7108/7061235849_66b7d1f06a.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/37150075@N06/7​061235849/  (external link)
horse 4-8569 (external link) by yorkiemom2 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5038/7060755319_f984c0ae0d.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/37150075@N06/7​060755319/  (external link)
Mercedes Grand Prix Show Jumping (external link) by yorkiemom2 (external link), on Flickr

Wish I could have been closer but it was at RJS (football) and there was no way for me to move closer...I was 8 rows back and dodge around heads, and so forth. Oh well...

Canon 7D, 40D, IS lenses EF 17-85, EF 70-300 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, EF 50mm f/1.4, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8L and various other "stuff"

  
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Yogi ­ Bear
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Apr 09, 2012 16:15 as a reply to  @ yorkiemom's post |  #13

Your shots look great! Congrats! :eek:


Canon EOS 7D | EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM | EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS |
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM | 250D | EF-S 10-22 mm f/3.5-4.5 USM | 580 EX II |

  
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hendelsesloysa
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Apr 09, 2012 16:33 |  #14

amfoto1 wrote in post #14225059 (external link)
It's up to you, whether or not to use high speed burst... Someone experienced with a particular sport and camera can probably time it better with a single shot... Any time you are "spraying and praying" with high speed bursts, you are leaving it up to chance to some extent, that one (or more) of the frames will be well timed. All cameras have a bit of delay, too... call it shutter lag or whatever. Your 7D isn't bad, though even a split second can make a difference.

Depending upon how close you are, you can use as slow as 1/320 for horses going over jumps (farther away you can use slower speeds). 1/500 is better, if possible. 1/640 would be more ideal. Anything much over 1/800 or 1/1000 is probably just "wasted ISO".

The lighting must be very even to use M... manual. If the event is indoors under artificial lighting, that's the best... but sometimes shadows can be a problem. Outdoors on a nicely overcast day is also great... sunshine is harder, but if it's not a partly cloudy day, lighting is steady, it's doable with M too. Outdoors, you have to check your histogram every 15 min. or so to see if some tweaking is needed. The light always changes in outdoor, daylight, even on a cloudless day... It gradually brightens, causes the heaviest shadows around Noon, then gradually dims toward evening.

I move around to get a position on the sidelines with the best, most consistent light. Outdoors with natural daylight, I try to keep the sun behind me or off to one side. I also try to shoot from different angles.... straight on from the side and with the horse and rider coming directly toward me get boring after a while, do I move around to get shots more from an angle. Some I shoot wide to get the full effect of the two coming over the jump, others I try to shoot tightly on horse and rider's faces, to get their expression and concentration. That's one of the nice things about any sort of arena jumping, position yourself well and you'll have a lot of different opportunities and angles possible with each and every competitor.

Definitely have your camera in AI Servo, select the center AF point only, and use Back Button Focusing. This is the perfect type of subject to use those techniques.

Pick up your subject well in advance with a half-press on the shutter release so you have IS ready and pressing the back button with your thumb to keep AF on and tracking. Follow the subject maintaining the AF point right on them. Trip the shutter when you wish. A short burst of 2 or 3 or 4 over a jump might help get the optimal moment, if unfamiliar with photographing the sport. In typical arena jumping situations, where every you are standing, there will be jumps that are favorable for you to shoot and others that are not (going away from you, partially blocked, or just too far away). I track the horse and rider right from the beginning anyway, ready to shoot.

Particularly shooting from ground level, you will have occasional obstructions around the course. If using back button focusing, you can simply lift pressure momentarily as you pan past an obstruction, then pick up focus again after the subject is past the obstruction. However, 7D you can change the sensitivity to reduce the possibility of AF jumping focus to the obstruction. Custom Function III - 1 set toward "Slow" is how this is set up and that's something a lot of people do. However, I think there is a trade-off doing this, that the camera is less responsive to subject changes in direction when C.Fn III-1 is set to "Slow". I actually have mine set one step toward "Fast" and use the BBF method to keep AF on the subject and avoid obstructions.

Shooting high frame rate, be sure you have plenty of memory cards! Some large events with upwards of 100 competitors, I'll shoot as many as 5000 images in a day using a high frame rate. That's a whole lot of sitting at the computer and editing after the fact, and basically why I prefer to take single shots unless really, really necessary... But hunter-jumpers and gymkhana are two types of equestrian events where I will often use short bursts of shots.

If the shooting is indoors, under artificial lighting, you would probably benefit from setting a Custom White Balance... but only if the nature of the light doesn't change and isn't "mixed" variably around the arena. If, for example, some areas also have ambient light, and you need to take shots in both, then leave the camera on AWB (and if you shoot RAW it will be easy to tweak later).

If I can, I go into the arena in advance and photograph a gray target under different lighting. Keep those images on a memory card and they can be used later to adjust images in Photoshop (or whatever).

Try to be down low, at ground level of the arena if possible. I always try to be even with or below the horse's eye level, to get full effect of them going over jumps. But I only shoot events as an official photographer with full access, so don't have any trouble moving around.... It might depend upon your capacity at the event, where you'll be able to go and shoot.

But - you probably already know - don't be "hiding" from the horses, peeking out from behind something. That can startle the horse. Stand in plain sight.

Reading about that event, it appears there's some concern about this already... the rider's get to walk the course in advance, but the horses will be coming into the arena without any chance to preview it. So there might be some skittishness due to that. Of course, those horses are at a pretty high level, so shouldn't be a problem.

Just one question: why set the AF start to the back button. If you hold down the shutter button half pressed it will have AF on, together with IS?




  
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oldvultureface
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Apr 09, 2012 18:24 as a reply to  @ hendelsesloysa's post |  #15

The Flickr large size look terrific. Sharp and colorful. Though I bet you wish you could have had a less busy background.




  
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Manual mode at a Horse Show
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