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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 17 Sep 2012 (Monday) 16:15
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Tips for kids Soccer photos

 
gizmo17
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Sep 17, 2012 16:15 |  #1

I've been asked to take photos for my 7 yr old son's soccer games. Nothing fancy, just shots for an end of year slide show. This will be a fun learning experience for me, I'm hoping to capture some good action shots, photos of the players while they're resting and when they're getting a pep talk from the coach.
I'm pretty much a newbie, so any suggestions would be great. This past weekend, I positioned on the sidelines smack in the middle of the field. I was able to get some decent shots, but wasn't sure what the optimum shutter speed should be. Also some photos that looked good while I was previewing the photos in the bright sun looked overexposed when I got home. I also tried "panning", but it didn't come out so good...ok, they didn't come out at all! Perhaps I need to bring a tripod or something.
I brought my 24-105 and 70-200. Didn't bring the Sigma, not sure if I would've used it even if I had.
Thanks in advance.


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p3av8or
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Sep 17, 2012 18:34 |  #2

I've done only one youth soccer game, but bring the longest lens you have and a monopod. I shoot a lot of football, and it doesn't hold a candle to the issues with trying to get an angle on a player. I recommend a polarizing filter if you are shooting in full sun, a hood to reduce glare and watch your backgrounds. Nothing ruins an image faster than cars, dumpsters, etc.... I shoot football at around 1/640th or faster depending on the age and speed of the athletes. I use an aperture around f4-5.6 generally and then work ISO to get a good exposure.

Hope this helps. There are a lot more qualified soccer shooters in the forum that are likely to chime in!

Cheers!


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mmcguire
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Sep 17, 2012 18:59 |  #3

Use your 70-200 for most of your shots. Try using f/2.8 - f/4. f/2.8 is going to give you the best blurred background.

Shoot from several locations around the field. Try shooting from the behind the goals, just don't make a sound. Cheering or talking to a player may get you booted from that location. Get on your knees and use a monopod. The lower angle often improves a sports shot especially of kids.

For your shutter speed faster is better most of the time. Try to shoot 1/1000 or faster, fall back to 1/800 if needed. What mode are you shooting in? Try not to shoot in auto (green box) move to sports (guy running) or better yet shoot at Tv, Av, or M.




  
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gizmo17
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Sep 17, 2012 19:54 |  #4

Thanks for the replies. I'm shooting in manual mode. Most of the time, I'm shooting at f/2.8, I bump it up when I'm trying to get a group shot of a few players going after the ball.
I use my hood but don't have a polarizing filter, only a CPL. I'll try the soccer net position next game.


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bobbyz
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Sep 17, 2012 21:33 |  #5

Sit on your but so you can shoot from lower angle. 70-200mm f2.8 IS II on 200mm end, f2.8, no need to stop down. Camera in AI servo mode.


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bigVinnie
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Sep 17, 2012 23:10 as a reply to  @ bobbyz's post |  #6

CPL= Circular Polarising Lens :-D


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gizmo17
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Sep 17, 2012 23:20 |  #7

LOL...CPF.
Now that you brought it up, is it "normal" to use the filter with a hood? Or does the filter eliminate any flare as well? If one would use a hood with the filter, how do you turn the filter when the hood is on?


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bigVinnie
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Sep 18, 2012 08:45 |  #8

A CPL is used to cut reflections. They work based on angle of light. On a sunny day it can help keep bright uniforms from getting a washed out look.

You would pop the hood off and rotate until you see the effect. If you don't see any change then you don't need it. Just put the hood back on to shoot. You only need to check it when you change the side of the field you are shooting from.

I've actually never used on for shooting sports, but I might give it a try. I don't like using one for motorsports because it can make the glass look bad.


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watt100
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Sep 18, 2012 09:18 |  #9

gizmo17 wrote in post #15006000 (external link)
Thanks for the replies. I'm shooting in manual mode. Most of the time, I'm shooting at f/2.8, I bump it up when I'm trying to get a group shot of a few players going after the ball.
.


good idea to increase the aperture when shooting groups, I always try for a shutter speed of at least 1/1000 or higher




  
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Craign
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Sep 18, 2012 09:42 |  #10

I shot U4 last spring and U6 this fall. Most shots were usually of one particular child. This is extremely difficult because of the very limited opportunities during the short games.

Some of the things I try to do:
*70-200mm f/2.8 lens with CPL filter usually at f/2.8 or f/4.0 to blur the distracting background. There are trash cans everywhere at our fields.
*Shutter speed is usually at 1/1000 or higher
*ISO as needed, 200 or 400 unless very cloudy
*EV from 0 to +2/3 depending on light conditions
*AI Servo
*High speed continuous. Short burst - learn to time the shots. Be careful or there will be an overwhelming number of frames to process. Been there, done that, not fun!
*Sit on the ground about 20 feet behind the end line between the corner and goal, usually a little closer to the goal. I will let background and sun angle determine if I sit to the left of the goal or to the right. The action tends to be straight down the middle of the field with the youngest kids. This will change as the players get older and they tend to move the ball from mid-field to the left of the goal (their right.)
*No monopod. We have 30 minutes of practice plus 30 minutes of game time including water breaks so I don't bother with a monopod.

Conditions were difficult last Sunday with overcast skies and rapidly changing light. Many of my shots were overexposed but were easily corrected in Lightroom. I shoot RAW which is easier than JPG to work with in post processing.

Some advice that has really helped me:
*Shoot tight, crop tighter. The best advice I have ever received. A close shot of one or two players is better than a long shot of a mass of players running down the field.
*Capture faces, contact and ball. Capturing faces and contact with the ball is obvious. You can get some great facial expressions when players collide.
*Get down. That is much better than standing and shooting down at the short kids.


Canon 7D Mark II w/Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip; Canon EOS 50D w/Canon Battery Grip; Canon SL1; Tokina 12mm - 24mm f/4 PRO DX II; Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS; Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS; Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS; Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM; Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS; Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM; Canon Extender EF 1.4x II; Canon Extender EF 2x II; Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
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markweaver
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Sep 18, 2012 10:16 as a reply to  @ Craign's post |  #11

I shoot some of my daughter's soccer games and while the action shots are nice, I think some of my best shots have been the interaction of the girls on the sidelines. Remember that for a lot of kids, soccer is about being with their friends and not all about the competition.


Mark
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gizmo17
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Sep 18, 2012 11:28 |  #12

Craign wrote in post #15008675 (external link)
I shot U4 last spring and U6 this fall. Most shots were usually of one particular child. This is extremely difficult because of the very limited opportunities during the short games.

Some of the things I try to do:
*70-200mm f/2.8 lens with CPL filter usually at f/2.8 or f/4.0 to blur the distracting background. There are trash cans everywhere at our fields.
*Shutter speed is usually at 1/1000 or higher
*ISO as needed, 200 or 400 unless very cloudy
*EV from 0 to +2/3 depending on light conditions
*AI Servo
*High speed continuous. Short burst - learn to time the shots. Be careful or there will be an overwhelming number of frames to process. Been there, done that, not fun!
*Sit on the ground about 20 feet behind the end line between the corner and goal, usually a little closer to the goal. I will let background and sun angle determine if I sit to the left of the goal or to the right. The action tends to be straight down the middle of the field with the youngest kids. This will change as the players get older and they tend to move the ball from mid-field to the left of the goal (their right.)
*No monopod. We have 30 minutes of practice plus 30 minutes of game time including water breaks so I don't bother with a monopod.

Conditions were difficult last Sunday with overcast skies and rapidly changing light. Many of my shots were overexposed but were easily corrected in Lightroom. I shoot RAW which is easier than JPG to work with in post processing.

Some advice that has really helped me:
*Shoot tight, crop tighter. The best advice I have ever received. A close shot of one or two players is better than a long shot of a mass of players running down the field.
*Capture faces, contact and ball. Capturing faces and contact with the ball is obvious. You can get some great facial expressions when players collide.
*Get down. That is much better than standing and shooting down at the short kids.

Thanks for all the great advice. I did get down low, I learn that from taking picture of my kids at home. I'll have to look into the "EV", not sure what that is.
Do any of you leave your white balance setting on "Cloudy"? I took a course at a local high school a few years back, the instructer said she usually leaves the WB setting on cloudy.
Also, as far as focusing, I thought I read somewhere to focus just in front of where the player will be going, although I'm not sure how to do that.
Yeah, I took quite a few pictures last weekend, I have to weed through a few more than I wanted to! All I can say is I'm glad we're out of the film days! :lol:


Canon 60D / Canon 50mm f1.4 / Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS / Canon 530ex ii
Canon 70-200L II IS

  
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gizmo17
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Sep 18, 2012 11:30 |  #13

markweaver wrote in post #15008824 (external link)
I shoot some of my daughter's soccer games and while the action shots are nice, I think some of my best shots have been the interaction of the girls on the sidelines. Remember that for a lot of kids, soccer is about being with their friends and not all about the competition.

Yeah, I agree. I try to take photos of them when they're not looking at me posing...just being themselves.


Canon 60D / Canon 50mm f1.4 / Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS / Canon 530ex ii
Canon 70-200L II IS

  
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Craign
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Sep 18, 2012 12:28 |  #14

gizmo17 wrote in post #15009178 (external link)
Also, as far as focusing, I thought I read somewhere to focus just in front of where the player will be going, although I'm not sure how to do that.

I think that comes from the days before virtually everything became auto-focus. We called it pre-focus. That technique forced us to understand depth of field.


Canon 7D Mark II w/Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip; Canon EOS 50D w/Canon Battery Grip; Canon SL1; Tokina 12mm - 24mm f/4 PRO DX II; Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS; Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS; Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS; Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM; Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS; Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM; Canon Extender EF 1.4x II; Canon Extender EF 2x II; Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
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ajaffe
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Sep 18, 2012 23:42 |  #15

Here is how I approach soccer.

Sit as low as I can, shoot as tight as possible, put the sun at my back if possible.

Usually gets me good results.


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Tips for kids Soccer photos
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