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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 06 Mar 2013 (Wednesday) 00:48
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Ask away... Sports Edition

 
xchangx
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Mar 06, 2013 00:48 |  #1

Inspired by AlanMura's thread here:
https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1280905

and the fact that I'm working the graveyard shift at work for at least another week, I figured I would start one here. And it doesn't have to be all about me, there are others here that shoot at my level and better... including Thomas

So, with that said, ask away. :)


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 06, 2013 07:50 |  #2

Haha, thanks.


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rob4bama
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Mar 06, 2013 12:20 |  #3

Is autofocus a function of your camera, your lens, or both? What I mean is sometimes I try to track a running high school football player or basketball player with AI servo, I can't keep up or they are running toward me and I lose focus a little. This is usually in low light. To get faster focus, do I need a better lens or body? Or is it just part of it and it's going to happen.

I have a canon 60d and a 70-200 f2.8 IS II.




  
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 06, 2013 12:37 |  #4

It is both a function of the camera and the lens. The 70200 II is pretty good at focusing and keeping focus, but with the 60D, you have a body that really has just one cross-type sensor and you can lose focus if you get that out of a contrasty area. The AF points pick up on contrast - change from dark to light. So try to focus somewhere that is large and contrasty like jersey numbers or a neckline or something. For weddings, I often focus on the grooms's tux where the white shirt meets the black jacket. If you have a solid in one color, it is harder to pick up focus at times.


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rob4bama
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Mar 06, 2013 12:54 |  #5

I took some pics of my wife and son bowling the other day. No wonder she was out of focus so much. She has an all-black jump suit on. Thanks!




  
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xchangx
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Mar 06, 2013 14:26 |  #6

rob4bama wrote in post #15683818 (external link)
Is autofocus a function of your camera, your lens, or both? What I mean is sometimes I try to track a running high school football player or basketball player with AI servo, I can't keep up or they are running toward me and I lose focus a little. This is usually in low light. To get faster focus, do I need a better lens or body? Or is it just part of it and it's going to happen.

I have a canon 60d and a 70-200 f2.8 IS II.

You'll notice that in some sports where there is a fence in the background your camera will want to focus on that since it's contrast will be more prominent than the subject. Keep in mind that it's better to begin tracking your subject a little bit before peak so that your camera can lock on to it.


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camarillo
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Mar 08, 2013 21:27 |  #7

Chang,

Is there an advantage to use Nikon over Canon?

I noticed that you use all Nikon equipment and there must be a reason: perhaps Nikon has significantly better features and benefits on both camera bodies and lens.

please share your thoughts and thanks for your time in advance


thanks

Camarillo


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clarence
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Mar 09, 2013 10:00 |  #8

It's very hard to gauge how much anyone really gets paid by wire services when making it to the next level.

It seems like you only hear hints when a picture does really well, like a stock photo of Johnny Football or a SI double-truck, but even for the Top 1% of shooters, that doesn't seem like a typical payout.

Have you averaged the commission received from every event you covered last year?

As a rough estimate, a major event would be at least an 8-hour day... travel, parking, pre-game, game, half-time rush for a couple of quick submits, 2nd half, quick post-game rush for a couple more quick submits, travel, edit, tag, upload.

If you managed to cover 52 major events in a year, would you clear an average of say $1000 per event?

Or is it more like $200, so a HS kid who dreams of skipping college and being a "pro sports photographer" would have to find 250 events (5 days x 50 weeks = 250 working days), to have a chance at being able to make it a full-time job?

FWIW, for my spec youth and varsity coverage, I track the commission for every event. It's a bell curve, at the low end it's sometimes only $10-20, a few times a year I'll clear $500+ at an event. But my average has increased from $60 to $90 per event. Each event averaging 4 hours when including post-processing. So $15-$22.50 per hour. After taxes, insurance, and equipment, I could probably make more in the concession stand. :p

I know take home pay is always sensitive, but since you offered "ask away" I figured this might be a good candid thread to ask in.... Does the average photographer at a NFL game make more than the average beer vendor at an NFL game?


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 09, 2013 10:25 |  #9

If you managed to cover 52 major events in a year, would you clear an average of say $1000 per event?

I would say that unless you are shooting for corporate sponsors at sporting event, no way that is possible.

It seems like you only hear hints when a picture does really well, like a stock photo of Johnny Football or a SI double-truck, but even for the Top 1% of shooters, that doesn't seem like a typical payout.

I covered 3 A&M games last year. From those three games, I have 84 Manziel pics available. He played 14 games. Of those 14 games, there were probably at least 10 guys shooting stock of him. So if everyone got about 30 pics of him per game they put up for sale, you have 10*30*14. That is 4200 pics of Manziel from pretty good photographers available to license. And that doesn't even count the fact that ESPN and SI sent their own photographers in to cover him, so they are more likely to use the pics they already own of Johnny. My 84 pics of Manziel are competing with 4100 other pics of Manziel shot by pretty good photogs. Even if I had some great shots, the likelihood of me getting huge sales is almost zero.

The problem is that you get paid more or less depending on the event. 162 MLB games for each team vs 16 games for each NFL team. So I am going to get way more sales for each NFL game I shoot vs every MLB game I shoot.

Or is it more like $200, so a HS kid who dreams of skipping college and being a "pro sports photographer" would have to find 250 events (5 days x 50 weeks = 250 working days), to have a chance at being able to make it a full-time job?

That dream is no longer realistic. SI has 7 full-time photographers, including Walter Iooss, who really only does the swimsuit issue and a few other major events like the Super Bowl. Best bet is becoming a photographer at a major city daily. Hoping you don't get laid off and getting to cover the team through the paper. Working for an agency isn't really going to make you enough to live on. I'd say I do make about $200/event if averaged together.

The bulk of my income comes from commercial and wedding photography, not from editorial and sports.


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clarence
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Mar 09, 2013 10:55 |  #10

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15695048 (external link)
I covered 3 A&M games last year. From those three games, I have 84 Manziel pics available... the likelihood of me getting huge sales is almost zero.

Yep, I remember the links and tear sheets of a couple of your pictures getting picked up (bought) by dozens of sites. So that's what I would consider better than "typical"... having the Heisman trophy winner as a local assignment. Even 3 times would be something to be thakful for. Something that no one is going to be able to count on 52 times a year.

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15695048 (external link)
I'd say I do make about $200/event if averaged together.

Thanks.

So even the Top 1% of professional sports photographers ends up netting less than a beer vendor:
http://www.slate.com …to_be_a_beer_ve​ndor_.html (external link)

Not surprising to me and I don't want to throw a wet blanket on every HS kid aspiring to be a "pro sports photographer", but my advice would still be to "not quit your day job" and keep this as a fun hobby that you could at best make some funds to offset the time and equipment expense that you sink into it.


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xchangx
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Mar 09, 2013 11:29 |  #11

Personally for me it was a decision from a long time ago. I actually shot with Canon but a friend of mine had some Nikon lenses and said I could use his stuff if I switched to Nikon. But honestly, the 1Dx is very similar to the D4.

I've been very happy with how my D3s has performed in low-light, and I can only assume the Canon equivalent would be the same.

camarillo wrote in post #15693787 (external link)
Chang,

Is there an advantage to use Nikon over Canon?

I noticed that you use all Nikon equipment and there must be a reason: perhaps Nikon has significantly better features and benefits on both camera bodies and lens.

please share your thoughts and thanks for your time in advance


thanks

Camarillo


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
Freelance sports photographer for Getty Images Sports, Entertainment and News
Freelance sports photographer for Sports Illustrated
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My Sportsshooter Page (external link)
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xchangx
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Mar 09, 2013 11:35 |  #12

Getty has 2 types of contracts, Hybrid and a buy out. A buy out being a high day rate and no commission and hybrid being a smaller rate plus a commission.

Just about all the big games I've shot have been buy outs so when my shots from those games show up online/publications, I get no compensation.

However, that's fine with me considering how much some of the pictures are selling for ($3, $5, etc).

As for people starting out, yes it's possible to make a lot of money, but probably not from wires. Like Thomas said, there is a lot of competition.

I'll elaborate more later on today, need to get ready for work.

clarence wrote in post #15694980 (external link)
It's very hard to gauge how much anyone really gets paid by wire services when making it to the next level.

It seems like you only hear hints when a picture does really well, like a stock photo of Johnny Football or a SI double-truck, but even for the Top 1% of shooters, that doesn't seem like a typical payout.

Have you averaged the commission received from every event you covered last year?

As a rough estimate, a major event would be at least an 8-hour day... travel, parking, pre-game, game, half-time rush for a couple of quick submits, 2nd half, quick post-game rush for a couple more quick submits, travel, edit, tag, upload.

If you managed to cover 52 major events in a year, would you clear an average of say $1000 per event?

Or is it more like $200, so a HS kid who dreams of skipping college and being a "pro sports photographer" would have to find 250 events (5 days x 50 weeks = 250 working days), to have a chance at being able to make it a full-time job?

FWIW, for my spec youth and varsity coverage, I track the commission for every event. It's a bell curve, at the low end it's sometimes only $10-20, a few times a year I'll clear $500+ at an event. But my average has increased from $60 to $90 per event. Each event averaging 4 hours when including post-processing. So $15-$22.50 per hour. After taxes, insurance, and equipment, I could probably make more in the concession stand. :p

I know take home pay is always sensitive, but since you offered "ask away" I figured this might be a good candid thread to ask in.... Does the average photographer at a NFL game make more than the average beer vendor at an NFL game?


Nikon D4s / 2x D3s / D3 / 17-35 2.8 / 70-200 2.8 / 600 f4
Freelance sports photographer for Getty Images Sports, Entertainment and News
Freelance sports photographer for Sports Illustrated
My Images with Getty (external link)
My Sportsshooter Page (external link)
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 09, 2013 11:43 |  #13

xchangx wrote in post #15695182 (external link)
Personally for me it was a decision from a long time ago. I actually shot with Canon but a friend of mine had some Nikon lenses and said I could use his stuff if I switched to Nikon. But honestly, the 1Dx is very similar to the D4.

I've been very happy with how my D3s has performed in low-light, and I can only assume the Canon equivalent would be the same.

A good friend of mine is a pulitzer winner that shot the Olympics this year. Both Canon and Nikon let him use whatever he wanted. He knew he had to buy new stuff as his lenses were getting old and beaten. So either way, he was buying a new set of gear.

He mainly uses zooms.

He chose Nikon over Canon. He said the 1DX and D4 are basically identical. But the Nikon zooms were cheaper than the Canon zooms and he prefers the 14-24 to the 16-35. The Canon 200-400 isn't out yet and he liked the TC, but it is going to be almost double the Nikon 200-400.

I shoot Canon for the simple reason that I got two Canons before I graduated HS (film rebel and a AE-1.) It has never made sense for me to seriously consider switching. You can take professional level images of either.


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XBAMBOBEE
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Mar 09, 2013 11:45 as a reply to  @ xchangx's post |  #14

Tracking Fast Moving Objects:

What is the Ideal setting in the camera ( slow- 0 - Fast)?

Thx


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Mar 09, 2013 13:58 |  #15

On the 1D4, I use the second to the left spot. I have no clue if that is best.


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