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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 01 May 2013 (Wednesday) 10:09
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Metering mode & white balance

 
deonholt
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May 01, 2013 10:09 |  #1

Hi there and thank you for your help.

Equipment:
Canon 7D with Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II
Canon 7D with Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS
Lightroom 4

I do a lot of sport photography and still learn a lot and still have a lot to learn.

Metering Mode:
I'm attending a very basic photography course and last night the course leader taught about white balance. He told us to never shoot with white balance on "Daylight" since it is not correct and it is used mainly with things like shots in the desert. About a year ago, before every shoot for a rugby match, I took out my grey card, took a shot and set my camera on custom white balance and used that shot. Thinking back, I think it worked. But during last year, I became friends with some very well known sport photographers here in South Africa and I was advised to put the white balance on "Daylight". I remember that I changed the WB many times in LR since I was not happy.
What is your take on this? I will appreciate your help. In a rugby match early in the morning, I will shoot one half with the sun and the other against. When shooting with the sun, I shoot the grey card with it facing the sun and my back to the sun. Will I need to change the WB when shooting against the sun. (I sometimes have to over-expose about 2 stops when shooting against the sun.)

Metering Mode:
I have always shot with camera on Evaluative metering. With the course yesterday, the course leader said that this mode is best for landscapes, which I agree with. We were advised to use spot metering for sport photography. What is your experience on the best metering mode for outdoor sport?

Focusing:
I always use the Spot AF (center dot) and shoot with the spot on the player's chest. I've had good results with this setting so far but sometimes wish I had moved the focusing dot up a little because I chopped off the player's head or so. I have tried AF point expansion but I may be imagining myself but sometimes the player's face was not sharp. I always shoot on f/2.8 with both lenses.

Thank you so long.

Best Regards,
Deon




  
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May 01, 2013 11:28 |  #2

deonholt wrote in post #15886512 (external link)
Hi there and thank you for your help.

Equipment:
Canon 7D with Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II
Canon 7D with Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS
Lightroom 4

I do a lot of sport photography and still learn a lot and still have a lot to learn.

Metering Mode:
I'm attending a very basic photography course and last night the course leader taught about white balance. He told us to never shoot with white balance on "Daylight" since it is not correct and it is used mainly with things like shots in the desert. About a year ago, before every shoot for a rugby match, I took out my grey card, took a shot and set my camera on custom white balance and used that shot. Thinking back, I think it worked. But during last year, I became friends with some very well known sport photographers here in South Africa and I was advised to put the white balance on "Daylight". I remember that I changed the WB many times in LR since I was not happy.
What is your take on this? I will appreciate your help. In a rugby match early in the morning, I will shoot one half with the sun and the other against. When shooting with the sun, I shoot the grey card with it facing the sun and my back to the sun. Will I need to change the WB when shooting against the sun. (I sometimes have to over-expose about 2 stops when shooting against the sun.)

Metering Mode:
I have always shot with camera on Evaluative metering. With the course yesterday, the course leader said that this mode is best for landscapes, which I agree with. We were advised to use spot metering for sport photography. What is your experience on the best metering mode for outdoor sport?

Focusing:
I always use the Spot AF (center dot) and shoot with the spot on the player's chest. I've had good results with this setting so far but sometimes wish I had moved the focusing dot up a little because I chopped off the player's head or so. I have tried AF point expansion but I may be imagining myself but sometimes the player's face was not sharp. I always shoot on f/2.8 with both lenses.

Thank you so long.

Best Regards,

Deon

Actual sports images, all using auto white balance and evaluative metering (called "matrix" metering in the EXIF).

From actual experience with real Canon DSLR's, evaluative metering is a very good overall choice for outdoor sports, and spot metering can cause trouble. These images, using evaluative metering, demonstrate why.

Bright afternoon sun with one team wearing dark uniforms and the other team with white uniforms. Spot metering on the dark uniforms will overexpose the frame and spot metering on the white uniforms will underexpose the frame. Also, the light is constantly changing as the sun moves across the sky, and changing location also changes the impact of the light.

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In the typically variable conditions you'll encounter outdoors, evaluative metering provides a useful compromise. Also, trying to keep a metering spot on a player's chest, when the player is moving in a frequently unpredictable fashion means that, unless you're exceptionally skilled and experienced, that spot will often be in the wrong place. Canon's done a good job of calculating exposure algorithms in evaluative mode, and it's easy to let the camera figure out the exposure while you concentrate on getting the action in the frame.



  
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deonholt
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May 01, 2013 11:57 |  #3

Thank you and I take your point on evaluative metering. I played this afternoon with spot metering and encountered exactly what you mention. I shot a wheel with a white rim. The black of the tyre was underexposed by almost 2 stops.
Thank you for replying.




  
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sporadic
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May 01, 2013 12:16 |  #4

I've never shot Rugby, but in soccer the synthetic vibrant uniforms can really mess with auto white balance. I always shoot in RAW so don't worry too much about white balance, but will take a gray card reference shot to use later in post if needed. As for metering and modes I find myself using evaluative and hopping between Av and manual. In Av I'll stay at 2.8 and roll my ISO to get 1/1000+ shutter speeds and usually have around +1/3 EC. If lighting is consistent, I'll go in manual, meter off the grass, and chimp a player shot and only change if lighting changes or I switch sides of the field (shooting into sun). As for focusing, I use manual AF point selection (but not spot) and am frequently changing the points based on where the action is. I need to try point expansion at some point. If players are on the right side of field, I'll use the upper right rule of thirds point to capture action moving into the frame. I'll try to lock focus on the face of whoever is in control and follow the action with it moving into the frame.


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deonholt
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May 01, 2013 12:38 |  #5

sporadic wrote in post #15886968 (external link)
I've never shot Rugby, but in soccer the synthetic vibrant uniforms can really mess with auto white balance. I always shoot in RAW so don't worry too much about white balance, but will take a gray card reference shot to use later in post if needed. As for metering and modes I find myself using evaluative and hopping between Av and manual. In Av I'll stay at 2.8 and roll my ISO to get 1/1000+ shutter speeds and usually have around +1/3 EC. If lighting is consistent, I'll go in manual, meter off the grass, and chimp a player shot and only change if lighting changes or I switch sides of the field (shooting into sun). As for focusing, I use manual AF point selection (but not spot) and am frequently changing the points based on where the action is. I need to try point expansion at some point. If players are on the right side of field, I'll use the upper right rule of thirds point to capture action moving into the frame. I'll try to lock focus on the face of whoever is in control and follow the action with it moving into the frame.

Thank you for your reply. Yes, soccer very much the same as rugby regarding the unpredictability of where the action is next. I think soccer may even be worst than rugby.
2 questions from your post, if I may.
1. What are your settings when shooting into the sun.
2. How do you use your gray card in PP? I mainly use LR for PP and rarely jumps to PS from LR.

Thank you very much again. I have learned yet again. :D




  
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sporadic
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May 01, 2013 13:14 |  #6

deonholt wrote in post #15887048 (external link)
Thank you for your reply. Yes, soccer very much the same as rugby regarding the unpredictability of where the action is next. I think soccer may even be worst than rugby.
2 questions from your post, if I may.
1. What are your settings when shooting into the sun.
2. How do you use your gray card in PP? I mainly use LR for PP and rarely jumps to PS from LR.

Thank you very much again. I have learned yet again. :D

When shooting into the sun I'll usually have to bump exposure up a little so that the faces aren't underexposed. The times our team plays changes each weekend and lighting can be very harsh at times. I'll try to get some samples from last weeks game this evening. As for using the gray card in post, I'll use the white balance dropper in the developer module of LR to set the white balance on the card, copy the settings, then apply those as needed to the pictures which need adjustment. Usually gets me in the ballpark. Just started shooting sports last year as well, so learning here too. Good luck!


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deonholt
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May 01, 2013 13:54 |  #7

Thanx again for the reply. Attached is a picture of last Saturday's game. I shot this almost directly into the sun. EXIF: 1/1000sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 and some PP in LR.

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xchangx
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May 01, 2013 15:28 |  #8

Try to get off of using any type of metering. Learn how to shoot manual. Why?

Spot metering is generally the best since you will want your subject to be properly exposed. However, like you have experienced, spot metering on a black jersey will blow everything else out.

However, evaluative metering can also screw you. Say, a perfect shot comes up, but one of the lights/sun is in the frame. Everything else will be dark because the camera will see the light/sun and properly expose for it.

So shoot manual


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gonzogolf
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May 01, 2013 15:40 |  #9

Spot meter to get your exposure values, then lock it in on manual. As mentioned above the amount of dark or white jerseys in a given frame will alter the metering in the same light. So skip the automated modes.




  
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deonholt
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May 02, 2013 01:47 |  #10

xchangx wrote in post #15887635 (external link)
Try to get off of using any type of metering. Learn how to shoot manual. Why?

Spot metering is generally the best since you will want your subject to be properly exposed. However, like you have experienced, spot metering on a black jersey will blow everything else out.

However, evaluative metering can also screw you. Say, a perfect shot comes up, but one of the lights/sun is in the frame. Everything else will be dark because the camera will see the light/sun and properly expose for it.

So shoot manual

Hi there. I do shoot manual. The fact that I shoot manual, does it mean that whatever metering mode is selected, manual overrides whatever metering mode is selected?

Thank you.




  
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xchangx
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May 02, 2013 07:25 |  #11

If you shoot manual, the meter is just for display only (except when using flash at TTL)


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deonholt
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May 02, 2013 07:42 |  #12

xchangx wrote in post #15889724 (external link)
If you shoot manual, the meter is just for display only (except when using flash at TTL)

Excellent. Thank you very much. I still have a lot to learn. :oops:




  
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Hannya
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May 06, 2013 06:34 |  #13

I normally take a meter readinf from the grass as this is pretty close to midtone. Whatever method you use its always a good idea to check the histogram just to ensure you dont blow highlights.


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Metering mode & white balance
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