McNeese72 wrote in post #17784107
Okay, here it is. It's pretty long so I hope the messageboard doesn't throw up when I try to post it. If it does, I might have to break it up into several posts.
This is probably going to be one of those tl/dr posts. I will try not to ramble too much.
I mostly shoot sports and mainly for McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. I give the S.I.D. the photos I take, put some in a gallery on the University’s website, and put some on my Zenfolio website for sale. I am definitely not the best shooter on the field as the two guys who shoot for the local paper have better skill and have better equipment with their 1Dx’s and their 300 and 400mm F2.8 lenses. So far I haven’t been able to find someone who will give me a 400mm F2.8 lens. As far as equipment I shoot mainly with my 7D2 and the original version of the 70-200mm F2.8 IS lens.
Most of the games are at night and here are the settings I use when it is really dark. Using manual mode, I try to keep the shutter speed at 1/1000 of second or above. Try to keep the aperture wide open at F2.8 (unless I forget to change when it gets dark). I normally shoot auto-ISO. I rather control the shutter speed and aperture and take whatever ISO I get to get sharper photos with no motion blur. Sometimes I will set the Exposure Compensation up 1/3 or 2/3rds of a stop to push the exposure to the right a little. I like the custom setting where you can set the camera up where you push and hold the set button and then turn the upper wheel to change the E.C. on the fly.
Other setting are high speed continuous, AI servo, and Back button focus using the * button where my thumb naturally falls, Since most of the games so far start before sunset then end under the lights, I have been using Automatic White Balance. I edit raw files so I can easily adjust if need in post processing. I shoot Raw +Jpeg with the Raw going to the CF card for me and the Jpegs going to the SD card which I give to the SID after the game. My Picture Style is set on Landscape because I like the saturation it gives the jpegs that I give to the SID.
After the game I upload the files off the CF card to a folder I create in the picture folder on my laptop before I even import to LR so that I have a copy on the card and the laptop. When I get ready to import the files to LR, I have two Passport drives hooked up to my laptop. The LR working copy goes to one and a second backup copy goes to the other when I’m copying the files into LR. I also backup the LR files to the first drive so that I have a copy on the laptop and a backup copy on the first drive.
When importing the files, I have a developmental preset of Clarity at +17 and Vibrance at +21 as starting points. I was playing around one day and set it to that, liked it, saved it to a preset. I have LR make standard previews when importing.
Next, in the library module, I quickly go through the photos at full screen giving 1 stars to the ones I want to try to work with. I have the auto-advance set in the Photos menu so that when I star a photo it goes automatically to the next photo. If I don’t star it, I hit the right arrow key to advance. I can go through photos pretty quickly. I then filter the attributes in library mode so that only 1 stars are showing.
In the Develop module the first thing I do is hit the crop button and set the aspect ration to 11 x 15 and synch all the photos to that ratio. Why, because when I sell photos on Zenfolio, customer will be prompted to crop the photo to whatever print size they want printed and that 11 X 15 aspect ratio will be in between all the common print ratios so not much will be cropped for any size print.
I will start going through the photos individually now. First, I will crop it first to get tight and get rid of any distractions. I have been known to use the spot removal tool to clone out a foot, a hand, or any other item that might be a distraction in a photo. Then will adjust the white balance first. If a lot of the photos are in the same light, I will then select all of those and synch the white balance for those. I can individual tweak those photos if needed when I get to them. For instance, I know at McNeese’s Cowboy Stadium’s lighting (new lights this season) is pretty even and that a Temp of about 4262 with Tint of +50 will work so I synch those photos to that temp. Saves time later.
Now I got down the sliders with the individual folders. I don’t only look at the photos when working on them. I’m also a big histogram watcher and I also have the clipping boxes on the upper left and right turned on so that if I clip any hightlights they will show read and if I clip any blacks they will show blue.
First, I will look at the photo and the histogram and adjust the exposure, if necessary, to make the photo look right and move the histogram towards the middle if it is on either side. Sometimes, I will add a little contrast to widen it out, but rarely.
Next, I go down the sliders. I will bring down the highlights a lot to see more details like the wrinkles in jerseys, etc. Then I bring up the shadows a lot to fill in the shadows especially the faces. I then bring up the whites until I get some red clipping and then back it off slightly. Then bring down the blacks until I get some blue indicating some black clipping and back it off slightly. None of this is iron clad, you have to watch the photo and not just the histogram. Sometimes you don’t have to go as much.
Next is clarity and vibrance. Usually I don’t have to change the settings that the developmental preset set. But I will adjust if it looks like I need to.
Next, is noise reduction and then sharpening. First thing I do with noise reduction is go to grid view in the Library module, click on metadata and then click on Labels (or any of the other column titles will work). In the dropdown box I change the column to ISO speed. That brings up a list of the number of photos grouped by ISO speed. I select the ones with similar ISO speeds for example like the extreme ones 10000, 12800, and 16000 ISO’s. This filters for just those photos. I then select one of the photos with the highest ISO’s and go back to the develop module. I then do the noise reduction for that photo with it at 1:1. I leave the color slider at its default 25. Then it is usually it is 50 luminance NR for these high ISO photos ( I get aggressive with noise reduction with high ISO photos) and less as the ISO speed goes down. Then I get out of 1:1 so I can see the whole photo and go up to the sharpen sliders. I usually up the amount to 75 or 80. I leave the other sliders at their default. I then hold the ALT key and up the mask slider until I can only see the outlines of the edges in the photo. That way you only sharpen the edges and not the background or whatever and bring noise back to those areas. I then synch the NR and sharpening to all the similar ISO speed photos. I will continue doing this with similar bunches of ISO photos until I have done the NR and sharpening on all of them.
I may come back later and use the brush tool, graduated, and radial filters or even adjust the color with the HSL area on a certain photo that I might want to enhance further but usually with sports photos, I want to get them done and online as soon as possible.
Next is exporting. I have different export presets for the files that will exported for different purposes. The one for my Zenfolio website is higher quality and no watermark because the watermark will be added when uploaded to the Zenfolio website. I export all the starred photos will exported for the Zenfolio website. I forgot to mention that when working on photos if I find one that I initially selected is not working out I will unstar it and chunk it. After the Zenfolio export, I will go through the photos and select a few for the gallery on the McNeese website and give them a green label. I will filter them out and then select a my gallery preset in the export module. They don’t have to be as high quality and don’t need a watermark. I export those. Sometimes I will pick a few good ones for my Flickr website and export them with a Flickr preset I made with a watermark in the lower right corner.
That is pretty much how I take sports photos and my LR workflow. It is pretty simple and quick because I’m trying to get the photos out quick. If I was taking wildlife photos and just had a few to work with I would probably do more with them.