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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
Thread started 13 Oct 2011 (Thursday) 20:55
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Backlit Football

 
Big ­ K
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Oct 13, 2011 20:55 |  #1

This is in response to another thread recently where they were talking about shooting football into the sun.

I rarely shoot daytime football with the sun at my back. I really don't care for photos with all facial detail lost in shadows and would much rather have blown highlights and visible faces.

While it is not always possible, I try my best to be shooting with the sun directly at their backs. This tends to keep the subject in more even lighting with the blown highlights being mostly around edges. Again, this is not always possible but the more of your subject in the shaded side of the photo the better.

It also helps if the background (typically the stands) are also in the shaded side of the image. Like with the subject, the more evenly lit your image is, the less noticeable the blown areas are.

I think most of these images were shot at f/2.8 ISO 400 and 1/2000. Some might have varied a bit from there but that is the general range. I also always shoot full manual and adjust as needed for changing conditions.

Enough rambling. Hope that provides some general info on how I go about shooting into the sun.

Oh, one last positive for shooting this way. You will have virtually the entire sideline to yourself because most people don't know how to set their exposure and/or follow the notion that you should always shoot with the sun at your back. You can show them your photos later so they can actually see what the players faces look like.

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Methodical
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Oct 13, 2011 23:14 |  #2

Nice Kevin. I'd love to get a hold of the 400 2.8II. Where do you normally position yourself for the shots and which metering mode do you use?

Haha funny you mention about being on the sideline by yourself - that happened this weekend.


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Brian_R
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Oct 13, 2011 23:21 |  #3

great set and use of sunlight.

i am also curious about metering although im guessing it would be spot metering.




  
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Big ­ K
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Oct 14, 2011 09:38 |  #4

Methodical wrote in post #13248740 (external link)
Nice Kevin. I'd love to get a hold of the 400 2.8II. Where do you normally position yourself for the shots and which metering mode do you use?

Haha funny you mention about being on the sideline by yourself - that happened this weekend.

I mainly try and position myself so the sun is directly at their back. Sometimes that has me ahead of the play and sometimes behind. How faroff the line I am varies. I don't have a regular spot.

As for metering I'm not sure what mode I was in for these. I use histogram and blown highlight indicators to make minor adjustments and a handheld light meter to establish an initial setting if conditions are anything out of the normal. I've shot this team on this field so many times I know ISO 400 f/2.8 1/2000 is a good starting point on a sunny day.

Hope that helps.


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Big ­ K
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Oct 14, 2011 09:42 as a reply to  @ Big K's post |  #5

Hit send too soon.

If I was going to use the camera metering I would use spot, meter on a face in full shade in Av mode at 2.8 and ISO 400 and then switch to manual and set the shutter speed based on what the camera metering said then adjust from there as needed.


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VegasBoz
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Oct 14, 2011 10:06 |  #6

I absolutely agree with the backlit option! That's how I shoot soccer and I personally think the pictures turn out a LOT nicer when the player is framed with the sun behind them. It forces you to crop tighter too, which is never a bad thing.




  
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dmwierz
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Oct 14, 2011 18:07 |  #7

Kevin, nice work. I absolutely agree 100% about backlit shots - you take advantage of Nature's own hair light.

Thanks for sharing.


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ThomasAWilson
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Oct 14, 2011 18:16 as a reply to  @ dmwierz's post |  #8

These are great. I'm curious.. What sort of processing do you do in post and from your EXIF you're using Photoshop.. Do you do any Lightroom correcting or is it all PS?


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Big ­ K
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Oct 15, 2011 00:46 |  #9

dmwierz wrote in post #13252059 (external link)
Kevin, nice work. I absolutely agree 100% about backlit shots - you take advantage of Nature's own hair light.

Thanks for sharing.

Thanks, Dennis

ThomasAWilson wrote in post #13252086 (external link)
These are great. I'm curious.. What sort of processing do you do in post and from your EXIF you're using Photoshop.. Do you do any Lightroom correcting or is it all PS?

I use Aperture for just about everything. I recently added Lightroom, which I do really like, but still have a lot to learn before I am comfortable enough to abandon Aperture and make the switch.

Most of my editing of backlit photos is contrast and black point adjustments (In Aperture). Shooting backlit tends to kill the blacks so I will make adjustments to get a bit more dynamic range.

Unless it is some super critical play or huge moment, I don't mess with trying to salvage sports photos in post. If it requires more than some basic adjustments I just delete them and move on to the next one.

About the only thing I use Photoshop for with sports photos is sharpening. Occasionally I will use the shadow adjustment, but even that is rare. I mainly use Photoshop with portrait work.


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Supersteve911
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Oct 15, 2011 05:04 |  #10

WOW, awesome shots!!!!


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