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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Sports 
Thread started 01 Oct 2007 (Monday) 14:25
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New Gymnastics Sharing Thread..

 
kpsack
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Location: Apex, Nc
     
Nov 06, 2007 11:56 |  #106

I use just a lowly Rebel XTI. I was shooting with an 85mm 1.8. I was lucky enough to be fairly close to the floor and the bars . This was a big gym. The beam unfortunately was on the opposite side of the gym. I had set up for Tungsten light. I tried tsome of the other settings but that was the best. I have been trying to get a white balance filter but the stores around here keep seeming to be out and I want to see it before I purchase it. The shot of her at the podium was taken with just the stock lens. No ppg has been done on any of these.




  
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fugfuggy
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Nov 06, 2007 12:22 as a reply to  @ kpsack's post |  #107

Kapsack,

Yeah, you have got a couple issues here. First, the WB is off on all of them and this is to be expected in most gyms due to the cycle lighting. For this reason alone, shooting in raw will serve you well as it can all be adjusted after the fact. IMHO, setting a custom WB will do you no good so buying the filter is a waste for this environment but may serve you well in others.

Missing the focus point goes with the territory because they move so fast. You got some good advice so far, focus on the bar or the hips, that is what I do. If you look at my most recent pics, the bar and face are tac sharp but the feet are a bit blurred.

I know that you have not done any PP but I think this is very important for gym shots. Simple adjustments to lighting, NR, USM and CROPPING will yield much better results. Once you get the hang of it you can spend less than 1 minute per picture.

Keep shooting and posting!




  
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bwolford
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Nov 06, 2007 15:07 as a reply to  @ fugfuggy's post |  #108

KP, you can take some nice shots with that XTi. No worries there.

Like Fug wrote the filter probably won't do you any good. Shoot raw and you can adjust in post processing. Once you get the hang of it, you can make the adjustments rapidly and once you adjust one raw in a series, you can apply the same adjustment to all of the others. If you have to shoot JPG or it's your absolute preference, learn to set the white balance manually. Carry a piece of photo paper or other white paper (poor man's method, you can also spend money on a grey card) and use the techniques described on page 86 of your manual to set a custom white balance. Essentially, you take a picture of a white object (the photo paper or a grey object the grey white balance card) filling the view finder. It doesn't matter if it is in focus. Just take the picture in the lighting environment in which you will take pictures. Then just follow the steps outlined and you should get pretty good JPG images, although some lights cycle and you may still have trouble. You can get around it with RAW, but not as easily with JPG.

Randy, I hadn't thought of slowing focus tracking... Ugh, always something to learn. I know that's what's wrong with some of my photos.

KP, pages 57 and 58 of your manual tell you how to select your focus point. Set it to center point (the best focus point on your camera) and keep that little center rectangle over the hips or face and you should see some improvement. Unfortunately you don't have a way to focus separately from the shutter button, that I can see, so you'll have to go with this method for now.

Good luck!

Brice


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kpsack
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Nov 06, 2007 20:52 |  #109

Thanks so much for all of the advice. I finally was able to install my photo software on the new computer today so I am going to work on pp tonight. The next meet is at a really well lit gym so I hopefully will get some good results. Out of the ones that I took on floor with these others, about half were a little blurry. Real shame b/c I had one of a perfect leap that was just too blurry. I still need to work on the fast moving focus thing. I used the monopod for the first time then too.

Do any of you use an extension with your lenses?




  
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bwolford
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Nov 06, 2007 21:34 |  #110

kpsack wrote in post #4267019 (external link)
Thanks so much for all of the advice. I finally was able to install my photo software on the new computer today so I am going to work on pp tonight. The next meet is at a really well lit gym so I hopefully will get some good results. Out of the ones that I took on floor with these others, about half were a little blurry. Real shame b/c I had one of a perfect leap that was just too blurry. I still need to work on the fast moving focus thing. I used the monopod for the first time then too.

Do any of you use an extension with your lenses?

A lens extension will 1/2 the aperture, which is a bad thing. You are better off using your "footzoom" or cropping and living with smaller prints. Unless you had great light, I would not use an extension, but that's me. I never sit down in the gym and move all over the place. Added bonus, it gets me away from the "gym" parents that can't get over the fact that their little monkey is going to be the next Shannon Miller. ;) These people should already be aware that my monkey is the next Shannon Miller. Theirs can be Carlie Paterson if they want.


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fugfuggy
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Nov 07, 2007 12:16 as a reply to  @ bwolford's post |  #111

Kap,

Much like Brice, I never sit when at a meet. The sneaker zoom is your best friend. I am always looking for angles that will provide the best shot with the least amount of clutter in the background. This is not always easy or even possible. It all depends on how the gym is laid out.

I too like to get away from the over zealous gym parents. We have a couple that are difficult to be around. Most forget that this is simply an after school activity that is helping our little ones to grow up to be great humans, not Olympians.




  
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kpsack
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Nov 07, 2007 15:41 |  #112

Amen to all of that. I don't sit at meets but before it has always been to avoid some of the other moms, not to take pics. I find so many of them were wannabe gymnasts reliving their youth. I can't relate.

Talk about background, the gym that I took those pictures I posted at did not cover their mirror and so all of the vault pictures had two images of the girls . Did make it interesting but not good looking. Unfortunately, there was no way to avoid this from where the parents were allowed.

By the way Brice tell all of the parents, my daughter has Carly Patterson covered (she was also born in Baton Rouge, LA) so step back ;)




  
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fugfuggy
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Nov 07, 2007 16:33 as a reply to  @ kpsack's post |  #113

Kap,

no comments on my other gymnastics photo thread?




  
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bwolford
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Nov 07, 2007 16:51 |  #114

kpsack wrote in post #4272221 (external link)
By the way Brice tell all of the parents, my daughter has Carly Patterson covered (she was also born in Baton Rouge, LA) so step back ;)

Now it's on Bro!!!:D


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mkenney99
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Nov 14, 2007 09:01 as a reply to  @ bwolford's post |  #115

Hi all - I would like to thank everyone on this thread (and the older thread) for the very informative and interesting discussion on gymnastics photography!

I have twin girls at Level 5 and 6 in southeastern PA, and last year several of the team parents, myself included, started to get more serious about the photos we were taking of the team during their competitions. It was great fun and we shared all of the photos using a Snapfish group. However I was frustrated because my camera (Panasonic DMC-FZ5) just couldn't cut it when it came to action shots, except for a few occasions when the lighting was just right. So this year I am determined to improve the situation.

Based on everything I read, and my limited budget, I have just purchased a Digital Rebel XT, along with the 85mm f/1.8 lens to start with (skipped the kit lens). From what I have been reading this is an excellent lens and should definitely help with the action shots in the usually poor indoor lighting. I can't wait to get the camera and begin shooting! I may be asking our coach to come in for a practice during the week to do some practice of my own. :) Our competitions don't start until December, and they run thru the Spring for sectionals and states.

One question I had for the group - what other type of lens do you typically find yourself using at the meets? I figure I will need some sort of telephoto zoom for those occasions when we are really far from the action. I have been looking at the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 (budget stretch) and the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5 (but don't know if it will be fast enough for gymnastics). Any advice/opinions are greatly appreciated.

Mark




  
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rcavanaughjr
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Nov 14, 2007 11:51 as a reply to  @ mkenney99's post |  #116

Welcome to the gymnastics club.

Your choice of the 85mm was a good, but as you said, sometimes you need a little more reach.

I have the 70-200 2.8 Sigma and use it 90% of the time, mainly for the reach. I used my 85mm a couple of weekends ago because the best shutter I could get with the 70-200 was 60. Not good for gymnastics.

I am not familiar with the tamron, but I would say that the 3.5 is the deal buster on it, if you encounter gyms like I have to shoot in.

I bought the Sigma for the same reason you are talking about, BUDGET. I have rented a Canon 70-200 2.8, but I do not see $400-500 better quality. Like many others on this forum, I love my Sigma. Sure it would be nice to have an "L", but not at this time for me. I have to get another zoom in the near future, and if I can find a good used one for a little more than the sigma I might swing that. Problem is, everyone holds on to the Canon 70-200.


  
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dharmon
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Nov 14, 2007 12:54 as a reply to  @ rcavanaughjr's post |  #117

Hi everyone,

I'm finally getting a chance to catch my breath. I have now shot a grand total of 4 gym meets since I first came looking for advice on this forum. I think that advice has served me well. Thanks to all. What a great group of folks!

Just acouple of observatins. I find that I am looking at all pictures more critically and what was once acceptable to me,no longer is satisfactory.
However, other parents really like the shots I've taken of their gymnasts and several have asked for more. So, I'm looking forward to posting a few pics for some C&C. Just haven't had the time to do it yet. Not to mention, I really don't like computers.:lol:

In response to 99. The lens I've found that I use most is the 85 1.8 When I need the extra reach I use a 135 2.0. I thought about buying the70=200 2.8,
as it would be convenient to have one lens to cover that focal length ,but the reality is it would be to slow.for the gyms I've been in. So I'm stuck changing between two lens .




  
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GBRandy
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Nov 14, 2007 13:11 |  #118

dharmon wrote in post #4315177 (external link)
Hi everyone,

I'm finally getting a chance to catch my breath. I have now shot a grand total of 4 gym meets since I first came looking for advice on this forum. I think that advice has served me well. Thanks to all. What a great group of folks!

Just acouple of observatins. I find that I am looking at all pictures more critically and what was once acceptable to me,no longer is satisfactory.
However, other parents really like the shots I've taken of their gymnasts and several have asked for more. So, I'm looking forward to posting a few pics for some C&C. Just haven't had the time to do it yet. Not to mention, I really don't like computers.:lol:

In response to 99. The lens I've found that I use most is the 85 1.8 When I need the extra reach I use a 135 2.0. I thought about buying the70=200 2.8,
as it would be convenient to have one lens to cover that focal length ,but the reality is it would be to slow.for the gyms I've been in. So I'm stuck changing between two lens .

Well your lens assessment is dead on. I use the 70-200f2.8 on occasion if lighting permits.

As you get better, you do become more critical of your work. I resigned to posting almost all the pictures I take for the parents to look at....I have shots that were an automatic delete for me but had parents all agush over them. Remember...they can't get squat with their gear....so ANYTHING is better than what they have.

I am back home tonight to PP some shots from Sunday.....stay tuned, back in action for the first time this year.


GBRandy
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bwolford
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Nov 14, 2007 13:38 |  #119

mkenney99 wrote in post #4313828 (external link)
Hi all - I would like to thank everyone on this thread (and the older thread) for the very informative and interesting discussion on gymnastics photography!

I have twin girls at Level 5 and 6 in southeastern PA, and last year several of the team parents, myself included, started to get more serious about the photos we were taking of the team during their competitions. It was great fun and we shared all of the photos using a Snapfish group. However I was frustrated because my camera (Panasonic DMC-FZ5) just couldn't cut it when it came to action shots, except for a few occasions when the lighting was just right. So this year I am determined to improve the situation.

Based on everything I read, and my limited budget, I have just purchased a Digital Rebel XT, along with the 85mm f/1.8 lens to start with (skipped the kit lens). From what I have been reading this is an excellent lens and should definitely help with the action shots in the usually poor indoor lighting. I can't wait to get the camera and begin shooting! I may be asking our coach to come in for a practice during the week to do some practice of my own. :) Our competitions don't start until December, and they run thru the Spring for sectionals and states.

One question I had for the group - what other type of lens do you typically find yourself using at the meets? I figure I will need some sort of telephoto zoom for those occasions when we are really far from the action. I have been looking at the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 (budget stretch) and the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5 (but don't know if it will be fast enough for gymnastics). Any advice/opinions are greatly appreciated.

Mark

Mike, looks like you are on the right path. I'm not sure the F/3.5 will make you happy in the long run. The F/2.8 is the minimum apeture you'll find acceptable.

Welcome to the forum.


Brice
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fugfuggy
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Nov 14, 2007 14:18 |  #120

Hi Mkenny99! Welcome to the group! I am glad to see that we are growing and helping each other so much.

Your new gear should serve you much better than your pany did, even though that is a great little camera. If you read through the older thread I am sure that you found it to be much more instructional, complete with step by step techniques. I think it is a great idea that you ask the coach to shoot photos during practice. You can try out those techniques and see what works for you. If your club does a year book you can offer up your candids for that, they seem to appreciate that. And, if you have a photo sharing site that the parents can get the images from they too will greatly appreciate it.

Keep shooting and keep posting!




  
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