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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 20 Nov 2007 (Tuesday) 10:18
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Motor drive for sports? Lazy??

 
n1as
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Nov 20, 2007 10:18 |  #1

I'm not sure what it is called these days. Back in the film era, you had to mount a motor drive to get several frames per second. Anyway, now I have a modern camera and for the first time in my life I have the ability to mash the shutter and let the camera rip 5 fps or so, but is it good?

When I look at the series I get using that technique, I find I sometimes miss the shot that would have made it great. I'll get the action right before the "play" or right after but the peak moment often slips between frames.

Then I look at some sports photographers web pages (where they are selling pics cheap) and I find that they'll post every one of the pics from a burst series, even though most are not worth much.

Because of this, I'm starting to think that relying on the camera to click lots of frames is a lazy approach. Am I wrong?

- Keith -


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airfrogusmc
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Nov 20, 2007 10:29 |  #2

Well I say put your energy into training your eye not machine-gunning your way through it. I guess the Marine in me always says I would rather have one very well placed round than a dozen that were not. There is a entire school of photographers that truly believe in Cartier-Bressons "Decisive moment". I feel its better to discipline yourself than to let the machine do it. But that takes time and patients. Lots a folks don't want to put that kind of time into it so they buy a machine that may or may not be able to do it for them. If you take the time and really prefect your craft then the machine maybe can help you. Probably after you've put in the time you would trust your eye and instincts over machinery.




  
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chauncey
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Nov 20, 2007 10:29 |  #3

Do you really want to open this can of worms?

I guess Photoshop would go into the lazy man catagory.


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cdifoto
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Nov 20, 2007 10:30 |  #4

n1as wrote in post #4352269 (external link)
...5 fps or so...

...I'll get the action right before the "play" or right after but the peak moment often slips between frames...

You need 10FPS.


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cdifoto
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Nov 20, 2007 10:32 |  #5

airfrogusmc wrote in post #4352337 (external link)
Well I say put your energy into training your eye not machine-gunning your way through it. I guess the Marine in me always says I would rather have one very well placed round than a dozen that were not. There is a entire school of photographers that truly believe in Cartier-Bressons "Decisive moment". I feel its better to discipline yourself than to let the machine do it. But that takes time and patients. Lots a folks don't want to put that kind of time into it so they buy a machine that may or may not be able to do it for them. If you take the time and really prefect your craft then the machine maybe can help you. Probably after you've put in the time you would trust your eye and instincts over machinery.

Tell that to SI.


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airfrogusmc
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Nov 20, 2007 10:43 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #6

" Unfortunately some who have achieved leadership in the profession often dictate from a confused throne of success-a success which may be more financial than otherwise."
Adams

"The "machine-gun" approach to photography-by which many negatives are made with the hope that one will be good-is fatal to serious results."
Adams




  
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cdifoto
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Nov 20, 2007 10:45 |  #7

Ansel Adams quotes? I didn't know he shot sports! Awesome. Are there any galleries available online?


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airfrogusmc
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Nov 20, 2007 10:53 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #8

Ya just keep miss'n the point.

Train your vision and everthing else will fall into place. So many want to take the shortcuts and allot of the images we see everywhere today show that. I have seen very few shots anywhere that compare to Bressons images. A well trained eye and a well plces exposure will always beat a drive ALWAYS. I got a $20 says most really good sports shooters know when to use and when not to use a drive and don't use them all the time. Timing and knowing wher to be is key and will always be key.




  
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cdifoto
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Nov 20, 2007 10:55 |  #9

airfrogusmc wrote in post #4352502 (external link)
Ya just keep miss'n the point.

Train your vision and everthing else will fall into place. So many want to take the shortcuts and allot of the images we see everywhere today show that. I have seen very few shots anywhere that compare to Bressons images. A well trained eye and a well plces exposure will always beat a drive ALWAYS. I got a $20 says most really good sports shooters know when to use and when not to use a drive and don't use them all the time. Timing and knowing wher to be is key and will always be key.

Bresson shot sports too? Wow.


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airfrogusmc
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Nov 20, 2007 11:01 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #10

His timing was impeccable. Can you imagine if he did? We'll still be discussing his work in 50 years I doubt anyone that shoots for SI will have that privilege.




  
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PhotosGuy
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Nov 20, 2007 11:13 |  #11

Tell that to SI.

Well, they have to get a shot, even if it isn't "The" shot, no? ;)
Generally I agree with airfrogusmc & I seem to get better results that way. I had a motor drive on my Nikons & it was great for advancing the film. I don't remember ever using them for a burst after the first play-time with them.
Now people complain about the buffer & frame rate on the 300-400 series cams, but I never felt restricted by them, & they paid for a lot of equipment.


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cdifoto
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Nov 20, 2007 11:18 |  #12

I don't use my motordrive all the time either. I'm just saying, sometimes you do need it...or it at least increases your odds. There's no point missing a big play because of a luddite mindset.


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cosworth
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Nov 20, 2007 11:22 |  #13

I once said spray and pray in a descriptive manner, not berating or appluading anyone. I just typeed those words describing how OTHER peopel used the term and I got flamed for a couple pages over it.

DESCRIBING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WERE CALLING IT.

I've shot sports. I've made my living from shooting sports. I don;t get all pissy like some do. I prefer the calculated shot. I do not prefer pressing the button and hoping the shot(s) is on the card.

Now to to a calculated burst in another story.

Shooters get pissy for no reason over someone even remotely saying they guess or hope. Hope is not a strategy. Take the shot, get the shot. Use the tools you have at hand. If you get the shot it doesn't really matter how you got it. It comes full circle though, get the shot. You won't get them just pressing the button down and hoping. and peopel that use burst mode are not usually hoping. They are calculating.

A can of worms? Yes, but the only people that get pissed about it are the people it doesn't apply to - sports shooters. Soccer Moms or weekend hacks who show up in burst mode and then delete %90 of their shots are the spray and pray crowd. And oddly, they don't get offended by the term.


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frenchdub
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Nov 20, 2007 11:27 |  #14

Hi there
I used to shoot lots of sport for a living and a motordrive very rarely gave you THE shot. As you rightly say it often makes you miss THE shot.
You need to know the shot you want and look for it, anticipate it and set your camera, lens and exposure choice to get THE shot.
What a motor will help you do is be ready as quickly as possible to try again if you miss it. Generally when you see the moment you want you haven't got it in the can...
The other advantage especially when you use a monopod and long lens is it rearms the camera for your next shot without you having to take your eye off the scene.. in fact this to me is its main benefit with all focal lengths...
I looked at shooting news as getting a good shot and then trying to get a better one until the moment or action or event was over... the motor helped me be ready, be faster and capture more moments, hopefully getting a good shot, or at least a usable news picture.

What a motor won't help you do is blast away and "mash your shutter" in the hope of getting a good shot. This is a bit like having a repeating rifle and shooting without taking aim. you still need to see your images, where the image will happen, anticipate a moment and make sure you are ready to try and seize it.
The more you shoot and the more you analyse and look for your moments the more good shots you'll get. A motor will help.
Regards
Gareth

PS: Just ready Cosworth's "Spray and Pray"...love it.. it sums it all up. G




  
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Nov 20, 2007 11:29 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #15

I'm impressed that the anti-FPS crowd can know in advance what's going to happen next when shooting sports.

I frequently find that the decisive moment may not be the one where contact is made with the ball, but one fraction of a second later when the expression on a player's face has changed. But you can't always bet on it -- you can just time it as well as possible to capture the event. Even if that event takes place over a short span of time.


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Motor drive for sports? Lazy??
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