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06-15-2012, 01:38 PM   #781
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These are my first ever attempts at sport photography. If the truth be told, they're my first ever attempt to photograph people in motion.

06-15-2012, 01:41 PM   #782
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Oops

Second try
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06-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #783
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06-15-2012, 03:30 PM - 1 Like   #784
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jva59, I'd like to offer some constructive suggestions.

#1. Level and crop. Too much foreground grass. I also think the stuff on the ground does not add to the interest. With web-based presentation you only have a small image so you may as well maximise the pixels devoted to the main subject.

Settings are 1/400s, f/8, ISO200. LV for this is 13.6. Unless the lens is horribly soft with the aperture more open, I think a better combo for this LV is 1/800s, f/5.6, ISO200 or 1/800s, f6.3, ISO280 or 1/640s, f/6.3, ISO200. Use 1/1000s if there's enough light. Once you get below about 1/800s it gets hard to get sharp action. 1/400s is getting toward my "desperation" action shutter speed of 1/350s which I've only used in very overcast dire situations with "slow" glass. Don't know if B&W helps here. I'd be shooting with raw and dodging in PP to lighten the dark bits.

You can go the small f-smaller/narrow DOF route e.g. f/2.8-f/4 if:
  1. You have a faster lens
  2. You don't need more DOF to cover interactions
  3. It's early/late or not very sunny
  4. You want to isolate the attention to just one or 2 players
Doing so makes it harder because narrow DOF is a bigger problem if you miss focus i.e. the focus point is between two interacting players rather than on one of the players


#2. 1/320s, f/8, ISO200. Shutter speed really too low. I'd be cropping out more of the sky and getting rid of the space behind the subject. Having a subject close to the side of the frame towards which he is running makes it look unbalanced. Lens won't vignette at this aperture, so you've applied artificial vignetting in PP, but I don't think it helps at all.


#3. 1/400s, f/8, ISO200. In general, I'd suggest for sports trying TAv exposure mode and letting the ISO roam between ISO80-ISO4000. You can remove noise in PP (at the expense of resolution), but you can't get rid of motion blur. Level & crop.

With soccer you should almost always have the ball in frame. Otherwise, the action and the communication with the viewer is greatly reduced. Only time I've broken this rule is if I've caught a very interesting body or facial expression, but missed the ball, as in this shot: Is it Soccer, Ballet or a combination of the two? - Pentax User Photo Gallery

You usually can't get the ball in frame with portrait orientation. You really need to use landscape orientation. After cropping, the final image may well end up with a portrait orientation, particularly if the player is moving towards you.

I find with junior soccer it's often the drama or facial expressions of 2 or more players that add interest. This shot is starting to get an element of that. Try and anticipate when interactions will occur. With the K-5 you can operate in High Speed Continuous in AF.C mode and still get a decent burst rate. Normally, I just tap the shutter release button to get single shots, but if you hold it down in this mode you'll get a burst which is handy when an interaction is occurring or a player is going for goal.

Some examples of interaction: Determination - Pentax User Photo Gallery, Trying Hard - Pentax User Photo Gallery, The Race - Pentax User Photo Gallery.


#4. Problem here is that nothing much is happening: no ball, little action, no dramatic expressions on the faces. Sports shooting is a combo of action & drama. Try for both elements in your shots.


All your shots have a 77mm FL, so I think you shot with a prime lens. If you want to take up the challenge of shooting junior soccer, (I find it very interesting because you end up capturing things you didn't really notice at the time because everything is happening too quickly. Also it's very challenging so it doesn't get boring - you're always trying to improve each week and looking for really wild shots), I suggest that you get a longer zoom lens. Cheapest quality zoom lens is probably the DAL 55-300/F4-f5.8. More expensive alternatives are DA* 60-250/F4 or Sigma 70-20/F2.8 (don't need the expensive OS version - fast focusing - good for low light and for subject isolation, but 200mm FL is iust a little too short to cover distant action well).

Keep at it. We all have to start somewhere.

Dan.


Last edited by dosdan; 07-20-2012 at 03:12 PM.
06-15-2012, 04:11 PM   #785
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QuoteOriginally posted by dosdan Quote
some constructive suggestions.
Good stuff!
06-15-2012, 06:41 PM   #786
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Actually I like the last one, although it could be cropped a bit more on the horizontal level.
06-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #787
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Dan,

Many thanks for the tips, which I expect will be a great help (and which I'll be printing out for closer study). Alas, it will be a while before I'm at another sporting event--these were taken during a visit to family some ways away from my home base.

James


QuoteOriginally posted by dosdan Quote
jva59, I'd like to offer some constructive suggestions.

...

Dan.
06-16-2012, 01:47 PM   #788
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Hahaa! You didn't see this one coming from me! What we call "the American Football" is a very small sport in Finland. However, it's been played and we've actually had some success even in the European championships. These pictures are from the highest national league game in my home town. It's actually the first time I've ever seen this game played live - and obviously also the first time I've tried to shoot it. All shots with K-5 + Sigma 150-500.













Being actively involved with what's called football in Europe, I always wonder how this is called football in America. Please don't get too offended by this ;D

06-16-2012, 02:50 PM   #789
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QuoteOriginally posted by jppp Quote
Hahaa! You didn't see this one coming from me! What we call "the American Football" is a very small sport in Finland. However, it's been played and we've actually had some success even in the European championships. These pictures are from the highest national league game in my home town. It's actually the first time I've ever seen this game played live - and obviously also the first time I've tried to shoot it. All shots with K-5 + Sigma 150-500.













Being actively involved with what's called football in Europe, I always wonder how this is called football in America. Please don't get too offended by this ;D
It's just as small here dear neighbour.
Although I'm thinking of trying to contact a team just to try to do a photo job at a game. Though, my lack of knowledge for the game and the fact that 200mm is pretty short brings down my hopes for a good session.
06-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #790
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QuoteOriginally posted by jppp Quote
Hahaa! You didn't see this one coming from me! What we call "the American Football" is a very small sport in Finland. However, it's been played and we've actually had some success even in the European championships. These pictures are from the highest national league game in my home town. It's actually the first time I've ever seen this game played live - and obviously also the first time I've tried to shoot it. All shots with K-5 + Sigma 150-500.













Being actively involved with what's called football in Europe, I always wonder how this is called football in America. Please don't get too offended by this ;D
Excellent, maybe the team should hire you. You know cheerleading is a sport too, could have caught a few pics there as well
06-16-2012, 10:16 PM   #791
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
You know cheerleading is a sport too, could have caught a few pics there as well
I know, and I did take a couple of shots of the girls (but they were so young it made me feel awkward). However, I had to make sure I have good shots of the game as there was a possibility to get one in the newspaper. This being the first time for me, I fired away 650 shots within the first half of the game and left to edit them. All for nothing, because there was no room for my pictures in the sports section of today's paper.
But definitely a good experience and completely different one than football. I also had my 70-200 Tamron with me but didn't even try it once because this seems to be all about getting up close to the action. The ball is much closer to the player's face and the helmets cover the facial expressions. You have to reach up to 500 mm in order to get the most out of it and make it interesting.
A friend of mine is the team's press officer so I should have acces to shoot the games again. However, there's no chance that the team could pay me because they don't have a budget for that. The only way of getting paid would be to get the shots published. Not entirely impossible and I'll have to look into that one.
06-17-2012, 02:49 AM   #792
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Cycling

A kind of surprise this morning when an amateur race was passing through our little village.
A few quick shots with the K5 and the DA 4/60-250.





06-17-2012, 04:41 AM   #793
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Some "action & drama" shots:

1. A clash!



2. Getting close & personal. "Excuse me while I take that ball off you."


3. A 3-shot save sequence. It starts off normal enough. The goalie prepares to intercept an incoming ball.



4. The goalie realises the ball is going to miss him (perhaps it bounced and changed direction) and he leaps to the right.


5. The goalie deflects the ball. You can't tell it from this angle (another shot in the sequence would be nice) but the ball flies across the face of the goal, but does not enter.


6. A little drama.


7. "Actionman" was medically not permitted to run for 3 months. So he was the goalie in one or both halves of all our matches so far this year. (If he wasn't the goalie he sat out the 2nd half on the bench.) This match was the first one where he can run again, but the coach wanted him as goalie in the 1st half again because he was worried that the team we were playing against was going to be too strong and he wanted to stop the goals. (As it turned out it was a 0-0 draw, and we were pleased not to have a goal scored against us by this team which were the champs last year.) Anyway, Actionman got to be a defender in the second half. This shot is of a block, not a missed kick. (Or perhaps, it's a mix of both.)


8. The ball bounces back out.


9. I like line-abreast shots with the looks on different faces.


10. In this shot I like having two of the runners in the air and the outstretched fingers.


11. in this shot I really like the striving and expression of the player in the fluoro vest.



12. I like the expressions on both faces and the vertical compaction of the players.


Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 06-17-2012 at 03:52 PM.
06-18-2012, 09:23 AM   #794
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Just like in Finland the sport American Football is very small in Holland and yesterday I hoped to get to shoot that sport since a match was to be played in my hometown. However when I got to the sport park I found out that the match was canceled, but I ran into an even smaller sport in Holland : cricket. There are only a handfull teams and most of them are in the west. Lucky for me I had the Sigma 120-400 HSM II and the Kenko TC 1.5 with me since the subject are about 60-70 meters away and for me it seems it was just the minimum for a cricket field. Here some shots, hope you like them and that I did't offended any cricket fans.

1 - the typical throw used by the bowlers.


2 - defending the wicket


3 - once more, defending the wicket


4 - the big swing, going for a 4 or 6
06-18-2012, 02:46 PM   #795
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The bowler's technique is excellent. I can not say the same for the batsmen however....
The photos are very good though
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