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Kayaking Action [8 pictures]
Lens: DA 50-200mm Camera: K200D ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/125s 
Posted By: Tamia, 09-06-2010, 06:07 AM

Had a chance to shoot a pod of kayakers running some Class IV-V whitewater the other day. I used the Pentax DA 50-200mm telephoto (my only long lens). Lighting was tough, with storm clouds moving over at times, and when the sun was out, it glared off the river. I decided to shoot with shutter pri at 1/125, had ISO at 100, and let the camera choose the aperture. Used manual focus, and prefocused on spots where I thought I'd be most likely to capture the kayakers when they weren't moving quite so fast. Here are the better shots from the collection.

I'll be getting another chance soon for more of the same, and will increase the ISO to 400 so I can increase the shutter speed to freeze action better. In too many shots, the kayakers weren't as sharp as I'd like. Would appreciate any tips from photogs who have more experience of this kind of shooting.

Submerged




Dive, Dive! I like the high contrast here but not everyone does.




Is He Coming?




Bobbing Up Out of the Sousehole




On the Brink




Over the Lip as Girlfriends Watch




The Long Descent




Hold Your Breath! Couldn't help the branches in this one -- wind was whipping them around and they lifted into the field of view.


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09-06-2010, 08:25 AM   #2
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Wow- that's some crazy stuff!

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09-06-2010, 08:28 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Wow, number one (submerged) is an ultimate kayak shot, plus luscious
color, like ice cream. I found out recently that my DA50-200 took terrrifc shots. You, however , exploit it amazingly well. A wonderful series. Thanks, Freddy
09-06-2010, 08:36 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Looks like it was a fun day. Great shots on what I am sure was a challenage to lock a focus on. JIM

09-06-2010, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Yep increase ISO, first thing I thought of when you said you used 100.

You had a good spot there!
09-06-2010, 06:24 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Long Descent and Bobbing Up is my fav. Cool series.
09-07-2010, 05:31 AM   #7
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Thanks much for your comments, everyone. Freddy, you're going to find that you enjoy that lens, I bet. Arpe, they were great spots from which to shoot, and no other photogs were competing for space with me. Higher ISO, yes, though my 200D (or lens, not sure which) produces noticeable graininess at 400 and above.
09-07-2010, 06:22 PM   #8
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You won't notice graininess in all that action, especially in the water.

09-07-2010, 06:28 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Great shots, as a former whitewater kayaker they make me smile. Which river was it on? And I agree with Arpe, don't worry too much about ISO in that situation. Up the ISO so you can freeze the action a bit better.
09-07-2010, 07:20 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I love the shots!

The posters who pointed out higher ISO are right. Figure 1 stop gained for each ISO step (100 to 200 = 1 stop, 100 to 400 = 2 stops). I almost always jump up to at least ISO 200 and sometimes 400 depending on the light conditions. Unfortunately, my K10D starts getting pretty grainy after that.

The one thing that I was looking for that I didn't see was a picture of a the face of a kayaker just surfacing after a dunking that is razor sharp. To me, that would exemplify the sport and make for a fantastic action shot! Just my 2c...
09-08-2010, 06:37 AM   #11
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Thanks for your comments, guys.

QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
You won't notice graininess in all that action, especially in the water.
I took more on Monday at 200, 400, and 800 to experiment, and you're right, the graininess is evident only in some photos when doing a 1:1 crop on the kayakers. Haven't processed them all yet, and am anxious to see how they compare to these.


QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
Great shots, as a former whitewater kayaker they make me smile. Which river was it on? And I agree with Arpe, don't worry too much about ISO in that situation. Up the ISO so you can freeze the action a bit better.
Glad you liked 'em, VaughnA. I've done a lot of whitewater paddling in canoes and 'yaks, but never any creeking like these guys. I'll leave the waterfalls to them. Unfortunately, Monday's shoot was done under darker conditions, with complete overcast, so freezing action was harder even with the higher ISO.


QuoteOriginally posted by opiet70 Quote
I love the shots!

The posters who pointed out higher ISO are right. Figure 1 stop gained for each ISO step (100 to 200 = 1 stop, 100 to 400 = 2 stops). I almost always jump up to at least ISO 200 and sometimes 400 depending on the light conditions. Unfortunately, my K10D starts getting pretty grainy after that.

The one thing that I was looking for that I didn't see was a picture of a the face of a kayaker just surfacing after a dunking that is razor sharp. To me, that would exemplify the sport and make for a fantastic action shot! Just my 2c...
I've noticed significant graininess in some parts of some pictures when my K200D is set to 400 or 800, too. Capturing the faces as they come out of the water was one of my aims, but they move SO fast that I only got a few. Will post some as I process them, if I find any which are worth showing off.
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