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03-14-2010, 05:50 PM   #1
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Photographing football in daylight

I just received a k2000 as a gift and have been using it for wildlife and sports (football). My son plays in a travel league in the winter/spring and high school in the fall. I know I'm going to need something fast for the night games come fall, but I was wondering what settings I should be using for daytime games. I had some success this past weekend with a 50-200 3.5-5.6 kit lens. At 200mm, f5.6, 1/1000, and iso 400 the results were pretty good. I had to bump the brightness down and the contrast up slightly on some of them. I did not do any exposure adjustment.

I think I've attached a couple of pics.

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03-14-2010, 09:40 PM   #2
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You can probably get away with a slower shutter speed like 1/250 or 1/500 for play action, even slower for when the players are not moving very fast. That would allow you to set an aperture of f8 or f11. The first reason for doing that is the lens performs better - sharper and more contrast - when it's not wide open. The second reason is you'll have more area in focus, which will help you if the auto-focus chooses to focus on a nearby player and not the intended one. The disadvantage is that the background will be more in-focus and possibly more distracting, so choose your backgrounds carefully.

With your example photos, the sun is behind the players. The camera seems to have done a good job compensating for the exposure here. You should make sure the exposure is still good if you move to the other side of the field and the sun is making the players brighter.

You can experiment with shutter speed by lowering it until motion starts to blur. It will give you an idea of what speeds will work later at night games.

You can choose a mode based on which variable you want to control or adjust most often, and which variables don't matter as much. The suggestion for sports is Tv mode, where you control the shutter speed. In the daytime, ISO isn't critical, so that could be set on Auto, maybe with a limit on how high it'll go.

Focus seems to be working OK so I wouldn't fix it if it's not broken.
03-15-2010, 04:43 PM   #3
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"At 200mm, f5.6, 1/1000, and iso 400" - that sounds about right to me. The problem with using a smaller aperture (bigger number) is that you also get the background in focus, which doesn't make for nice pics. If you're having rouble with focus, then sure bump up the 5.6 to f8 or whatever, but you will find the background is more in focus.

Try to get the sun behind you to get light on the faces, esp. with those helmets on (that's one advantage to me on taking rugby pics!).

On really dull days I go down to 1/350, but it's not great.
03-15-2010, 07:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input J1. It'll give me something to build on.

03-15-2010, 07:19 PM   #5
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Thanks ARPE. I wish I could've gone to the other side of the field, but I had to stay on my the east side.
03-16-2010, 10:01 AM   #6
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She smaller aperture does get a lot of the background in focus which can be annoying in a picture but it does give you much more depth of field which is important when focusing on moving targets. The key to shooting action sports is practice. The more you do it, the better you get.
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