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09-27-2008, 08:55 AM   #16
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Getting back to this post

QuoteOriginally posted by Clicker Quote
Not sure what position he plays but these are recommended settings:

* AF continuous.
* JPEG unless you're doing a posed portrait (individual/group) then RAW.
* +2/3 EV (best to be over; you can always recover vs under, where there is nothing to recover from, LR, PS or similar) the printers can help you here.
* Spot metering, always on the face unless they're in a group aim 1/3 in then.
* Nothing slower than 1/500 when action is moving unless coming at you the nothing slower than 1/250. So you're either using Tv set at 1/500, Shuter and Aperture priority- AE or full manual. Full manual settings: you can take a quick read for approx setting thru your camera/lens by focusing at the location on the inside of you palm.
* SR OFF when panning.

Positioning: (not sure which position he plays, for these shots SR can be ON)

If you can be around the net left, right and behind, if he's the goalie then a few shot from the opposite end is good.
* WB you can use the appropriate preset.


I think that's about it? This is my experience from shooting Hockey.
I work for a financial advisory firm in the US so I've been a bit 'busy" since I made this query.

My son plays Face-Off Middie (but stays on the field), meaning he starts the play after each goal in literal head-to-head competition with the opponent.

Around the goal he sets the attack from the top center, rotating position to a top or bottom corner as called for by the play.

Shots are opportunistic only - he governs the plays that are set up for their "attackers" - the guys on the corners - and initiates most of the movement, attempting to get an attack open, unless by chance he is brought open by a defense cross-up.

He occasionally plays short-stick defense or long-stick face-off.

Position left of goal behind the boundary line is what I had imagined, far enough out to be away from the line-of-fire. A LAX ball is as hard as an unfrozen hockey puck and a hard shot travels 150 MPH.

I've printed the complete thread to read, and will make a multi-quote reply later today.


Last edited by monochrome; 09-27-2008 at 05:59 PM.
09-27-2008, 01:25 PM   #17
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Summary of suggestions

Hi and thanks to all who replied. My objective is to capture one image that could be professionally printed as a gift to my son. I should have 10 games to shoot over a long week, so I can experiment a lot, especially in the early games.

BTW, I have 2 4Gb and 2 2Gb SD cards. If that isn't enough for one day then I'll just have to sit down and watch!!

I do know the sport in that I played in my youth, was a cheerleader at a large state university and saw perhaps 80 games at field level in college thereby, and did the parent thing for 8 years of my son's youth lacrosse. Although not a SI photographer obviously, I am confident I will be in good position to capture images. The reason for this query is to increase the likelihood that my images are good.

Lacrosse Background: For those who posted they don't know the sport.

The sport of lacrosse is a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. Anyone can play lacrosse--the big or the small. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn. Quickness and speed are two highly prized qualities in lacrosse.

An exhilarating sport, lacrosse is fast-paced and full of action. Long sprints up and down the field with abrupt starts and stops, precision passes and dodges are routine in men's and women's lacrosse. Lacrosse is played with a stick, the crosse, which must be mastered by the player to throw, catch and scoop the ball.

Each team starts with ten players on the field: a goalkeeper or "goalie"; three defenders in the defensive end; three midfielders free to roam the whole field; and three attackers attempting to score goals in the offensive end.

The field of play is 110 yards (100 m) long and 60 yards (54 m) wide. The goals are 6 feet (1.8 m) by 6 feet, containing a mesh netting similar to an ice hockey goal. The goal sits inside a circular "crease", measuring 18 feet (5.5 m) in diameter. Behind the crease is the area designated simply as "X".One Attackman will remain at "X" in most types of offensive setups, such as chasing after a shot in which the first player to the spot where the ball went out gets possession of the ball.

Field lacrosse (outdoor) is sometimes perceived to be a violent and dangerous game, however, injury statistics prove otherwise. While serious injuries can and do occur in lacrosse, the game has evolved with an emphasis on safety, and the rate of injury is comparatively low.

Lacrosse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (great read!!)

I understand the following:

DA55~300: Should be fine. Games are outdoor so lighting will vary by weather. If the sun is out f/500 with this slower lens should work well. (BTW, I think this lens is on the excellent end of the scale in bright sunlight).

EV: I typically underexpose -0.3 and clean up in PS. Before I started doing this I was bedeviled by blown highlights, especially skylight in the background.

Focus: Jury seems divided between Auto-C and Auto-S. I will try both and adjust. Center-point, obviously. I have just started using the rear autofocus, decoupled from the shutter release. I may have to recouple since my thumb is not yet trained. Jury is divided on Burst versus Single - I'll try both, but I favor single.

MODE: Strong recommendation seems to be Tv at f/500 and best ISO for light, or TAv at a high ISO (I think this might have referred to Box Lacrosse, played indoors). I will probably use Tv - since I primarily shoot still subjects in Av or M (I use K glass almost exclusively) Tv will be a new thing for me - should be fun! Also plan to try Will's approach and use the Program line.

ISO / DoF / Shutter speed: (ARPE; WMBP) The issue of DoF due to the camera adjusting the aperture to maintain the shutter speed is irrelevant - the subject will be my son - that the background may or may not be in focus is less important. I will try some shots in M with higher ISO and a fixed f/500 or f/1000, just to see, as well as P Mode with adjustable ISO - I've never done that.

Ancillary shots of the team or moe stationary moments I can handle with more traditional (for me) settings - I hope <|;>)

Position: I had planned to stand behind and to one side of the goal much of the time. From that position I should have the opportunity to capture straight-on passing shots and possibly a shot-on-goal.

I would likely get scoops, face-offs and field-play and contact shots using a sideline position 1/3 up from end-line to half-line.

Shake Reduction: Off for panning; on most of the time.

Monopod / handheld: Handheld - monopod is not necessary at high shutter speed, and possibly dangerous.

I'm going to make some index cards with these ideas and try combinations in the early games. I should have an idea what worked for me by the later games.

If nothing REALLY good comes out - oh well - it sure will be fun. At worst I can make some CD's or DVD's for the team!!

Last edited by monochrome; 09-27-2008 at 05:54 PM.
09-27-2008, 02:55 PM   #18
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My hockey experiment

Last Sunday/Monday from 11pm to 12:30 am, my son-in-law had a rusty blades type hockey game. I shot jpeg beacuse my card was filling up and I was just trying to see how the 50-135 would work and whether or not my several years without shooting hockey affected my timing and eye as well as testing some settings with the k10d that are contentious among the forum members here.

Batteries. My batteries, which had been used for the whole weekend, gave up af about the end of the second period so I went to the coffee shop and sucked back hot chocolate while watching the third period. By the 3/4 mark of the hot chocolate, the batteries had revivied enough to do some reviewing. Note to self, carry extra batteries. At the very least, charge them up before going to a cold venue.

Common settings for the test.
I used these settings for the test of myself and the k10d with 50-135.
  • AF-C
  • ISO 800
  • Multi-segment metering
  • Jpeg *** to save as much card space as possible.
  • Single frame advance
  • Red frame display of selected focus point
  • AF on half press of the shutter button.
First period.
  • 0 Exposure compensation
  • Center focus point only
I found that the camera would often focus on the boards or the bench rather than on the play I was trying to capture. I put this down to my tendancy to lead the play, which is how I was taught. This will tend to capture the puck/ball/shuttlecock/whatever a bit further from the player(s).

I also found that the exposures were fairly consistently underexposed by about a stop during this period when examining the LCD between the first and second periods.

Second Period
  • +1 Exposure compensation
  • Auto selection of focus point.
I had many more in focus images. The major misses came when a player nearer than the action slipped into the screen, as mentioned by a previous poster. For my shooting style, I found fewer misses using the multi spot AF.

The exposures were generally much closer to what I hoped, and definitely within correctable range, particularly if I used my normal RAW takes.

Conclusion
My conclusions are that, for my shooting style, AF.C with auto focus point selection works best. Pentax multi segment metering is really quite consistent (similar to the MZ-S metering as used for over four years), and adding a stop to the exposure gave me usable jpegs.

I also got a kick out of the viewfinder light show while following the action as the little red "I am trying to focus here" lights flashed. It was sort of llike watching a bunch of red fireflies. If you like watching fireworks, go for it. I also found that they gave me a pretty good idea of the general area of the rink that the camera was focusing on. Generally, three or four players would be targeted and the "light show" would zip around them.

Future tests
I plan on testing further. We have several amateur hockey leagues here in Sparwood, and I can usually get in without trouble carrying my fancy camera and a note book. The coaches and officials will give me line ups and statistics saving a lot of note taking during the game. I'll check out the school leagues and the local figure skating club as well. Who can tell, I might even get a buck or two to feed my LBA.

Something to Relearn
I must do a lot more shooting to be able to keep both eyes open and select the view in my head that I want. It is much easier to anticipate the action with my left eye (I am a right eyed shooter) and aim the lens using the right eye and zoom ring. I missed quite a bit as I got used to the two views at greatly differing scales. This is something that is necessary to practice.

Samples
Here is a sample image from the "shoot." Can you find the puck in this shot? Anticipation of the action is the way to go for these pictures, IMNHO.


Attached Images
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PENTAX K10D  Photo 
09-27-2008, 05:42 PM   #19
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Thanks Albert - Great capture - nice action!! So, is your son-in-law #19?

You gave me a few more things to try since lacrosse is every bit as fast as hockey. I think I will START with -0.3 exposure compensation, since I am shooting outdoors, and adjust as necessary. I think I can get center foucs point to work, etc.

The puck is vertical against the rear pipe - "He shoots --- He SCORES," as Dan Kelly used to call for the St. Louis Blues (the red lights connect to a locomotive horn, so the call was immediately followed by a bellow) <|;>)


Last edited by monochrome; 09-27-2008 at 08:32 PM.
09-27-2008, 06:41 PM   #20
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Not to get off subject here, but at the old St Louis arena, it was my best buddy that installed that big horn for the hockey games !! kinda cool huh? hehe
09-27-2008, 08:30 PM   #21
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He shoots . . . He SCORES!!!!!

I grew up with that horn! Very cool! Are you familiar with the expression "6 degrees of separation?"

Don't get to very many games now - Scottrade is nice, but sort of sterile. Remember when it was the Checkerdome? Sidney Salomon? (Or am I a bit older than you)?

My father split season tickets (8 ways) 5 rows up from the Blues bench, so I had a great date twice each season.

I could never get the second date with the same girl, though. <|;>)

.
QuoteOriginally posted by Stratman Quote
Not to get off subject here, but at the old St Louis arena, it was my best buddy that installed that big horn for the hockey games !! kinda cool huh? hehe

Last edited by monochrome; 09-27-2008 at 11:33 PM.
09-27-2008, 09:22 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Thanks Albert - Great capture - nice action!! So, is your son-in-law #19?

You gave me a few more things to try since lacrosse is every bit as fast as hockey. I think I will START with -0.3 exposure compensation, since I am shooting outdoors, and adjust as necessary. I think I can get center foucs point to work, etc.

The puck is vertical against the rear pipe - "He shoots --- He SCORES," as Dan Kelly used to call for the St. Louis Blues (the red lights connect to a locomotive horn, so the call was immediately followed by a bellow) <|;>)
No - he's actually #7, but that shot was a much better one than any I got of David. I have one very, very private shot of him - flat on his face on the ice, but did not think it politically appropriate to put it on a public forum. I sent it to him with 29 other shots to share with his team - and said it was my favourite. He has not yet replied, but I expect an interesting answer.

You found the puck! It's not hard when you are certain that it is in the image. I knew I had it because I heard the buzzer.

FYI, the "He shoots - He SCORES" was originated by Foster Hewitt on the radio version of Hockey Night in Canada on the CBC, many, many years ago. According to Wikipedia entry on him:
QuoteQuote:
For forty years, Hewitt was Canada's premier hockey play-by-play broadcaster on Hockey Night in Canada, the first radio program widely listened to in Canada. He coined the phrase "he shoots, he scores!" and was also well known for his sign-on at the beginning of each broadcast, "Hello, Canada, and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland." (Newfoundland was a British Colony, before joining Canada in 1949.)
Hewitt had offers to go over to television to continue the broadcasts that he initiated, but he decided to stay with radio, handing over the television broadcasts to his son, Bill Hewitt. In 1951, he started his own radio station in Toronto, CKFH, initially at AM 1400 kHz, until moving to 1430 in 1959. The station carried Leafs games until losing the rights in 1978. In 1981, the station was sold to Telemedia and was renamed CJCL (AM).

The Hewitt family tombstone, with W.A. in the centre, and Foster to the right, in Mount Pleasant Cemetery


Hewitt retired from television in 1963, but came out of retirement to broadcast the 1972 Summit Series (with colour commentator Brian Conacher). Hewitt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1965. In 1972 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. The Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame is named after him, as is the media gondola at the nearby Air Canada Centre. Hewitt's original gondola from Maple Leaf Gardens was dismantled, then dumped into an incinerator in August 1979 to make room for private boxes, under the MLG leadership of Harold Ballard.
Hewitt died at age 82
How can you tell I am a trivia freak. Not to mention, that I grew up listening to him on the radio every Saturday night with my brother and Dad.
09-27-2008, 11:32 PM   #23
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Hah! You always have a story

I'll have to dig around to find out from where, but Dan Kelly was a Canadian by birth Ottawa).

You jogged a slight memory of an interview - just a tickle that Kelly might have credited his tag to Foster Hewitt - in any case, we didn't care, we just loved Dan Kelly.

Checking Wiki, he did, in fact, credit Hewitt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Kelly_(sportscaster)

"He was noted for his ability to project above the roaring crowds at the NHL arenas. He acknowledged that his booming call, "HE SCORRRES!" was patterned after that of the famous long-time NHL announcer Foster Hewitt."

10-12-2008, 11:02 AM   #24
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First Try

Here are a few images from my first try at sports/action. I confess I am disappointed - but then I have never done this before. I learned I need to widen the zoom and focus at the navel, rather than the chest so I don't cut off the legs, perhaps that 1/500 is not fast enough, perhaps TAv @ 1/1000 and f/8.0, and Autofocus.C will allow me to release the shutter even when the (moving) subject is NOT in focus. I cannot tell you how many potentially wonderful action shots are blurred beyond recognition.

I also learned I need to check settings frequently - I must have rotated some dials because the EV compensation changes from one shot to the next. I normally shoot -0.5 EV to control blown highlights, but some of these are as low as -1.5 EV.

I need to learn the camera.

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


#6


I will chalk these up to operator error since I believe the lens and camera body are fine, but a small part of me now sympathizes with those complain about Pentax autofocus and sports/action shooting may have a point.
10-12-2008, 11:59 AM   #25
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Monochrome,

You're learning. That's good. And one of the first things you learn is that action photography is not easy. What I can tell you is that it's not easy no matter what camera you use.

It's NOT the case that your shutter speed is too slow. 1/500th sec is fast enough to get good pictures of almost any sport. Parts of a golfer's swing might be a blur, but that sort of blur is often an interesting effect and 1/500th sec should capture the rest of the golfer's body very nicely.

I assume you had shake reduction enabled, but be aware that share reduction simply reduces the risk of camera movement spoiling the shot - it doesn't eliminate that risk entirely. If you're using a zoom lens with a focal length of 300mm and a shutter speed of 1/500th sec, I'm pretty sure you can still mess things up if you shot while you're moving the camera. And this is a problem in fast-moving sports like lacrosse, soccer, etc. Shake reduction is meant to eliminate the effect of normal human unsteadiness when we're shooting hand-held. If you swing suddenly from the left to the right 90 to stay with the ball in a soccer game after a fast pass and you're still sort of hitting the brakes on your own movement as you press the shutter to capture a player receiving the pass - well, that may be more than SR can handle.

But you're right that the likeliest culprit here is the camera's continuous autofocus system. The camera TRIES to stay locked on the subject. Stand in a quiet place, put the camera into AF.C mode, and move the camera around pointing it at objects varying distances away from you. You'll hear the focus motor whirring almost non-stop as it TRIES to stay up with you. In my experience, it does a pretty good job if the subject is moving while the camera is not. This happens when the subject is moving directly towards you or away from you. But if you're jumping around - as you would be in many court and field sports - well, this just isn't Pentax's forte.

What do you do? Well, watch for the little red spot that appears in the finder when the camera does achieve focus, and don't depress the shutter all the way until that red light appears. Or switch to AF.S - but you still basically have the same problem. It ain't in focus until it's in focus, and then the red light appears.

One other tip, but it's an important one. If you can anticipate where the action is going to be, you can point the camera there and start to focus half a second before you need to depress the shutter. This will help tremendously. But it takes a little practice to get the hang of it. Frequently when I'm shooting volleyball (where the action moves around quite a bit), I don't look through the finder at all. I set the camera to AF.S, close my elbows against my sides so I move my whole upper body when I want to pan - and I actually peek over the camera, using the hotshoe as a sort of sighting device. This gives me the benefit of peripheral vision so I can see the ball coming over the net and anticipate where it's going, then get there and start to lock focus a split second before I actually snap.

As others have pointed our here and elsewhere many times, sports photographers in the past didn't have nuclear-powered auto-focus or zoom lenses, yet they managed to take some great photos. It can be done, and it can be done with a Pentax camera.

Will



QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Here are a few images from my first try at sports/action. I confess I am disappointed - but then I have never done this before. I learned I need to widen the zoom and focus at the navel, rather than the chest so I don't cut off the legs, perhaps that 1/500 is not fast enough, perhaps TAv @ 1/1000 and f/8.0, and Autofocus.C will allow me to release the shutter even when the (moving) subject is NOT in focus. I cannot tell you how many potentially wonderful action shots are blurred beyond recognition.

I also learned I need to check settings frequently - I must have rotated some dials because the EV compensation changes from one shot to the next. I normally shoot -0.5 EV to control blown highlights, but some of these are as low as -1.5 EV.

I need to learn the camera.

....

I will chalk these up to operator error since I believe the lens and camera body are fine, but a small part of me now sympathizes with those complain about Pentax autofocus and sports/action shooting may have a point.
10-12-2008, 12:40 PM   #26
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Monochrome, shots 3,4,5 and 6 are spot on for focus. Shots 1 and 2 look more like camera motion blur to me on these reduced size images. I suspect that in the excitement of the action you hit the shutter release rather than squeezing it.

The other possibility is that you shot before the shake reduction was on. Follow the action with your shutter half pressed to keep the SR up and in gear. There is an indicator in the finder when it is up and running. A quick press of the shutter release will not give the shake reduction enough time to stop your motion blur.

Your timing is perfect. I know that lacrosse is a very hard sport to shoot, but it can be done with practice.
10-12-2008, 02:15 PM   #27
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Will and Albert - thank you for the comments! Although my commentary sounds despondent, actually I am happy about the entire event and the prospects for continued practice. If it was easy, anyone could do it. I intentionally purchased a versatile camera that required user input!!

I gave my son a CD of 74 of the 150 images and he was ecstatic to have it - so I accomplished the most important purpose of my outing.

Will - the autofocus did hunt continuously during fast subject motion and the focus beep and overlay appeared and disappeared faster than I could react. I released the shutter when the lens hadn't focused.

I understand the necessity to practice, critique, learn and practice more.

My daughter is an experienced and schooled B/W landscape photographer and has had 1-on-1 coaching by sports/action SI Photogs - and she thinks she has taken maybe 15 quality shots in her life. She ended up in broadcast journalism.

There are 13 or 14 more "Fall-Ball" practice games, then the real Spring season - this is my practice time, as well.

FWIW, shots 4 and 5 were on the same attack, and led to an assist. Shots 3 and 6 were in a different game (of three in the tournament); 6 immediately led to a pass and score.

My son did score once, and had 11 assists on the day. I was sitting with my wife when he scored, which was actually a better place to be.
11-02-2008, 12:40 PM   #28
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New shots

Here are a few more. I tried setting up USER to incorporate some of the suggestions here. What I found is that works, but I was shooting INTO the shade - which screwed up even spot metering and AWB on some shots. There's always something to learn .

The team likes the shots enough that they are using some on their website - I'd say I'm starved for compliments, but they asked me to take more players than just my son!

TAv, 1/500, f/11 to f/22, depending, Auto ISO 100~1600, SR Off, Auto C, -.5 EV.

#1 - Looks like 1/500 wasn't fast enough, but still a cool shot


#2 - timing could be better, PP needs help, but I like the way the sticks line up

#3 - open field - not good - he shot and scored but I missed it.


#4 - I like the eyes

Last edited by monochrome; 11-02-2008 at 12:46 PM.
11-02-2008, 02:07 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I grew up with that horn! Very cool! Are you familiar with the expression "6 degrees of separation?"

Don't get to very many games now - Scottrade is nice, but sort of sterile. Remember when it was the Checkerdome? Sidney Salomon? (Or am I a bit older than you)?

My father split season tickets (8 ways) 5 rows up from the Blues bench, so I had a great date twice each season.

I could never get the second date with the same girl, though. <|;>)

.
Actually, I have only been to 3 Blues games in my entire life, one at the Checkerdome, and 2 at what was then Savvis center. BUT, I went to MANY a concert back in the Checkerdome days. Black Sabbath with Van Halen opening for them in 1978, Ted Nugent I believe 3 times at the Checkerdome, and once at a SuperJam at the old Busch, Was able to see my guitar hero, Ritchie Blackmore with Rainbow in 1978, Sammy Hagar probably 4 times at the Checkerdome, Bad Co. and many many more..I'm a class of 77 VPHS grad, haha. So I would imagine I am at least as old as you...
11-02-2008, 02:23 PM   #30
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Although I recently switched to a Canon 1DmkIII for most of my sports shooting I still do events just with my Pentax gear. Here is a recent sequence shot entirely with Pentax that Pinned Magazine put on their site.

PINNED MTB || JEEP 48Straight Finale - Photo Recap

The gear at that event was
k10D
300 F2.8
50-135
10-17
flash 540FGZ for a couple of the fisheye shots
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