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03-25-2007, 01:23 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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So, what did you learn today?

What doesn't work is also an important learning experience. I just did one of my worst shoots. I'm not sure any of my 75 pictures are usable (I've only been trough first sorting which left two images with three stars (out of five)), everything else had to much blur in the wrong places.

My 3 years old loves cars.

So I decided to try and find come kind of race, where I could also take a few pictures. A local club was having a "test rally" which an option locals to get diploma of some sorts. Not a real race, and not geared towards spectators.

Here's what I learned:
  • 3 year olds still only have an attention span of max an hour, even if race cars are involved. With the race starting 45 minutes late, that does not leave much...
  • Don't bring a 3 years old if you want to take pics.
  • Don't bring a camera if you want to be with the 3 years old
  • Turn of SR when concentrating on the cars.
  • Using Ta mode and locking the shutter time is probably the right idea. But 1/100 is to slow.
  • When doing something which is new to me, experiment a bit more at the beginning, to ensure that you are getting good pics. I started at 1/100 and then moved to 1/60, but never looked at the results before we left.
  • 1/200 would maybe have done it, and still left a sense of speed.
  • Find a better place to stand, than the start/finish line, which in this case left me with three shooting opportunities: Cars starting, Cars zooming by on a 15m stretch at top speed, and car stopping. "Car stopping" was the only one giving usable pictures, as they had to stop within a fixed area, which gave quite a bit of nice tire smoke as they would break hard.
  • The Sigma 70-200 2.8 worked really well for a small thing like this. No need for a longer lens. And you don't want to be so close that 70 is to short.

Using a K10D, and the Sigma 70-200 APO 1:2.8.

If any of the pictures are halfway usable I'll add them later...

03-25-2007, 05:47 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
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Posts: 2,530
Hey tcdk.

It looks like you learned a lot! I'd still like to see some of your out takes so that we can have visual examples of why you say 1/100 is too slow, or why SR should be turned off.

I believe you when you say 3 1/2 year olds have short attention spans. I brought my son to a drag race event and he got bored after 45 minutes of seeing similar cars going by. The only thing that kept his attention were the jet cars. They only appeared for 10 minutes. Long enough to leave a lasting impression for both of us. Wish I had an SLR back then though

You've started a good thread. Hmm. What did I learn yesterday?

1. Babysitting 3 kids that are totally different ages (10, 8 and 4) can be potentially very difficult unless you have something that they can all do while keeping them in the same room Bringing them to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Cinema helps a lot!

2. Camera related: Stick to the basics I learned years ago. One of them being, "Prefocus my manual focus lens before shooting." Kids can be very quick. If you don't have your lens' range preset you get a lot of missed opportunities.

3. Keep some of my outtakes so that I can post examples too! (I delete mine in the camera right away, whoops!)
03-25-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 280
Original Poster

Hi Alvin.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alvin Quote
It looks like you learned a lot! I'd still like to see some of your out takes so that we can have visual examples of why you say 1/100 is too slow, or why SR should be turned off.
Here's a couple of examples. 100% pixels in the corner (sorry about the crop, I started out with 1024*x images as I had forgotten about the limit here). Thing is, tracking an object that comes in to view with no warning, goes 90km/h and than disappear after 1.3 seconds (I would usually get 4 photos) is really hard.

I'm not sure what the best setting for SR is in a case like this, but I wish I had tried it both on and off.

Re: kids: I've a 2 week old occupying one arm, badly limiting my PP/writing ability... sorry

P.S.: I can see that I lost EXIF on the second one, but it was also 1/100s
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo   

Last edited by tcdk; 03-25-2007 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Adding PS

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