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05-08-2007, 10:23 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
Slightly off topic. ... On being able to edit the subject line text...I think you can. Go to the Edit screen, and press the "Go Advanced" button. The second fill-in box at the top is the title. It will show your current title and it is here you can make any changes, I think.
I tried that, editing the original message. Apparently it affects that MESSAGE, but it does not correct the title for the thread. Drives me crazy. ;-(

QuoteQuote:
p.s. I like the high ISO b&w shot. The noise in b&w mode look like it belongs. It doesn't detract from the picture.
Thanks. The girls made such an effort and I had the good luck to capture the shot at just the right moment - but I wish it were a LITTLE less noisy and a little sharper.

I post-processed a number of the shots as grayscale for two reasons. First, as you observe, the noise seems less undesirable in a grayscale shot - at least that is sometimes the case. Second, our girls are wearing purple and gold uniforms and the gym has the same color scheme, so there's a hideous amount of purple and gold in these photos. Since this is volleyball, where the players for the different teams stay on different sides of the net, it's not important to be able to distinguish players by the color of their uniforms, so the grayscale treatments seems to be more acceptable. And to be honest, it gives an arty effect to shots that are often somewhat boring otherwise. Superficial, I know, but hey, I get more superficial every year. Back when I was young and deep, I wrote poetry. Now I'm old and superficial, I take photographs.

Will

05-08-2007, 10:26 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
Thanks for the update. I was wondering how things had turned out. I like both your shots. Regarding your first shot, I have used Neat Image to reduce the noise on my gym shots and I was pleased with the results. If I think of it at home, I will upload a before and after for you.
Erl,

Please do, would love to see how well Neat Image works. I've heard good things about it.

I happen to have a license for Noise Ninja, but apparently I'm too stupid to figure the program out. Perhaps I should try harder. Noise reduction is definitely not Adobe Lightroom's strongest feature. It doesn't reduce the noise very noticeably, but to the extent that it DOES reduce the noise, it has the effect of making the photo look like everybody's had a face lift - everything's sort of smoothed out unnaturally. I find myself using the feature in Lightroom only sparingly.

Will
05-08-2007, 11:43 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Erl,

Please do, would love to see how well Neat Image works. I've heard good things about it.

I happen to have a license for Noise Ninja, but apparently I'm too stupid to figure the program out. Perhaps I should try harder. Noise reduction is definitely not Adobe Lightroom's strongest feature. It doesn't reduce the noise very noticeably, but to the extent that it DOES reduce the noise, it has the effect of making the photo look like everybody's had a face lift - everything's sort of smoothed out unnaturally. I find myself using the feature in Lightroom only sparingly.

Will
Will, unfortunately I get that effect with Neat Image too if I overdo it. I doubt Noise Ninja is all that different from Neat Image in the results it produces. (I am sure someone on the forum has tried both and can inform us. )
Here are two versions of a photo taken in the more poorly lit of my school's two gyms. ISO 800.
The one on the left without Neat Image; the one on the right with it.

Below are cropped copies of each; left no Neat Image; right with Neat Image.

Each year, I present a year-end digital slideshow to the school. I personally prefer to have the photos taken in each of the two gyms to look as similar as possible. (One could easily argue that I should not worry and let the photos accurately represent what one would get shooting film ie...the grainy B&W sports pics.)
Here is a photo from the gym with better lighting; I wish all games were played in this one!
05-08-2007, 12:30 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
Below are cropped copies of each; left no Neat Image; right with Neat Image.
THanks, and thanks especially for providing the cropped versions. I couldn't see the noise very clearly in the full image, but in your cropped version I could see it and I could see the improvement. Nicely done.

QuoteQuote:
Here is a photo from the gym with better lighting; I wish all games were played in this one!
Boy, do I sympathize!

Thanks, Erl. Well, maybe I'll reinstall Noise Ninja and see if I can figure it out.

Will

05-08-2007, 01:20 PM   #35
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Will,

I enjoyed the indoor sports discussions from a few months ago before you got the Tamron fixed 2.8 lens.

Something I did after those discussions, was to explore my auto-focus a bit more. something hyou might find interesting (I did) is to take a piece of white paper with a single black line on it, and explore the range of the AF sensors. its much different than I expected. the center AF point is a cross sensor so it responded to the line in any orientation. However, it is MUCH larger than I expected!! So in dim light, you may in fact be confusing the camera by using the large cross center point. it may be struggling to decide if the person you have the little red dot superimposed on is the subject, or the painted lines on the floor, or a foreground object etc... As the subjects move, the maximum contrast in these situations may infact be jumping around more than you think.

you could try one of the other eight central-ish points to AF with in order to be more selective of the subject.

The other thing to consider is the depth of field. The FA50/1.4 (my preferred lens for basketball, as the f/2.8's arent fast enough for me...) is two stops narrower depth of field compared to the Tamron. It may have a harder time keeping the subject in focus. While the wider aperature will allow the AF to work in dimmer light, it may have to hunt more with a moving subject.

You may have to try each lens according to the situation, and decide which is going to work better. If there is enough light, the Tamron will give some flexibility, and maybe faster AF, if the light gets too dim, you may be forced to use the FA50, and just be aware of extra hunting in the dark spots...

I agree with all the comments about practice, but the questions here are WHAT to practice... [RANT]just saying go practice more isnt enough. For example, why dont all those who merely suggesting more practice, go out and practice calculus by yourself. see how long it takes you to learn integrals. Or maybe you already know calculus. Ok, go practice taking your car apart and putting it back together, or your television.[\RANT]

Anyway I hope I made my point.
05-08-2007, 01:37 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
So in dim light, you may in fact be confusing the camera by using the large cross center point. it may be struggling to decide if the person you have the little red dot superimposed on is the subject, or the painted lines on the floor, or a foreground object etc... As the subjects move, the maximum contrast in these situations may in fact be jumping around more than you think.

you could try one of the other eight central-ish points to AF with in order to be more selective of the subject.
Hmm. Are you saying, then, that if I use the selective focus option and tell it to focus on a point at the center of the grid, that that will be more precise than using center-spot focusing? I have seldom, perhaps never used selective focusing - always seemed too much trouble for me. I'm happy to focus, hold down the shutter half-way and recompose the shot.

A week ago, the weekend I was having the problems that caused me to start this thread, I did briefly try switching to the camera's-choice focusing system (can't remember what that's called). Didn't help, so I put it back to center spot focusing.


QuoteQuote:
The other thing to consider is the depth of field. The FA50/1.4 (my preferred lens for basketball, as the f/2.8's arent fast enough for me...) is two stops narrower depth of field compared to the Tamron. It may have a harder time keeping the subject in focus. While the wider aperature will allow the AF to work in dimmer light, it may have to hunt more with a moving subject.
Yes, I know that a lens at f/1.4 will have less DOF than a lens at f/2.8, but it hasn't been a significant problem for this particular assignment. Although I'm pretty close to my subjects, most of the time I'm about 10 feet ~ 3 meters away from the subject - far enough that there's enough depth of field to get the individual player reasonably well focused. When I get back to shooting basketball (probably not until next October) I'll have to think more about depth of field than I do in the volleyball games.

As for your rant about practice, I had to smile. But I don't want anybody to feel the need to respond to you, so I hasten to add that I am happy to be told that I should practice more. Practice is NOT the answer to all questions, but it is the answer to many. There are certain things I've been doing all my life, have won awards for and know that I'm good at, and I still practice at them. So I'm not bothered when someone reminds me to practice taking photos. Of course, at this point, to spend more hours a week at photography than I do now, I'll have to quit my job. But the advice is still good and I take it in good part. ;-)

Will
05-08-2007, 03:21 PM   #37
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on Autofocus - one thing I noticed recently, trying to AF on people with solid color shirts is quite difficult - looking at the jerseys the girls are wearing, if you are pointing in between the numbers, or on the shoulders, etc - anywhere a large chunk of the same color is, it may be difficult.

Not sure if this is what is affecting you, and probably something you were already aware of.....
05-09-2007, 12:21 AM   #38
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Actually I prefer the ones with a little noise. Gives the subjects a little texture - remember the whole world is not made of porcelain. The trade off is how much noise to reduce - too much and the image is bland. Noise reduction is a fancy term for smooth subtle blurring.

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05-09-2007, 01:52 AM   #39
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Hi Will,
I haven't done a lot of this, but I had a go last weekend at a footy match (see thread " A Day at the footy...).
I was situated high in the stand, like 7 rows from the top, but on the centre line. I was using the 50-200 which is not noted for its speed, on my DS, which is also not noted for its speed in the auto-focus stakes. However it was a sunny day.

My main problem was that I was there to watch the footy primarily, and my team was not expected to win. However, my team (Lions) had'nt read the script and proceeded to belt their much fancied rivals. So I got caught up in the excitement of the game.

The upshot was I learnt it is very hard to "watch" the game and photog the game at the same time. Knowledge of what the game will offer up is essential (imho), but you have to really concentrate and getting "that" shot. I missed many opportunities.

All of this is, I know, of little use to you, just my observations from my attempt.
Cheers
Grant
05-09-2007, 08:16 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWP Quote
The upshot was I learnt it is very hard to "watch" the game and photog the game at the same time. Knowledge of what the game will offer up is essential (imho), but you have to really concentrate and getting "that" shot. I missed many opportunities.
Yes, it's hard. I have to stop being a dad. I don't cheer for the girls. I don't whisper advice to them, although I'm close enough that I could. It helps that my wife is usually there with me; she cheers for us both. But playing the role of photographer has its rewards. The other parents are very grateful to have the photos.

It's hard, but it's doable. I'm pretty dispassionate. I capture almost every play made by our team - hundreds of shots in a period of one or two hours. The other day I got caught up in the excitement just once.

The only thing I don't do - yet - is photograph girls crying. Doesn't happen often, but happens now and then. The other day a girl got smacked, hard, in the face by the ball. Game was paused, the girl was checked out and comforted, and she bravely returned to the court. I joined the crowd in giving her a hand. After the game (which we won), I congratulated the other team's coach for a good challenge and complimented the courage of her player. Turns out that was HER daughter. Reminded me that, while it's tough to photograph your own kid, it is even tougher to coach her.

Will
05-09-2007, 09:08 AM   #41
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I am saying the center "spot" is a very large X. please take 15 minutes some eveing when the light is unavailable, and play with a sheet of paper and a line.

I have the K100d, and I recall you switched to the K10d, so I am not sure if the AF is exactly the same. But, yes switch to selective mode. The center spot actually covers the entire center grid of nine spots. the eight choices surrounding the center spot, are more selective than the center, and directional (I think).

Maybe I need to do this exercise again.

The point of this is to learn what the AF points actually do, so that you understand what you are practicing. Without knowledge, its not practice, just repetition.

I stumbled across this while playing around with front/back focus test charts because I was bored. I was shocked to see what the AF points actually did, and where they were compared to the lines on the focus screen.
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