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Advice requested on shooting HS football

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Jeff Mims, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I know Frank's method of mounting flash below camera, which I want to do.

    Besides that what do you guys recommend. I'm using a D300, SB-800 and 300 f/2.8 VR on a monopod.

    Aperture priority? Shutter priority? Manual?
    Any exposure comp?
    auto ISO, or adjust as needed manually?

    Auto-TTL? Manual?
    Ex comp?
    1/1 1/2 power?

    End zone, between 20s' or between goal line and 20s?

  2. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    When I shoot night football with a flash, I use Manual mode, ISO 800, 1/250th second, f/2.8, WB flash, no EV compensation in the camera. For the flash, I use TTL with the flash head pointing at the action and I dial the power down to -1 to begin the game. I usually find between the 20 yard lines to be well-lit, but the red zones and end zones are dim, you may need to up the power just a tad.

    I have to look at the D300, can we shoot with a flash in manual mode at 1/350th second?
  3. I started shooting manual last year and was pretty happy with the results. Prior to that was shooting A mode, but found that the camera would often momentarily drop the SS a little lower that I would have liked.

    I just started shooting Auto ISO since I got the D300. Auto ISO on while shooting in M is pretty cool...you really are not shooting full manual...just setting your SS and aperture and letting the camera choose the ISO up to the max that you set. It will choose ISO increments in lower increments that you can choose yourself. This was helpful when I was shooting some birds in early morning light, and I hope it will translate well to sports photography.

    The coaching box is between the 25s, and you are photographers are supposed to stay out of there, but as the team and coaches move up and down the field, you can probably move with them. Just try to stay out of the way, which isn't a big problem if there are not a lot of people on the sidelines.

    When the team drive to about the 25-20, try some shots from the endzone. That distance can vary depending on your style. You might try the 180 as the team gets close to the endzone. I like so shoot the 70-200 in that part of the field.

    #1 rule...
    Have FUN
  4. paradiddle


    Jun 1, 2007
    Can you show me a link to Franks Strobes on the monopod.
  5. I kind of would like to see that too please.
  6. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Thanks Frank, much appreciated. In the past I've put your advice to good use, and my pictures have improved. Not to say they are like yours, but I've certainly seen improvement.
    I've always heard if you want success in a particular area, you look at the ones who've already achieved it, and found out what they did.
  7. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I was shooting in AP, and like you I found my shutter speed dropping too much. I guess it's because of laziness...I had it set to AP for softball, which works well for me.
    I really like what you said about shooting auto-ISO in manual. I'll give it a try this week. Keep in mind, last 2 years, I was shooting football with a Canon. So I'm still adjusting to the Nikon. For example, Canon doesn't have an auto-ISO feature.

    While no one has said anything, I generally try to stay out group of players and coaches. All the coaches know me, and have no problem with me being there. I've kept it from becoming a problem..by staying out of their way.
    When I say staying in between the 20s', I'm thinking...after the team is down on half of the field..and I'm at the ..say 40 or so. Not in the mix of players.

    Thanks for the advice...I'll will certainly put it to good use.
  8. willsparklin

    willsparklin Guest

    I've shot alongside the players without issues for the past two years in NC. However, the coach (and another shooter) informed me that they're going to really start enforcing that rule at last nights game.

    the story behind it is that a photographer somewhere in the state had apparently walked up to the out of bounds line, and had a collision with one of the officials on the field. It ended up being a huge deal, especially considering the official is now paralyzed.

    I shoot the exact same settings, except with the flash set at -2/3. I find it's a little hot farther out, but once they start filling my frame it works rather well. My lens is a bit shorter though (80-200), so I have to wait for the action to wander my direction.
  9. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    This is what the flash set-up looks like, thanks to Alex Cena for sharing this concept with all of us.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 242372

    View attachment 242373
  10. niknd501


    May 13, 2006

    I am not sure but I am pretty sure it only sync's to 1/250th Frank. . I'll have to check for sure.

    And you know - just seeing this set up again makes my head hurt. I sure hope I find that I don't need it next Friday but, like you, I will have it loaded and ready to use.

    Jeff - I shoot in manual also. Settings at what everyone else has said. My endzones are dark so those shots are few and far between. Have fun with it and try not to get frustrated. . . We've all been there and are dealing with the same thing for High School football.
  11. please educate me:
    how much light does alex's setup really provide, shooting at the distance THAT lens allows?

    it isn't as if he has a BETTER BEAMER attached to his flash
  12. ttl-fp uses less power but syncs to anything
  13. it'll light em up but
    it's very unpredictable since distance to subject and flash power are always unprecitable
    It's almost impossible to get a good shot that doesn't look like flash.
    The flash on the bottom IMO only helps eliminate red eye
    It's a PITA to carry around, the flash wants to swing out on the clamp. I quit it and went back to the stands. I will try the D3 + 400 for awhile (but that's not why I got the D3 or 400) but expect to end up back in the stands watching my fav team
  14. Randy, I am looking forward to seeing some of those pics. I hope you post some.

    I'm guessing people won't be super happy with IQ of the D300 pushed to high ISO (1600 and over) along with faces that are in shadows due to helmets.

    With the D3, we'll probably see the same without the noise.

    That's what I expect, but I am usually wrong.... so I am looking forward to seeing some HS FB in the dark!
  15. niknd501


    May 13, 2006
    Yea I knew that. . .I was just talking about TTL....fp is useless on the football field.

    I actually set my flash to manual. And vary the power as the team moves up and down the field.
  16. Dennis Carter

    Dennis Carter

    Jun 29, 2007
    What about a D70, D50, D40, D1H or D1X that syncs at 1/500 w/no loss of power?
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