Another crit

Joined
Jan 19, 2006
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Rock Hill, South Carolina
I am by no means a sports shooter; however, the only thing that I have shot since January is bike races. There was a local race this last weekend; so, I took it as one of my seldom chances to use my camera. There was a brutal mid-day sun to fight, but it was fun to get out with the camera anyway.

1. D300, Nikon 70-200VR @ 200mm, 1/200 sec. @ f/8, ISO 200, fill flash with SB800

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2. D300, Sigma 17-70 @ 17mm, 1/250 sec. @ f/5.6, ISO 200, fill flash with SB800

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3. D300, Nikon 70-200VR @ 78mm, 1/250 sec. @ f/9, ISO 200, fill flash with SB800

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4. D300, Nikon 70-200VR @ 120mm, 1/200 sec. @ f/5.6, ISO 640

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5. D300, Sigma 17-70 @ 45mm, 1/100 sec. @ f/6.3, ISO 200

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6. They let the kids get into the act at these races.

D300, Nikon 70-200VR @ 200mm, 1/200 sec. @ f/9, ISO 200, fill flash with SB800

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7. D300, Nikon 70-200VR @ 70mm, 1/250 sec. @ f/9, ISO 200, fill flash with SB800

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Joined
Mar 3, 2008
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Northeast, CT
Nice looking stuff, I'd suggest looking into higher shutter speeds. Utilizing the FP mode of the D300. You do loose the flash power, but with it you don't make the daytime images look like they are flashed. It really does make the flash as a fill instead of an overpowering fill.


Images overall look good.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
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Madison, Wisconsin
Nicely done, and nice idea using the SB600 for fill. I use this same setup when shooting swimming indoors, but haven't tried it outdoors to cut the harsh shadows. As Jeff mentioned, that little extra on the shutter speed 1/320 does help.

I really like #1, #3, and #7. Well done!
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
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Madison, Wisconsin
1/320 isn't the max, figure you can go as high as needed to stop action. I've shot all the way to 1/1000th for triathlons and have had good results.
I didn't realize that Geoff. I was still thinking that you needed one quick burst while the shutter was completely opened which limited you to 1/320 or less. Upon further review I see that the Nikon strobes will instead pulse at faster shutter speeds, albeit at less power. Thanks for pointing this out. That is very helpful.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
3,198
Location
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Nice looking stuff, I'd suggest looking into higher shutter speeds. Utilizing the FP mode of the D300. You do loose the flash power, but with it you don't make the daytime images look like they are flashed. It really does make the flash as a fill instead of an overpowering fill.


Images overall look good.
Thanks for your suggestions, Geoff. Though higher shutter speeds would make it easier to get sharp faces, I do not care for the cycle shots that have static wheels. I have found the 1/200 t0 1/250 range allows for good detail in faces (with decent panning technique), while leaving a bit of blur in the wheels.

I defintely need some improvement in my flash technique. The more distant shots aren't bad, but I am using too much flash on the wide-angle, inside corner shots, like #2. I am not allowing enough for the fact that I will be shooting from within anly about about 3 feet of the lead rider.

Nicely done, and nice idea using the SB600 for fill. I use this same setup when shooting swimming indoors, but haven't tried it outdoors to cut the harsh shadows. As Jeff mentioned, that little extra on the shutter speed 1/320 does help.

I really like #1, #3, and #7. Well done!
Thanks, Pete. Yeah, the flash was definitely needed under the bright, high sun. Without it, the faces would all have been in dark shadows, under those helmets.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
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Rock Hill, South Carolina
nice stuff Cliff, yeah FP flash might also be good to try.
Thanks, Chris. Geoff does have a good suggestion. I had thought of trying some higher shutter speeds while I was out there, but never gave it a shot. As Geoff pointed out, the reduction in flash power should not be a problem. Actually, though I did not try it this time, one shot that I enjoy for bike races, is using flash with a very slow shutter speed (ie. 1/30). It gets some great effects.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
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314
Location
Los Angeles, Ca.
Though higher shutter speeds would make it easier to get sharp faces, I do not care for the cycle shots that have static wheels. I have found the 1/200 t0 1/250 range allows for good detail in faces (with decent panning technique), while leaving a bit of blur in the wheels.
I agree with you Cliff and think you did well in giving the feel of speed in the shots by shooting at the shutter speed you did.

Actually, though I did not try it this time, one shot that I enjoy for bike races, is using flash with a very slow shutter speed (ie. 1/30). It gets some great effects.
I've used fill flash with shutter speeds around 1/125 that give some great effects. I need to pick up a ND filter to get down to 1/30sec. :biggrin:
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
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Rock Hill, South Carolina
I agree with you Cliff and think you did well in giving the feel of speed in the shots by shooting at the shutter speed you did.

I've used fill flash with shutter speeds around 1/125 that give some great effects. I need to pick up a ND filter to get down to 1/30sec. :biggrin:
You should not need a ND to get to 1/30 sec. Remember that, at such low shutter speed and with panning, everything in the background will be blurred from motion. So, you do not have to worry about dof, as you can use very small apertures and your background will still be blurred.

Those of us on these internet sites seem to like blur, but it seems that the pros feel otherwise. I looked at some bicycle magazines and almost every photo had frozen wheels.

At the 2 races that I have attended recently, I ran into the same fellow who freelances for magazines and does some advertising work. He told me that he never shoots with any blur. He said that advertisers are mainly concerned with even lighting, and couldn't care less about blur. Still, I hate seeing frozen wheels.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
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Northeast, CT
Still, I hate seeing frozen wheels.
Cliff that is true and I didn't even think of it then. If anything then maybe on your tighter close up shots dropping the flash power, and maybe going Manual on it at 1/32-1/64 power. Will give some fill but not over powering, let alone the duration will stop the face, but should allow for the wheel blur.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
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305
Location
FL
I think they are great. Shooting bike racing must be pretty challenging to start with and these are very good.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
3,198
Location
Rock Hill, South Carolina
I think they are great. Shooting bike racing must be pretty challenging to start with and these are very good.
Thank you.

Came out good, i would recommend some gels to balance your flash with the natural light.
Thanks for your comment, Jeff. I am a total illiterate when it comes to using flash, and do not know much about gels. However, I have never seen a photographer using gels while shooting sports in full sunlight.
 
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
495
Location
McKinney, TX
I like your shots Cliff and do also try to get some wheel movement as well. I'll regularly try to use some fill with off-camera flash when the logistics are right at bike races.

Here is one I shot last year just to give you an idea of some things mentioned in this thread. (the background is less than desirable for me but we don't always get the luxury at these races :smile:) This was using the D300 at 75mm, ISO800, f/3.2, 1/500sec. FP flash on the SB900 with 1/2 CTO gel. I did pan the shot also. Time of day was twilight but you can still get an idea I think.


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Joined
Feb 28, 2010
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W. Newbury, MA
Great shot Danny! As a cyclist I like/appreciate all these photos. There is some very expensive equipment in the above photo. Nothing I would race in a crit that's for sure. I stick to Aluminum frames and cheap carbon wheels.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2010
Messages
300
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W. Newbury, MA
He told me that he never shoots with any blur. He said that advertisers are mainly concerned with even lighting, and couldn't care less about blur. Still, I hate seeing frozen wheels.
I would think that they want to make sure all the labels on the wheels are readable. If it were to be an ad for SRAM, they would want Zipp to be readable as SRAM owns Zipp...just thinking out loud :smile:

Tim
 
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