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Friday Night Lights: I'm about to give up..

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Jeff Mims, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I love shooting sports..but if the only sport I could shoot is Friday Night FB, I'd find something else to shoot. It's so frustrating to me. I'm not great at daytime sports, but HS football is ..incredibly frustrating.
    Tonight, I tried the flash mounted below monopod. Still got redeye. I suppose it wasn't mounted low enough (about 12-14 inches)??
    Here's a few shots that aren't as bad as the rest. Redeye correction attempted in post.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

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  2. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Don't be too critical of yourself Jeff, shooting under high school lighting is very difficult. I honestly think we ask too much of our gear in trying to capture fast moving sports action. Just keep tweaking your exposure settings and try moving your flash further down on the monopod. One thing for sure, write down what works so you remember for the next time out.
  3. Jeff I feel the same way I walked up and shot a quarter of H.S ball tonight, I dont think I will bother going forward. So there are not bad considering the situation
  4. kiwi


    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    mike, how high you comfy taking the d3 flashless ?
  5. shooting hs fb sucks for sure
    Matt has really refined the flash technique and I will try it again on Monday (we have a resched game)....
    I did a D3/400vr game a week ago and iso got to 4k and the pics were fine except for helmet shadows....my customers are buying them but I don't like them...
    I think the thing w/ this is to accept that the pics will never come close to dayligth work
  6. I hear ya, Jeff. Last nights effort isn't even post worthy. I couldn't get a shot in focus to save my life. Every one was slightly OOF. I was able to "semi rescue" a couple with USM for the newspaper, but if I keep having nights like last night I won't be shooting for them much longer. I am so angry and frustrated it's not even funny.
  7. i think they look great. your to hard on yourself.
  8. niknd501


    May 13, 2006
    Jeff - I'm with you. I am about to just give up also. Especially after seeing Matt's and MikeMac's latest posts. I thought mine from last night were pretty decent but I'm still not happy.

    BTW - these are not that bad buddy.
  9. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Thanks Aldo...I appreciate the kind words.
  10. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I hear you.
    I was about to post last weeks, but after Matt posted his..I didn't even bother. Mine this week aren't great, but better than last week.
  11. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I shoot for the school and the local paper. These will be fine for the local paper, but I'm just not overly thrilled.
    What is your focus setting on, if I might ask?
    I got most of mine in focus, but the slow S/S combined with the "dark" didn't help me a lot.
  12. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Yours are still very good. If I weren't shooting for the local paper (and the school) I wouldn't even bother with Friday night football.
    Funny thing was, somebody came up to me last night and said "your pictures are great!"
    Twice this week, I've gotten compliments on the Football pics.
    I guess they were really bad before. I'm not criticizing the previous shooters, just pointing out..everything is relative.
  13. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I remember you had some of the better HS pics I'd seen. When you were shooting with the 30D and 135.
    I would think you could do much better now, with D3?
    Then again, someone pointed out to me once, dark is dark.
  14. niknd501


    May 13, 2006
    I have even changed my strategy to just trying to get some isolation shots of the kids when they are not moving as fast. . He** - - I can't even do that. Maybe it's just me. I haven't been happy with much of my work lately anyway.:frown: I may get the courage to post some pics - but I'm not real anxious to.
  15. AF-C 9 point dynamic.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2008
  16. JohnK


    Aug 6, 2006
    Pacific NW
    The standards of people here are quite a bit higher than most people. I wouldn't be surprised at all if you thought your shots weren't great but you still got compliments from people. That's not an insult or dig at you, or anyone else here, just trying to add another perspective.

    These shots do look very good, esp for the conditions. Just think what all those people using their P&S or cell phones are getting!
  17. Hello everyone,

    Let me preface this by saying that Ive never shot any sports to speak of except greyhound racing, so if my comments are way off base I apologize in advance. Id like to just give my opinion on this based on the frustrations and trial and error Ive had with my greyhound photography.

    In greyhound racing the lighting is not good. It is low and spotty. Couple that with the speed of the dogs, the erractic movement, the need to get close to them and pan aggressively and you have a very tough shooting environment.

    After trying a lot of things that have put me in a position where I can produce photos that are to my liking Id like to ask if any of the following may help with high school football...

    1. Is there an area of the field that has better lighting than another? End Zone, midfield, or other? If so, I would camp there and use that as my shooting zone. At the track I have located an area where the lighting is better....its about a 10 yard "shooting zone" where the light is a bit brighter than the other areas and where the light is coming from behind me to hit the subject.

    2. If there is indeed a "shooting zone" that you can find on the field, is there enough action in that area to warrant shooting only in that particular spot? (i.e., I would imagine if it was in the back of the end zone you could sit there all night and maybe only get a couple of shots which would be tough to justify.) At the greyhound track all of the racers must come into my "shooting zone" so I get a chance every race (actually two chances because they go thru the zone twice).

    3. If you can find a shooting zone that has enough action in it is there any chance you can use an 85mm f/1.4 lens in that area? Thats the only lens I really ever use at night at the track because the ISO strain and low shutter speeds that result with my f/2.8 are just not conducive to good shots. However, going down to f/1.6-f/2.5 REALLY changes everything for shooting the greyhounds. It allows me to shoot at ISO 1000-1600 and keep shutter speeds to the 1/800-1/1600 range without too much noise.

    4. With regard to focus %s I can say that the tighter the aperture, the faster the shutter and the less focal length I have the more my percentages of good focus go up. I have had some pretty good luck with sacrificing a bit focal length wise with the 85mm and 50mm lenses and cropping a bit more. You may get a bit more noise, but you'll be in focus with better exposure and you can always use a noise reduction program to help out.

    I hope this helps a little, but if it doesnt I apologize. You folks know hs football very well and I dont at all, but I thought that maybe my thousands of photos taken at Phoenix Greyhound Park might help a little.

    take care and the best of luck to you all!!

  18. jonh68


    Sep 21, 2008
    It is what is. Football under the lights is challenging and that's what it makes it so great for photographers. Your shots are better than 99% of the people who try to take shots at night.

    I have a D700 and have no problem shooting without flash at 6400. If you shoot up and are at the hot spots on the field, you can get good face shots. Have fun with it. This isn't for SI.
  19. the d3 + 400vr blows away the 30d + 135/2 mainly because iso is cheap now....

    iso3600, no flash on this shot...the problem is no longer noise, it is lack of fill light....i'm going to try the flash stuff I got last year (clamp,cable, etc) and see if i can just add a little light....I don't want to stop action w/ the flash because it looks flashed but i think ttl-bl-fp may work

  20. bradNYC


    Mar 28, 2008
    I agree, I think you're too hard on yourself.
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