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Lacrosse practice

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by DaveT-NJ, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. DaveT-NJ


    Mar 29, 2008
    New Jersey
    My son had lacrosse practice this morning so I thought it would be a good chance for me to work on my sports shots. Still not great but I am starting to see an improvement.

    All shots were taken with my D300 and 70-300.

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

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    This was almost a good shot :biggrin:

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    Thanks for looking
  2. hey Dave, last one aside (as you say) they look good, you're staying pretty low, exposure looks good, faces nicely exposed under those masks.

    Are you sharpening in post? Some look like they could be a tad sharper, but not bad.
  3. Oldtime


    Jul 5, 2006
    Durham, NC
    Seem a little contrasty and a little soft
    Good attempt and you got into the helmets well
  4. Simba909


    Mar 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Dave, I agree with the others that they are a little soft, but you were able to get good exposure on the faces. Keep shooting and posting.
  5. My only suggestion is that - looking at the last one - you're shooting ISO280 with 1/800" and max ap (f5.6). You're also at the lens' longest focal length (300mm).

    The 70-300VR is an excellent lens - very versaile and great bang for the buck. The trouble is that at 300mm and wide open it's at its worst. That's probably part of your softness issue right there. The other thing I'd do with the D300 is jack the ISO up a little to get more SS and stop the action a little crisper (maybe ISO400-800 even).

    Not bad shots, you're definitely going tight. But if these aren't heavy crops already, I'd back the lens off more into its sweet spot (say around 200mm) and do a little cropping in post. With the exception of the first shot - which by the way IMHO is your best - these are all at full extension. The first is at 260mm.

    What PC mode are you shooting the D300 in? That alone can make all the difference in the world with contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc.

    Also, by not leaving ANY cropping leaway, you're kinda stuck with some tilted horizons - particularly the two with the goal net.

    The 70-300VR will do fine for you, but it pays to be aware of its weaknesses. (Another being the less than buttery OOF areas...) Still, good effort, keep at it.
  6. DaveT-NJ


    Mar 29, 2008
    New Jersey

    Thanks and I appreciate the nice comments

    I see what you mean about the shots needing to be "sharper", I will work on that. I really don't do anything in PP other than cropping and hitting the "quick fix" button using MS Picture Manager, I just purchased NX2 so will start learning that next.


    Thank you.

    The D300 is still new to me so I am working through all the available options trying to figure out how each impacts the shot. I will keep on shooting! My son has another month of outdoor lacrosse and then he starts the indoor winter league (that should be another challenge!)


    Thanks. I really appreciate the comments and tips from everyone, at first I was a bit scared to post my shots but I have found everyone to be very willing to help, so I will keep shooting and posting!


    Thanks for taking the time to provide these specific comments and suggestions, very much appreciated.

    I will increase the ISO and try using the lens in the 200mm range rather then all the way out. I downloaded the D2X picture controls and have been using D2Xmode2, I found it to be the most natural when taking some test shots around the house but when I look at these shots the colors seems a bit washed out. (i have the sharpness and saturation bumped up 1 step).

    I really don't use any PP other than cropping and "quick fix", I just got NX2 so now that i am a bit more comfortable with the D300 and all the features I want to start learning how to adjust and fix in PP.

    I'm eager to learn and since my son is very active I have a lot of opportunities to practice!

    Thanks again
  7. hey Dave, if you haven't seen this NX2 resource it's a very good guide, and reasonably priced, too.

    FWIW I tried the D2X modes, and found "I" to be the most natural, but I've since gone back to Standard PC, sharpening=2 and everything else @ 0. It does boil down to a personal preference, however...

    Yup, it's the 'dirty secret' noone tells you when you go DSLR, YOU become the darkroom, LOL. Learning a digital workflow can be overwhelming, but it quickly becomes second nature. This is a great place, it's helped me tremendously...
  8. DaveT-NJ


    Mar 29, 2008
    New Jersey

    Thanks! I was just going through the Technical Forum bookmarking some links to check out later and was about to post for a recommendation on a good NX2 book, really appreciate the tip and will order one right away.

    Yeah, I'm beginning to understand that "dirty secret"...LOL One of the stickies in the Tech Forum had a link to a couple of YouTube videos and I was really amazed at how easy they made it look to improve/enhance the images. I tried to play around with a few shots, didn't get great results but them again I have no idea what I am doing so the book will be a big help.

    I agree that this is a great place, I have received a lot of very helpful information each time I post and i have been able too learn a lot about my camera that I probably would never have figured out on my own.

    Thanks again
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