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Newbie looking for advice...

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Snap96, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Snap96


    Jun 18, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Just looking for some advice/clarification.

    I’m completely new to the DSLR and photography world and have learned so much in the little time I’ve been around here. I’m going to a t-ball game tomorrow (9am) and I thought this would be a great learning experience with the camera.

    I’ll be using the D40 and 55-200mm VR lens. I don’t see a need to use the 18-55mm kit lens but I’ll bring it along just in case.

    After doing some thorough searching of this forum, I feel I came up with a good starting place as outlined below.

    1. Aperture priority
    2. WB according to conditions (sunny, cloudy, shady)...may leave on Auto.
    3. Matrix/Center-Weighted….still unsure when to use either one.
    4. Auto ISO...may have to change in order to bump shutter speed.
    5. Exposure value may need to be tweaked
    6. AF-C with dynamic focus
    7. Burst mode
    8. VR off

    I would greatly appreciate further comments or advice.

    What adjustments or tricks can be done to combat the shadows caused by helmets/hats?

    Should I be using the AE-L button to lock exposure?

    I’m going through information overload so I’ll be happy if I have a couple keepers I can post.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Paul,

    JMHO, others may disagree...

    With your lens being a variable aperture lens, it will not be possible to lock it down to say f/4.5 then zoom to 200mm. Since it's easy to change, you might want to try some shots with shutter priority. (I shoot manual, which of course is another option for you).

    Try centre weighted, metering off the face of the player. Centre weighted puts the emphasis on the centre 75% of the frame, which will cover both the shadows and highlight of the players face. Again, you can always change it and compare.

    If SS is below 1/1000, you could use VR, just remember to set up the shot and let it settle in first.

    Some folks get some really good results with Auto ISO, I prefer to set it and change when light conditions change. Even in bright sunlight, for sports, I'll use ISO 200 for faster shutter speeds.

    Have fun and post some pics.
  3. 1. - With that lens, I would use Shutter priority - probably between 1/500-1/1000sec ** note below
    8. Leave VR on, if you aren't using a tripod - I leave mine on even with a monopod

    Yes you can use the AE-L to lock exposure

    Make sure you focus on the FACES
    Get down to their level - that will help eliminate some of the helmet/hat shadows - down on 1 knee is good

    ** As far as I know, the people that use A mode for sports have a f2.8 or f4 lens - and can afford to use A mode - for a variable aperture lens, you probably won't get enough light and the camera will pull the Shutter down to 1/80 1/125 - and even 1/200 is not fast enough for action

    Hope this helps - have a great time
    When you return home, DO NO rush to delete your bad pictures - LOOK at the properties and see if you can find out what went wrong - it will help you on your next game
  4. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Paul hit it....get down to their level like the shot below. You will spend all morning on you knees.....so be prepared for that.

    Watch the backgrounds. at f4.5 - f5.6, the chain link fence and other background detail will be in focus and may become distracting...position to eliminate and get as close as you can to shrink that DOF.

    I always shoot RAW...but here is what I would do in Jpeg:
    Outside I would just set the WB to Auto. The D40 can handle that. Indoors? Custom with a grey card....

    Even with that lens I would shoot Av. Set it wide open and just accept the deeper DOF as you zoom in. Watch you SS though.... I would avoid much below 1/500 and begin advancing the ISO to maintain that threshold or higher.

    Make sure to set the Focus to servo and the FPS at max.

    Bring lots pf CF cards....deleting is easy...retakes not so much

    If it is sunny, you may need to bump the EV compensation to get the face properly exposed. It is not unusual to over expose a matrix balanced shot by as much as 1 full stop. Trying ot grab the AE-l is far too hard for me...it may work for you, but personally I do not know any sports photogs that use that technique. YMMV

    If you are not comfortable with that, switch to spot metering and see what settings you get when directly on the players face....getting inside the helmet is and important goal for me.....like this:

    Get down at their eye level...no matter how silly you might look :)  -read, imagine what I looked like taking this one-

  5. Snap96


    Jun 18, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Thank you guys for your very helpful advice.

    There's just so much to understand and the cafe has been a great place to learn

    I hope to post a couple....good and bad.

    Thanks again
  6. where are the pics?
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