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?? re photgraphing parachute swooping

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Dunnart, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. Hi everyone

    A friend of mine will be taking part in a parachute swooping competition at the end of September and I will be going along to take some photos. I've only seen videos of swooping on Youtube and it looks like fast and furious action for the last 10 seconds or so.

    I'd appreciate any advice on how to get good photos from anyone has experience photographing this sport. I imagine I'll need fast shutter speeds and good panning technique (which I need to work on). Any other suggestions ? I'm also thinking a graduated ND filter to reduce light from the sky and even out the exposure.

    Gear I have available includes;
    D2h, D70s, 300 f4, 80-200 f2.8, 1.4 TC, 17-55 f2.8, + some other wider angle lenses which I don't think will be useful at the distances I may have to stand from the action.
  2. LukeL

    LukeL Guest

    Fast shutter speed and lead the parachute. Take practice shots before your friend goes and you will be fine. Good luck!
  3. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    From viewing some You Tube videos, it appears that fast glass and fast shutter speeds at key to success. Depending how wide the water is, you might be alright with a 300mm, but I would recommend renting a 400mm f/2.8 if at all possible. Tight crops are necessary and you won't be cropping much with your D2H because the files are too small. Your D2H and 400mm f/2.8 are good tools for this shoot. I would recommend using Aperture Priority and an ISO between 200 and 400 so you can use f/2.8 to f/4 and have fast enough shutter speeds to stop the action as it goes whizzing by. Set the white balance according to the skies. I would also use center weighted metering for this shoot. This will definitely test your panning skills, so practice panning on cars or something else that moves quickly.
  4. Thanks for your comments Luke and Frank.

    Renting a 400 f2.8 may be problematic - its not possible to rent one where I live (3 hours drive from the dropzone) and the airfield is on the outskirts of Sydney and I won't be passing through Sydney on the way to the event.

    I guess I'll just have to see if I can get close to the water :) 

    I think I'll have to end up using the D2h, because I don't think the focus speed on the D70 is fast enough.

    I better read up again on the continuous focusing modes on the D2h :) 
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