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Sigma does Soccer (pics)

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by taat2d, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    Tonight my son had his first soccer practice. Great excuse to take my Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 out. I also FINALLY got to try my monopod. These guys were playing on the field next to my sons team. These guys were real good. This was my FIRST attempt at shooting sports. Any advice and guidance to better my shots is VERY MUCH WANTED!!
    Thanx for looking

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  2. yoose


    May 17, 2008
    Hong Kong
    i am in no way an expert, but some of my thoughts when im looking at these pictures. i do not see a lot of 'action' but that could be because they look to be warming up instead of being in an actual game. they are not zoomed in enough, i like to see the expression of the player. a lot of the pictures either have someone blocking the main subject partially (first and last ones) or they are of the backside of the subject (a lot of the ones with the player in the blue uniform)

    again, just sharing MHO on sports shots.
  3. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    PERFECT!!! Thank you!!!

    This is what I WANT and NEED, to help me improve. I want to improve on taking images like these. As I've said this is my first time attempting this. Yes they were only warming up at the time. I was pretty amazed I got the stop action, and pretty much in focus from what I can tell. Next time I'll have to try and get a better position.
  4. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Hey Joe. You did fine for first time out. My first attempt was:eek: . Let me put it to you this way , a really good photograher and someone I really admired told me " your the worst photographer Iv ever seen". I was crushed.
    First off your on the right track. Shoot the warm up for sure. they practice you practice. Secondly I like to get a on the same level as my subject, which mean sitting cross legged or on the knee's for soccer. This will help clean the back ground up. Using the long end of your zoom and shooting wide open
    F 2.8 will help "blur" the back ground as well
    Next thing is watch where the light is . Im not saying full front lit is better than back lit. Or side light , Just pay attention. Take notes and reveiw when you see your shots later,or chimped on the pitch.
    Lastly, go for the emotion, action and peek moment and keep shooting. When you see a great sport picture on the web or newspaper, magazine it was one of hundreds. Sometime thousands or even tens of thousands of shots taken of a single event.
    Remember the photograher had to be at the right place the right time with the right lens focused at the right spot. The hit to miss ratio is really low. So finally , good Job . Keep at it. Next time post some of your kids game .I bet you get some killer Images.

  5. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    Hey Greg thanx alot!!! I appreciate the advice and especially the kind words from you.
  6. kiwi


    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    Great start Joe.

    I think there is some stellar advice from Greg here

    In general, the more you can get the main focus player front on and exposed for the face the better. You seem to have a knack there for getting the action at the right time, nice shots of ball on foot etc - just work on the composition and the lighting being if possible behind you or front on even. Here as the players' jerseys are quite bright a bit of +EV would have helped, maybe +.7EV for example to expose for the skin.

    Don't be afraid to crop quite agressively too.

    I think there are two quite distinct shooting styles :

    1/ Sportrait - imagine a sports poster of a player. It's usually a full frame type shot with only that player in it, clean background, ball in shot, eyes up. Mike Mac is a master at this style if you check his posts. It;s often during warm-ups that you get these types of "posed" shots

    2/ Action - players competing, tacking, headers etc - usually cropped around the action, show expression and best shots during "peak action"

    With the 70-200, 2.8 is where you want to get to but you have to be spot-on with your focussing to get crisp shots. Maybe start at F/4 and work your way back. F/4 should give reasonable oof backgrounds. Assuming the light's OK anyhow

    Keep at it - practice will make perfect
  7. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    Darren thanx. You know I took a bunch of shots of my son. Most of them I uses f/2.8. I DEFINITELY SHOULD HAVE used a smaller Fstop. I learned a VERY valuable lesson tonight!!
  8. You are getting some great advice here

    I too have been shooting soccer for the first time this year - I got a monopod as well, and it certainly helps

    I have been using a range of shutter speed 1/250 - 1/500, and focusing on the FACE - some foot and hand blur looks good sometimes, but the face has to be in focus!

    I have just started using the monopod differently - I go down on 1 knee - and shorten the monopod - this gives you different views on the action

    Also, a new spot I have been trying is between the corner and the goal - stand a little closer to the corner (not halfway) - you get your goal shots doing this

    Depending on the age of the players (mine are 8 and 10) they seem to stay closer to the bench side - I do not know why, but you will notice this after a bunch of games - so you may want to get on that side for some closer up shots

    Cropping - I have gone crazy on cropping with soccer pics - I can start with a shot that has 7 players, and pick out just 1 sometimes

    Here are some examples of cropping craziness

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    Good luck - keep practicing
    I hope to get this lens or the Nikon 80-200 AF soon....
    I guess if I get good enough using the 55-200mm nonVR, then it will help me a lot when I upgrade....
  9. You used a monopod with a 70-200? I think the 70-200 is light enough to handhold. I'd try shooting at aperture priority, around f/3.5-4 and set the ISO according to the light. Try shooting close to wide open to get a nicer bokeh and try and isolate your subject.
  10. yoose


    May 17, 2008
    Hong Kong

    you are welcome, looks like you got a lot of other good advice, more on the technical side, mine was just what i like to see. hope you keep shooting and continue to share your pics.
  11. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    Pablo GREAT shots!! Thanx for the advice. My son is only 4 so I have a few year to hone my skills at this.
  12. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    I thought I'd get better results with the Mono. This is my first attempt, and wasn't really sure the best way to approach it. Thanx for your advice.

    The only way I'm going to improve is to ask questions, and show my images. AND most importantly to have a thick skin, which I do. :biggrin:
  13. Thanks
    I wished they had used a proper ball - in almost all the pics it looks like a plain white blob - which it was
  14. I don't know - I like using the monopod and I have the super light 55-200mm - it just makes it easier to stay 'field side' for 90 minutes - something to rest on, other than your neck

    I do take it off the pod from time to time, but it sure makes it convenient to rest on the sidelines
  15. Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2008
  16. I love to shoot my son's soccer matches. Using the 80-200mm in the bright Florida sun, I'll set the D80 to iso 100, center weighted or spot metering, shutter priority between 1/250 and 1/500, AF-C and I'll keep a close eye on my histogram to confirm minimal overexposures. I do use a monopod and I kneel or sit on the ground at the sidelines. I try to keep the player's faces in the light rather than back lit. Eventually I'm going to get a Kenko 1.4x telelconverter to get a little closer to the action. Here are some examples.


    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2008
  17. ^ nice site Randy - lots of GREAT shots there
  18. i like the low perspective but not so much of the foreground or the ref (I would crop tighter in both directions)
  19. ahhahahaha

    Besides that being a nice pic, I am picturing the follow through of both kids - one hitting the ball, the other kicking the other kid in the a$$
  20. Randy,

    Small world, I bought your D200 from you on ebay a few months back. Still clicking stong.

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