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06/04/2007 01:13:03 AM · #1
okay so keep in mind ive only taken to photography seriously in the last month or so here, but i dont plan on stopping till im dead and burried :)

i took some shots at a mountain bike downhill race and im looking for some feed back. what can i do better? what are some mistakes i made?

i used my 400D with the kit lens(EF-S 18-55)and my 430EX flash

what i really need are some detailed tips on how to focus something moving that fast

thanks!
[thumbs removed]

Message edited by frisca - don't discuss current challenge entries or outtakes.
06/04/2007 01:15:58 AM · #2
Originally posted by session416:

okay so keep in mind ive only taken to photography seriously in the last month or so here, but i dont plan on stopping till im dead and burried :)

i took some shots at a mountain bike downhill race and im looking for some feed back. what can i do better? what are some mistakes i made?

i used my 400D with the kit lens(EF-S 18-55)and my 430EX flash

what i really need are some detailed tips on how to focus something moving that fast

thanks!


Personnally, I would remove this thread. As your images just gave away which challenge entry is yours in the doubletake challenge.

Message edited by author 2007-06-04 01:17:42.
06/04/2007 01:19:37 AM · #3
i already know im going to loose its not such a big deal to me right now. i really need to hone my skills befor i start worring about competing with other much more expereanced photographers. besides that picture was horrible, i just thought what the hel*
06/04/2007 01:41:20 AM · #4
Try aperture priority, low aperture number, and it will help blur the background and bring attention to the chosen subject. If you need more shutter speed increase ISO, or less shutter speed, decrease ISO.
If you know where the action is going to happen, you can pre focus on that spot and watch and wait for the action to get there.
06/04/2007 01:57:01 AM · #5
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The vertical crop on this one doesnt complement the action. The photo doesnt feel "complete;" you have too much dead space above and below the biker, at the expense of the action. Try shooting something along these lines:
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well framed. try shooting with a wider aperture to throw the branches and the building out of focus, though.

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again, open up that aperture. youre a little limited by equipment i guess, but ideally youd have a much shallower depth of field here. try shifting the rider up in the frame, showing more of the feature hes hitting and less of the boring stuff in the background.

as a general rule of thumb, you want to not only show the rider, but what the rider is doing. without a frame of reference for the action, the photo is confusing to the viewer, cause odds are, they werent there. for example, this shot, while pretty cool looking, is a horrible action photo:
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this guy could be 5 feet in the air or 500, but youll never know, cause you cant see the ground. this photo, on the other hand, shows the whole scene, letting the viewer know just how badass the action is (i used this one cause its the same trick):
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as for focusing... you shouldnt have too many problems with AF speed in that light, but tracking the rider can be a little tricky. try to previsualize the action, and manually select that AF point beforehand. leaving that up to your camera will often result in your camera thinking something else in the frame is more exciting :-P

Wheels and Wax is a great resource for learning the ropes of action photography...unfortunately, the site seems to be down at the moment...

hope that helps!
06/04/2007 04:17:56 PM · #6
hey man that helps a lot! thanks for all the help :)
ill bring my tripod to the next race and get some better framing. ill take the time to get the aperature right and get a proper focus point, then ill be back with an update
06/04/2007 04:21:20 PM · #7
Options the man! One day I hope to get a lens, and use my K10D just like Him lol.
06/04/2007 04:54:31 PM · #8
As a wildlife photographer, many times I find it necessary to find a point of focus (rather than track my subject). If for example you position yourself at a strategic hairpin corner on the racetrack, (a point which the driver MUST decelerate), THAT becomes your logical point of focus. Use shutter speed priority shooting and if possible shoot in bursts, in order to clip just the perfectly positioned shot. This will mean NOT shooting in RAW which will require more download time, but rather a fine JPEG setting and a marginally fast media card. It's much much easier to get your shots as the action comes head-on towards you, or away from you at an angle.
06/04/2007 04:55:36 PM · #9
Read this thread.

Guidelines to Sports Photography
06/04/2007 05:53:54 PM · #10
Originally posted by session416:

hey man that helps a lot! thanks for all the help :)
ill bring my tripod to the next race and get some better framing. ill take the time to get the aperature right and get a proper focus point, then ill be back with an update


i would leave the tripod at home, actually. with action, youre dealing with high shutter speeds so camera shake isnt an issue, and being stuck to a tripod wont allow you to adjust to changing action as rapidly as you need to...
06/04/2007 09:57:00 PM · #11
Originally posted by option:

Originally posted by session416:

hey man that helps a lot! thanks for all the help :)
ill bring my tripod to the next race and get some better framing. ill take the time to get the aperature right and get a proper focus point, then ill be back with an update


i would leave the tripod at home, actually. with action, youre dealing with high shutter speeds so camera shake isnt an issue, and being stuck to a tripod wont allow you to adjust to changing action as rapidly as you need to...

If you have plenty of light, a monopod works great, and is easy to use for stills or panning. I sometimes hook the foot of mine in my belt and it stabilizes the camera to my hips and I can follow the action easily without the camera shaking up and down. It is also easy to move around in a crowd with a monopod.
06/04/2007 10:06:26 PM · #12
I don't know if this has been mentioned or even if it's a good idea but what about the tracking focus mode on the camera? Another issue could be the slow focus motor on that 18-55mm lens. With a nice 70-200mm f/2.8L lens that has blazing fast USM motor it would be a lot faster to lock on. Although that comes in at a bargain at just over $1100. :) You can find other, cheaper, lenses that have a USM motor though which are a lot faster and quieter than the one found in the 18-55mm.
06/04/2007 10:12:20 PM · #13
everything you always wanted to know about action/sports photography can be found in the message boards at www.sportsshooter.com

good luck

Message edited by author 2007-06-04 22:13:16.
06/04/2007 11:29:03 PM · #14
If you're serious about sports photography, then you need a 1D mark 3 or perhaps a 1Dn mk 2.
Yeah, not cheap, but there is a reason they cost more - the focus system is unreal, the FPS is unreal allowing you get get 'the' moment.

In the meantime, not sure about the rebel, but the 20 and 30D have AI focus mode as an option and it's the only one to use for moving subjects. The rebel has Sports Mode and it will do this, but you are restricted to JPG and ISO 400 i believe.

USM lenses will make a difference too. MUCH faster focusing. On 30D and better models 2.8 lenses allow extra focusing sensors to be turned on allowing more accurate and sometimes faster focusing.

I shoot weddings and used third party lenses - EX and SP 2.8 gear, so not low end - and moving to canon's USM lenses has made a big difference - no more shots lost to bad focus - NOT ONE in the last 3 weddings (vs 20 or 30 every wedding with the other lenses).

In the meantime, prefocus on a spot and shoot when the action gets there. It's not 100%, but it's a tried and true method that pre dates auto focus cameras.
06/05/2007 12:11:08 AM · #15
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

In the meantime, not sure about the rebel, but the 20 and 30D have AI focus mode as an option and it's the only one to use for moving subjects. The rebel has Sports Mode and it will do this, but you are restricted to JPG and ISO 400 i believe.

The Rebel XTi has three focus modes. I can't tell you exactly what they are right now because my camera is at home and I am not. AI Servo comes to mind.

Edit: You may have to move to the creative modes and not the auto modes to use this feature. I wouldn't know because I have never used the auto modes. I usually bounce between P and Av modes.

Message edited by author 2007-06-05 00:12:51.
06/05/2007 01:58:50 AM · #16
i never use the auto modes except for the odd portrait.
im either using manual or TV for sports
never crossed my mind to use AV. but ill give it a shot. this weekend im going biking in a forested area so ill for sure snap a lot of pics and say show the best 3 as a progress report.
if i wasnt saving for a truck right now i would go get a better lens (say the EF 16-35 f/2.8 USM or a Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM) and stop using my 18-55 (dumb "make it work" kit lens)
06/05/2007 03:07:18 AM · #17
Originally posted by session416:


if i wasnt saving for a truck right now i would go get a better lens (say the EF 16-35 f/2.8 USM or a Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM) and stop using my 18-55 (dumb "make it work" kit lens)


One of these bad boys would be a good start at a very decent price. I'm sure you could do even better on the used market. Telephoto is generally better for most action stuff, and the Canon 70-200 of varying speeds is the weapon of choice for all the sports photogs I know.
06/05/2007 09:08:08 AM · #18
The recipe for a sports photographer is fairly simple.

Read the Guidelines to Sports Photography, here as well.

Check out other pro site that offer tips on sports imagery like www.sportsshooter.com

Look at how other pro's shoot sports photography like Jackson Davis, or
John Setzler, or Roxanne McMillen, or Thomas Marshall, Brent Pennington, the list goes on.

Look at magazines and news papers, see how they do it.

Save up for GOOD equipment. Nothing less than what Prof Fate advises for a camera body, nothing more than a f/2.8 lens. You can get by with slower lens sets, but then you are limited to a well lit venue.

You need good equipment for sports. Minimum of 8 fps, AI servo, fast read/write to memory, blah, blah, blah...the reason is simple. If you see something happen, it's too late.

KNOW the sport your want to shoot, and get used to having your camera stuck to your face.

You've got the tips, now get out there, save your money, and show us what you've got.

Message edited by author 2007-06-05 09:27:26.
06/05/2007 09:49:22 AM · #19
The Rebel XT (350D) and the XTi (400D) both have AI focus and AI servo. I'm not sure which is which but one of them is predictive (tracking) focus and the other locks on but begins tracking if it detects movement. The 400D has the same 9 point AF sensor as the 30D so it too will pick up use of those additional focus points on a 2.8 or faster lens. The burst mode, while nothing close to a 1D, should be around 3fps with a fairly decent buffer size (9 frames for the 350D and more than that for the 400D) for a beginner. The absolute BIGGEST thing is the lens you use. A faster lens with a USM motor is simply going to be better than that kit lens and as was said before, the 70-200mm is pretty much a standard in this field.

Edit to add: Try using the Av mode, that's all I use 90% of the time. This way you can effectively control your DOF and don't have to mess around with settings when you need to take a split second shot.

Message edited by author 2007-06-05 09:50:41.
06/05/2007 10:12:58 AM · #20
Originally posted by SamDoe1:

" ...(9 frames for the 350D and more than that for the 400D) for a beginner. "


HUH????

How do you do this with a 3fps drive?
06/05/2007 10:15:15 AM · #21
On my XTi I get around 10 to 12 shots in RAW+Jpg in burst and can get around I think it was 20 or so in fine jpeg mode. And as they say the USM makes a HUGE difference when shooting just about anything moving.

-dave
06/05/2007 10:17:32 AM · #22
Originally posted by Man_Called_Horse:

Originally posted by SamDoe1:

" ...(9 frames for the 350D and more than that for the 400D) for a beginner. "


HUH????

How do you do this with a 3fps drive?


What do you mean? It will take 9 pictures in a row at 3 frames per second before it starts to want to flush the buffer....
06/05/2007 10:17:42 AM · #23
Originally posted by dknourek:

On my XTi I get around 10 to 12 shots in RAW+Jpg in burst and can get around I think it was 20 or so in fine jpeg mode. And as they say the USM makes a HUGE difference when shooting just about anything moving.

-dave


Originally posted by SamDoe1:

Originally posted by Man_Called_Horse:

Originally posted by SamDoe1:

" ...(9 frames for the 350D and more than that for the 400D) for a beginner. "


HUH????

How do you do this with a 3fps drive?


What do you mean? It will take 9 pictures in a row at 3 frames per second before it starts to want to flush the buffer....


Burst rate, and frame rate are two different things.

Message edited by author 2007-06-05 10:20:17.
06/05/2007 10:28:04 AM · #24
Originally posted by option:

Originally posted by session416:


if i wasnt saving for a truck right now i would go get a better lens (say the EF 16-35 f/2.8 USM or a Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM) and stop using my 18-55 (dumb "make it work" kit lens)


One of these bad boys would be a good start at a very decent price. I'm sure you could do even better on the used market. Telephoto is generally better for most action stuff, and the Canon 70-200 of varying speeds is the weapon of choice for all the sports photogs I know.


I just got the sigma version of the 70-200 2.8L, and am not complaining - considering i got it for £500 when the canon equivalent goes for around £850-1000... i use it on my 30D and although i havent used it for sports yet (recent purchase) i'm fairly confident it will not let me down.

That 2.8 makes the difference over the f/4 and it has sigma's brand of USM. I know there are canon purists out there but do consider that sigma's lenses are pretty much equal to the canon range (only obsessive pro's could really tell the difference imo) but arent as big of a hit on your wallet. And the thing is built like a tank...
06/05/2007 10:29:05 AM · #25
ok ok I meant consecutive number of shots till the buffer fills up...
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