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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> action photography - advice please
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04/03/2004 05:22:12 PM · #1
hi - I'm new to DPC and relatively new to digi cameras. The sony is my first digi experience (love it) got it late last yr.

Need some advice on how to take action shots - dog agility especially....what sort of settings would work. I've been taking a lot of pics of fish, dogs, nature etc with some success but they could be better.

The photo I've included was taken of a fish play/chase auto settings, flash used, ISO 100, F 2.5 - how could I have improved the pic.....the lighting in the tank is flurosecent overhead
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thanks

sue
04/03/2004 05:29:56 PM · #2
First, you shold post a larger version somewhere and link to it. From what I can see on your posted image, your focus was good, you were slightly underexposed, and the contrast is low. Both the exposure and contrast can be corrected in editing.
You may have some reflection on the glass (at left of image). If possible, shot with the lens right up to the glass. If this is not possible, try to exclude as much ambient light as you can to limit reflections.
Flash can help with aquarium photography, but only if it is off-camera. Best thing is bounced (diffuse) top illumination, only possible if you have access to the top of the tank. Next option is a bounce card on an off-camera flash, held off to the side.
04/03/2004 05:33:57 PM · #3
If you don't already have a tripod. Invest in a good one and you will have one less thing to worry about, like camera shake, etc. Use the forum search for some great info on one.

To get rid of reflections from water invest in a Circular Polarizer filter.

Edit:The best thing about digital is the ability to take shots over and over to find something you like. Play with the different settings.

Message edited by author 2004-04-03 17:34:57.
04/03/2004 05:38:37 PM · #4
Thanks for the reply

at the moment I only have the flash attached to the camera.....so I need to get a separate unit to get a better result. Can't post a bigger image of that pic as it was taken on the spur of the moment.....fish just started chasing so I grabbed the camera and didn't really think about what the result would be

sue
04/03/2004 05:41:17 PM · #5
Originally posted by faidoi:

..To get rid of reflections from water invest in a Circular Polarizer filter.


In the case of aquarium photography, the polarizer has two unwanted efffects:

1.) The 1.5 stop reduction in light; not good since you're already struggling with having enough light for proper exposure without overdoing the flash.

2.) Reflections at near-90-degree angles are almost not affected by the polarizer. The maximum effect of the polarizer is for reflection angles of about 37 degrees, falling to almost no effect near zero and ninety degrees.
04/03/2004 05:42:00 PM · #6
and what sort of settings would work for dog agility pics......the action is fast, lighting depends on the day.

sue
04/03/2004 05:45:41 PM · #7
Originally posted by suemack:

and what sort of settings would work for dog agility pics......the action is fast, lighting depends on the day.

sue


bring your ISO up to 200, 400 if the lighting is really bad. It gets kinda grainy at ISO 400 on our camera, but 200 is ok. get an external flash, and rechargeable batteries. I have the hvl-1000 , got it for 80 dollars. Worth every penny. So is a good tripod.
04/03/2004 05:47:32 PM · #8
thank you

sue
04/03/2004 05:49:14 PM · #9
Outdoor Action Photography website for some info on nature and wildlife photography. Also has some good post-production techniques.
04/03/2004 05:49:17 PM · #10
Originally posted by suemack:

and what sort of settings would work for dog agility pics......the action is fast, lighting depends on the day.

sue


you want to keep you shutter speed relatively fast. You may or may not want some motion blur, and this choice will affect where you set the shutter speed.
Use 1/500s to freeze action, or slower (1/60 or 1/125s maybe) if a little blur is desired.
You will probably want to shoot in "shutter preferred" mode so you know what your shutter speed is, and let your camera determine the appropriate aperture.
For lower light levels, you may need to bump up the ISO (sensitivity) of the camera, though this will increase noise.

Message edited by author 2004-04-03 17:49:57.
04/03/2004 06:29:29 PM · #11
With my 717, it took me forever to figure out that in order to get decent action shots with just the right motion blur and DOF, I must set the shutter speed at less than 100 and close the aperature all the way to f8.0.

I rarely use flash, but I'm willing to put up with a bit of noise by using 200 or 400 ISO.

For outdoor shots (which I almost always shoot at 100 ISO), when I put the camera in full auto mode, I get crisp shots where everything is in focus, which isn't necessarily what I want.

04/03/2004 06:46:32 PM · #12
you guys are awesome....this is so helpful thankyou

sue
04/04/2004 01:04:18 PM · #13
Sue, I still struggle to get decent fish pictures (my Silvers Dollars are the worst) before going out and purchasing an external flash you may want to try something I do quite often when looking to shoot moving fish.

The day before the shoot give the tank a full clean (including the back) Pay special attention to removing algae spots on the inside and water marks on the outside. If you have any (Interpet) Filter clear try using that to remove fine particles you can't see but the cam can (and will pick up) Shoot in a darkened room, I have a small table lamp that I point away from the tank so I can see what I'm doing.
Try setting the cam to f3.5 300/s using flash, get up quite close to the glass (angled is best) and don't frame your target in the centre of the pic - nearer the bottom is best. Click away and in post processing just crop out the glare. Unless you want a 10x8 of a guppy you'll still get a decent sized shot. If you get 5 pics you want to share with us from 75 your doing great :)
04/04/2004 01:51:43 PM · #14
I have a lot of fun trying with the fishy pics....and I have some interesting fish to practise with

sue
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