I need experienced input!!

Started Oct 1, 2010 | Discussions thread
jcburke
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Re: I need experienced input!!
In reply to langmotorsports, Oct 4, 2010

Well, you are probably wrestling with several problems at once: indoors rinks use those green sodium or flourescent lights so its acceptable for the human eye but poor lighting overall, plus you aren't close to the action so you have a focusing problem, the focusing issue is made worse because you are shooting at f1.8 which requires exact focus for sharpness, and you are trying to shoot action figures that are moving in/out of focus or too fast sideways. Any one of these would compromise sharpness, and you have all of those issues.

On the camera, you can adjust for the white balance, but do it once and forget it. Set the ISO high (as others have pointed out) until the picture noise is hateful. Use a telephoto or zoom lens which is at least f2.8, but shoot at least f4, but f8 would allow for a deeper focus area which solves the focus problem (but you must balance this with shutter speed for tradeoff with action tracking). Turn off the lens auto-focus and set it manually, setting it at middle-distance of the court/rink and leaving it there. Set the exposure manually as well, setting it slightly dark side of center (you can push it a bit in Elements/Photoshop later) and testing that. Get as close to the action as you can withOUT anything between you and the players. When players are moving sideways, move the camera-aim with them. When they are moving nearer/far only shoot when they are in your preset focus zone.

And by the way, now you know one reason why sports shooters shoot with full-frame cameras with huge sensors and also with outrageously expensive zooms lenses. And no, you don't see them focusing or zooming much, they preset almost everything and leave it be.
Good luck.
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Theater, Dance & performance arts photographer

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