exposing for soccer

Started Aug 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
ScottD1964 Senior Member • Posts: 1,632
Re: exposing for soccer

You're making this much harder than it needs to be. Before cameras had multiple metering modes and multiple AF spots you used two things to obtain proper exposure. The first was a hand held light meter. The second was basic knowledge of photography and lighting.

Even in the digital world the old "sunny 16" rule works every time. Only now with the ability to set exposure in 1/3 stop increments instead of 1/2 or whole stops your exposure can be even more precise. If not familiar with this rule it's pretty simple. On a bright sunlit day shooting front lit (sun over your shoulder) your basic exposure will be 1/ISO @ f16. So if you're at ISO 200 you'd be 1/200 f16. Then just make adjustments based on what you require for Aperture or shutter speed. 1/400 f11, 1/800 f8, 1/1600 f5.6, 1/3200 f4, 1/6400 f2.8 or anything in 1/3 stop increments in between.

If you're shooting a team in white close down by 1/3-1/2 stop to no blow out highlights. If shooting a team wearing dark colors open by a 1/3 stop. If shooting football and trying to bring out facial detail from within a helmet open by 1/3 or so.

If you happen to be shooting backlit open up 1-1 1/2 stops from your base exposure.

It works. Anyone who shot film and couldn't chimp their images knows you had to be correct on you're exposure from the get go because you couldn't check a screen on the back of the camera.

I shot pro and college sports 5 years during the mid 90's. Never used an in camera exposure once and always shot manual. You as the photographer are much smarter then the camera will ever be. Just learn a few simple rules and forget the bells and whistles.


Here are a few shots taken the way I described.

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