What metering and AF settings do you use for football?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
MartyMarathon New Member • Posts: 22
Re: What metering and AF settings do you use for football?

I don’t know that I am as accomplished of a photographer as you are looking at your images but I have shot a lot of high school football over the years so here are my thoughts.

Metering - I usually shoot football using manual exposure with a fixed ISO.  I have found that I get fairly consistent exposures working the sidelines from goal line to goal line. If I move to photograph from the end zone I may have to adjust my exposure settings. Faces just don’t get much light as they move into the end zone.

Focus - I usually use group focus points or a cluster of focus points on my Nikons and I like it set a little above the center to focus more on the head and chest. I understand the “focus on the eye” concept but I could not consistently keep the focus points on the head while following a football game. I usually set my “focus tracking” to delayed for football which holds the original focus distance longer if the focus subject distance changes drastically. This seems to allow me to get back on subject before the camera refocuses if I am trying to track action. I also use back button focus so If I want to refocus I simply release and re-engage the focus.

Filling the frame? - When shooting at higher ISO and dealing with the increase in noise I find myself trying hard to fill the frame as much as possible. Problem is, this often leads to missed shots because of action moving quickly out of the frame. I have to remember to give myself a little wiggle room in framing.

The only other advise I would give is to know as much about the teams playing as possible. I have photographed a few coaches and schools for many years and tend to follow them pretty closely and it gives a little edge in anticipating where the action might take place.

We are finally starting to get some high school football starting in Colorado!

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