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Little Help Please - Softball


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#1 hunter133

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 12:24 PM

Hi everyone, I hope some could provide me some help. After my smartphone failed me during my kids sports last year I ventured into dslr world this year! Ever the headstrong, I am knee deep in "m" mode here  lol  I love the picture of my daughter, but know it needs improvement. I want to capture a SI cover photo for her!

 

Any advice would be appreciated and put to use right away...4 games this week alone. Thank You, Matt

 

F6.3

1/125sec

ISO 400

130mm

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#2 elcab18

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 01:27 PM

Hi Matt, motion blur sometimes works in action shots, if you want to eliminate it raise your shutter speed to 1/500 or even a little higher.  For a shot like this I don't think depth of field is needed so if your lens can be set at f 4 or f 5.6 try it, that way your subject will stand out even more, maybe zoom in a little more if you just want your daughter as the subject in the shot.  Also try using the auto iso setting in the shooting menu of the camera, set the upper limit to 3200 to start, that way you can change f stop and shutter speed settings without thinking about the iso setting, the camera will automatically adjust for you.  As you may know the higher the iso setting the more potential for digital noise, you can adjust that high limit up or down based on what is acceptable to you, my 2 cents.  Best!

 

Doug


Hi Matt, motion blur sometimes works in action shots, if you want to eliminate it raise your shutter speed to 1/500 or even a little higher.  For a shot like this I don't think depth of field is needed so if your lens can be set at f 4 or f 5.6 try it, that way your subject will stand out even more, maybe zoom in a little more if you just want your daughter as the subject in the shot.  Also try using the auto iso setting in the shooting menu of the camera, set the upper limit to 3200 to start, that way you can change f stop and shutter speed settings without thinking about the iso setting, the camera will automatically adjust for you.  As you may know the higher the iso setting the more potential for digital noise, you can adjust that high limit up or down based on what is acceptable to you, my 2 cents.  Best!

 

Doug

Oh yea, leave it in M mode using auto focus tracking!


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#3 hunter133

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 02:54 PM

Doug, Thank You!

 

On the shutter speed, did I misinterpret the "rule of thumb" that it was suppose to be approx your focal length?

 

 

 

Hi Matt, motion blur sometimes works in action shots, if you want to eliminate it raise your shutter speed to 1/500 or even a little higher.  For a shot like this I don't think depth of field is needed so if your lens can be set at f 4 or f 5.6 try it, that way your subject will stand out even more, maybe zoom in a little more if you just want your daughter as the subject in the shot.  Also try using the auto iso setting in the shooting menu of the camera, set the upper limit to 3200 to start, that way you can change f stop and shutter speed settings without thinking about the iso setting, the camera will automatically adjust for you.  As you may know the higher the iso setting the more potential for digital noise, you can adjust that high limit up or down based on what is acceptable to you, my 2 cents.  Best!

 

Doug


Oh yea, leave it in M mode using auto focus tracking!



#4 elcab18

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 03:12 PM

Forget it, I shot (photograph  :D) birds in flight at 500 mm, 1/2000 and faster all the time.



#5 hunter133

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 07:49 PM

Thank You !

Forget it, I shot (photograph  :D) birds in flight at 500 mm, 1/2000 and faster all the time.



#6 John W

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 09:17 PM

Doug is one of the best photographers that post on this web site so take his advice seriously. The rule of thumb you are referencing is for a hand held still. So for instance if you were taking a picture of your daughter standing still and posing for the camera you should be able to hand hold your camera at 1/focal length of the lens. ie. with a 100mm lens you should be able to hand hold camera on a still subject at 1/100 ss. If you are photographing something moving the rule goes out the window and you need to increase your ss.

1/500 would be a good place to start and if you want to freeze frame the ball in flight 1/1250+.

Level your image. 

 

It is a great shot by the way. Level and crop it to the rule of thirds, putting her face mask as close as possible to 1/3 from the left side of the picture. Leave more space to the right, the direction she is throwing the ball. Maybe add a little sharpening, vibrance and adjust the exposure in Lightroom.


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#7 emorri7

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 11:05 PM

Do not forget the 1.5x factor due to your cropped sensor ... I am no where near Doug's level but I would recommand for example when handheld at 300mm 1/450 or higher shutter speed.
And like John said ... it is very unlikely that you will freeze the ball in flight above 1/1250s.
The other advice for sports photography I would give isn't about photography itself but anticipating actions before it happens. 
Finally ... it's all about practice ;)



#8 K_Georgiadis

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 11:13 PM

I concur with Doug and John. One point about minimum shutter speed vs. focal length: for crop sensor cameras such as yours, you also have to apply the crop factor. If, as I assume, your sensor is 2/3 the size of a full frame camera: 130mm/0.65 = 1/200". If the lens has good Image Stabilization, you may get a leeway of up to 3 stops. However, as was correctly pointed out, this only takes care of potential camera shake for hand-held shots; you need higher shutter speeds if your subject itself is moving, running, flying, etc.

This image could be improved by tighter cropping (e.g. getting rid of the partial arm on the left edge). Unfortunately the background is busy and distracting; sometimes this can be avoided by changing the angle of the shop, other times it is just unavoidable. For those unavoidable bad backgrounds, Doug's suggestion to use a smaller f stop number might help to blur the background sufficientlly, making your subject stand out more. Always consider the background before taking the shot, looking for something neutral and non- distracting.

#9 geedee

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:19 AM

I think that is a great pic given the level you are at in learning photography. By good fortune or judgement you have captured facial detail while also capturing the all important action, call it motion blur if you will..(-:  I suspect that there will ever be background distractions at sporting events and trying to minimise their effect will be difficult given budget and access constraints, BIG lenses with WIDE apertures are rather expensive and do not guarantee great pics.. The cheaper option might be to use your computer to modify/improve your pics.

 

As suggested a tighter crop would cut out the arm to the left of frame and also cut down on the distraction of the background to some degree, thinking the spectator`s rear end to the right etc... Yup levelling the fence line might also help a bit , so you can perhaps see that there is much that can be done AFTER you have pressed the shutter button that can have a BIG effect on the pic the camera captures... Seems photo editing software can possibly be much less expensive route to improving one`s pics than seeking to upgrade on one`s photographic equipment, though definitely not for gear junkies...(-: Yup still think it is a great pic all things considered...(-:


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#10 Roderick

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 03:47 AM

Great advice above, Hunter, and as Geedee said, you took a great shot to start with.

That was "the moment" of action to freeze  :)

Another might be when the ball is released and is on its way.

 

You could knock your camera to continuous mode.  You probably know this already, but just in case, check this out.


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#11 Chimpy

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 06:56 AM

Hi Hunter, I would shoot in portrait view, shoot in shutter priority, pick your highest shutter speed that doesn't take your ISO to where it is too crappy, set your camera drive to hi speed, focus to servo, I would position myself to give me a clean uncluttered background and fire away.

Another tip is to open your eye that is not looking through the viewfinder and watch the action so you can get the ball in the shot every time, it takes a bit of getting use to but it works.

I hope this helps? Chimpy

#12 hunter133

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 11:56 PM

Thank you everyone.  I appreciate your help.

 

geedee: Thanks I was working the plate area, hoping to get some good pics. Using single point focus I was trying to get focus on their faces. I just didnt understand why her body was so blurry compared to other pics at the plate. I was able to also grab this hit:

 

f6.3

1/125

ISO 450

78mm

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  • Attached File  Hit.jpg   204.07KB   0 downloads


#13 geedee

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 02:13 AM

There are others here far more skilled than I. If you want to freeze the action you need to up the speed, but then you cut down on the brightness that you capture unless you open up the aperture which reduces your depth of field.... it is all about balancing the settings relative to whatever you prioritise in the scene you are trying to capture... Sure we want it ALL, but to even get close to that we need ever more expensive kit... or as I suggested it may be more rewarding to invest in photographic software for your pc. which will allow you to brighten pics that you have upped the shutter speed on to freeze the action..etc. etc. etc.

 

This is another good pic you went for facial detail and got it..!



#14 Chimpy

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 02:43 AM

Shoot in shutter priority and your aperture will open up or close to keep your exposure correct, your images should not be dark as your camera will correct the exposure. I wouldn't worry too much about your apertures and depth of field as you will probably be shooting around f5.6 from a distance so you shoots should have sufficient depth of field.

Until you understand photography more I would stear clear of working in manual IMHO.
The girls body is blurred in your shot because it is moving too fast to be recorded sharp, slow moving parts of your shot will remain sharp ie. The background.

Check out the sport section on the forum and you will see examples of this in action.

Chimpy

#15 Earl

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 10:22 PM

Actually, if you are just starting out, catching the ball just off the bat is doing pretty well.   I hadn't taken any shots for awhile of baseball or softball, and had a tough time catching the ball.  So well done!   One well know photographer said, "If you are going to take up sports photography you are going to need some expensive equipment."  I've been coaching and taking photos of my kids and grandkids for years.  I got a lot of decent ones.  And a couple are framed in my home.  I started with film, and then went digital when it came out.  I shoot with a 70-200mm lens from the position you are at here.  And if I want to catch players in the outfield, I use a 100-400mm.  You will find that the fence is a major problem.  Most of the time I can focus out the fence with a fast lens (F2.8).  One thing I have done for the past couple of years it not just concentrate on the plays on the field but also try to catch a lot of portrait shots of players showing emotion.  I wish you luck.



#16 hunter133

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:03 AM

Hi Everyone, Well its been almost 1 year exactly. I wanted to post this picture from the past weekend (daughter's team) and ask what you all thought about my progress, pointers to improve?

Thanks !

 

D5300

55-300 kit lens

150mm

f/4.8

1/1000

 

Attached Files


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#17 John W

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:18 AM

Great shot. I like the intense look of concentration on her face and the motion blur on the bat and ball. Looks sharp and well exposed. Well done. It is a shame about the busy background. If it were mine I would experiment in pp by isolating the batter, bat, ball, and dirt and then trying a slight blur on everything behind. A very small file to work with but something like this? Also removed the large guy behind.

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#18 hunter133

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 08:43 AM

Great shot. I like the intense look of concentration on her face and the motion blur on the bat and ball. Looks sharp and well exposed. Well done. It is a shame about the busy background. If it were mine I would experiment in pp by isolating the batter, bat, ball, and dirt and then trying a slight blur on everything behind. A very small file to work with but something like this? Also removed the large guy behind.

 

Thanks John. I'm still a newbie..I must confess I don't even own PS or light room yet.. Still using the Nikon software that came with the camera  lol. I am trying hard to learn to get it right in the camera, before software.



#19 geedee

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 11:17 AM

Hi Matt, well you sure captured the moment, the look of anticipation, plenty of colour and detail.  My thinking after that was that it might have been better not to have cut off the head of the guy behind the fence as without a head he perhaps creates more of a distraction than he might with a head.... John did a great job of removing him altogether which would seem to be the best option, showing just what a powerful tool photographic software can be... If you get good at PP (Post Production) editing/manipulation then you could no doubt have Babe Ruth behind the fence looking on in appreciation...(-:

 

I like you thought it best to prioritise getting it right in-camera, though I suspect time and how often one uses their kit plays an important part in deciding to get into learning PP processes....  I have waited too long to arrive at the stage where I am frustrated by my lack of progress... Perhaps view a few of Chelsea`s vids on Youtube and reassess as to how much you can improve your pics ..if at all..?  Though for me your pic creates as good a record as might ever be needed, though with PP as John has shown you can take it to another level... Good luck in your choices.   



#20 Roderick

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 12:07 PM

Nice one, Hunter.

The pose is great and you got the ball, plus the whole dynamics of the scene is there in the picture, and we can see her face :)

That's a very impressive "tidy up" job done by John.






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