Football Photography? (Please Help! In a hurry!)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Aperture, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    Hey Guys. Tomorrow night im going to head off with my Canon 300d and a basic 18-55mm lens to the HS football game. Can anyone tell me what settings on my camera I should use for the shots? I'm still learning about the nitty gritty parts of photography (ie aperture/shutter/ISO/etc). What should I do? On my camera, I have Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, & your other pre-set modes including a sport function. Should I manually set the variables or should I use Sport and let it do the work? I would rather do it manually as I want this to be a learning experience.:) Can anyone help me?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ramuman macrumors regular

    ramuman

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #2
    Keep the camera in AV mode or manual mode. Set aperture as wide open as it will go. On the CMOS sensor, ISO 800 should be ok for noise. See what kind of shutter speeds you're getting, for walking/still shots, 1/100 ish should be ok (or you can use the 1/focal lengthx1.6 multiplier rule). If action shots are not around 1/500th or faster, you'll have blur. Goto higher ISOs if need be, I'm almost certain you'll end up needing 1600, especially on the modest aperture of that lens (I believe it is about a f/4-5.6 lens?).

    Sport mode will basically do what I said above, but it will limit you sometimes in that it might drag the shutter (use a slow shutter) to get proper exposure. In manual or Av mode, you can shoot 1 or 2 stops underexposed to reduce blur and can make up some of that in PP.

    If you can afford it and will be doing this a lot, consider a lens with a wide aperture - the 85mm f/1.8 (~$300) would be great for the price if you'll be reasonably close to the action.

    Enjoy and post pics :)
     
  3. Aperture thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #3
    Okay, i'll try that. Thanks for the tips. Do you know how to set the ISO, I'll try and find my manual later but wondered if anyone knows. It is a Canon
    300d (Dig. Rebel EOS).

    By the way, i'll post pics.;)
     
  4. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #4
    football settings

    I am a professional photojournallist who has shot 100's of games from high school to pro. You want to have the highest shutter speed you can. If the game is at night you can shoot at 800 or better. During the day you want a balance of high speed 200-400 with a high shutter speed combination. This may mean you are shooting close to wide open on your lens. This is the trade off. You have to stop the action with the shutter speed instead of having depth of field. Most of the action is far enough away that your depth of field is not much even if your lens is stopped down from wide open. Your automatic functions can be used if you remember the above info. With aperture priority you have to choose a wider open F stop that give you a high shutter speed of 1000 or better for day games and as much as you can get for night games. With shutter priority you can choose the highest shutter speed you can 1000 or better for day games and again as much as you can get for night games. The night combination may result in a F stop of 2.8 or whatever your widest setting is but that is OK. You can cruise sportshooters.com for Canon shooters information. They have a great forum.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    Can you rent a lens? That 18-55 hardly seems like it'd get in tight, they'd look more like snapshots unless you're able to get up real close physically that is.

    Also, my advice to you is that you should probably refrain from full manual on your very important 1st time football game. If you're doing this as work or as a favor, don't risk manual mode when you're not sure how to set your own ISO. I smell disaster.

    Follow the above poster's guides and you should be fine, but I would see about getting a longer lens.
     
  6. Aperture thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #6
    Thanks guys for your help. No, I'm not doing this as a favor or anything. Just trying to better my photography skills and break into a new type of photography that I've never done before. I'd prefer not to rent a lens until I know how it goes the first time. I guess i'll write down the suggestions above and try the auto and manual mode.

    Btw: Where do you rent lens?:confused:

    Thanks Again for the help.

    Kevin


    Edit: Oh and the reason I dont know about the ISO is because I am new to the entire manual things, I really never adjusted it. (Just got my first DSLR a month or so ago)
     
  7. ramuman macrumors regular

    ramuman

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #7
    Local camera store might let you rent a lens. I've heard of this place as well: http://www.rentglass.com/ (can't vouch for it, just read about it over in the dpreview.com forums). I think you may end up frustrated shooting a night time game with that lens. I would suggest if things don't go well at night, to try a daytime game. Football is also a harder sport to photograph than others. You could try other games like baseball/softball where you can focus on a pitcher/batter etc.

    If you decide to rent or buy a lens, I'd suggest:

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-100mm-f-2.0-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

    I've never used it, but its well reviewed by many. If you shoot at 1/60th of a second with your current lens at f/4, then you could do 1/250th with the lens I linked to at f/2. A world of difference.
     
  8. trudd macrumors regular

    trudd

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    With that wide of a lens, you'll probably be aiming more towards reaction shots by the crowd or players/coaches on the sidelines. When I shoot football for Baylor University, I only use my wide angle when the action is right in front of me (or especially for fans in the student section).

    See if you can borrow a fast telephoto lens. Depending on what the head photographers in the office are using, I'll grab at least a 300 f/4 for day games, if not a 300 f/2.8. I realize that you probably don't have access to that kind of glass, so see if you can grab a 200 f/2.8 prime or 70-200.

    You should definitely shoot the players if they come rolling in at your feet, but it is very tricky to capture an exciting image from across the field at 55mm.
     
  9. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #9
    Lens and ISO

    The ISO is what used to be called film speed. Since we are talking digital it simply means a universal standard of metering. The higher the ISO or DIN or ASA (all similar) the less light you need to get a proper exsposure for your camera. That is why I mentioned you need at least 800 probably 1600 or maybe even 3200 if your camera will do it. 3200 is nasty on film and digital so don't really try it other than for comparison sake. You may be only able to rate your "film" speed at 400 or 800 but you can usually dial in a plus one or two on your expsosure compensation (camera manual shows where) and get a higher effective speed. You can try to make friends with the news shooters on the sideline and explain what you are doing and maybe after a while they will share tips and if you can work it they may let you borrow a lens. Just don't bother any pros during the action since they are working. If you can swing a student membership to the Canon Professional Service you can sometimes borrow gear from them on a very limited basis. You need to be sponsered by a member unless things have changed. Most large towns have rental places but renting a long lens (over 200mm) is not cheap. You would do well to save up and get the longest fastet lens you can afford. A F stop of 2.8 is the minimum most pros want for night sports unless they are using a vibration reduction lens and a very well lit stadium. Then a F4 lens would be acceptable. Do you have any camera clubs in town? This may be a way to share gear and shoot with others at an event. Keep shooting you'll figure it out. I decided in the third grade to be a photojournalist after looking at a photo of oil riggs in Alaska and realized someone had to go there to get that photo. I then shot all I could with whatever gear I could get and finally started shooting news for my hometown paper when I was 16 and never looked back. That was 27 years ago and it is still mostly fun most of the time!!!
     

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