Action shots with wakeboarding, question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Vestiaz, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Vestiaz

    Vestiaz TPF Noob!

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    Heya!

    I've recently purchased a Canon Rebel XT EOS and have been shooting & playing with it, trying to learn as much as i can.

    I went out with some friends wakeboarding today and photographed them, and was wondering about a something. In this photo my subject is shadowed but his surroundings are well lit.

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/silence777/IMG_0329.jpg

    It was around 5 pm with the sun shining at his back.

    I'm wondering how I could go about seeing more of his features. My ISO was set at 800 with a very fast shutter speed.
    Any tips that could help me take a better picture would be fabulous, since i'm going out again tomorrow! Thanks.
     
  2. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    You probably wer shooting in automatic mode. Therefore the camera sees a lot of light (from the sun) and tries to correct it with a fast shutter speed. To correct something like this you could do a couple of different things. All will work in their own way.

    One you could try a fill flash, that will fill in the dark areas of the subject. This may be however difficult when the subject is a ways away.

    Second, and probably the best, is to not take a photo that the sun is behind the subject, rather facing the subject.

    Third, you could use a reflector, to reflect light at the subject. However, in this situation it would be distracting to the waterboarder, and not practical.

    You could try a faster shutter speed, that might lighten up the subject, but will also make it a flatter image, and even more whites.

    You could use a filter, that filters the sun a bit.

    Or also, you could take the image into Photoshop, and adjust the midtones till you can see the subject a little better.

    Best bet is to set the meter to the subject with you as close you can. Which means you will be doing it in a manual setting. Then have the subject do whatever in the water. Then take a photo without making any changes. Doing it this way will meter the subject, and not the sun. Also try to eliminate any direct contact with the sun to the lens. That way you limit solar flairs, unless you like it that way.
     
  3. Vestiaz

    Vestiaz TPF Noob!

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    Alright thanks for the advice!
    I cant get any closer due to the fact i'm on a boat and the rope length is not changeable.
    And i was shooting in shutter priority mode with the shutter speed all the way up.
    Seems as though i'm just going to have to face away from the sun.
     
  4. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    No, NO, that's not what I mean. While he is in the boat, meter him. That way he is set no matter what. Keep that setting, then have him go into the water. It's just more important to meter the subject, not the whole scene. Because in your case what you did is meter the whole landscape and is why everything was bright except him.
     
  5. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    Also it will be a bit more difficult in shutter priority, because then all you can alter is the aperture. Also, you could bring the ISO down to like 100, it is also less pixelted, and it will slow down your assumed shutter speed. Therefore you can compensate for the change of metering the subject not the scene.
     
  6. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    Not to be sarcastic but you could turn the boat around and travel into the sun. Do you have a circular polarizing filter--this would help in the color dept.

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  7. Vestiaz

    Vestiaz TPF Noob!

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    I realize thats possible but the issue we were facing was the water. We were trying to get away from boat traffic thus having to travel the direction we were.

    And no i do not.
    I'll look into purchasing one.
     
  8. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Why not just set your light meter on spot instead of matrix? then be sure the subject is in the spot when you shoot.
     
  9. Vestiaz

    Vestiaz TPF Noob!

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    Yeah sandspur, I actually tried that out today, checked this thread and saw you recommended it, and realized it was a great idea =]

    it helped light my subject up and get a full crisp shot.
     
  10. Computer_Generated

    Computer_Generated TPF Noob!

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    All sounds like good advise... skipping the part of metering before he gets in the water, you could also meter off the back of your hand... no other advise, I think it's all been covered. ;)
     
  11. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Of course, you realize that none of these suggestions is going to work all the time.

    In the dynamics of fast action, on the water, shooting from a boat, with a rather rapidly gyrating and zooming human being at the end of a 75 foot long rope, and the boat constantly changing directions ... well, there just aren't many factors that will stay the same for very long.

    That's what make this kind of shooting challenging and fun as hell!

    Oh, and one other thing. The Rebel is not really constructed for a lot of vibrating, shaking and exposure to water - especially the water part! So be very careful.

    I once killed a $1200 NIKON F 100 (only eights months old) with a teaspoon of water that splashed into my camera bag, seeped into the battery compartment door, and shorted out the whole thing - permanently! It's now a doorstop in my studio!

    EDIT ADDED: One more thing ... A CP will certainly help reduce glare and control lighting around the water. But adding a CP will also reduce your exposure by at least 1 1/2 stops - so be aware it might be working against you when you're in a severely back-lit situation such as the one you showed. You don't ned to compensate for it - your built in meter will take care of that. But it could effectively slow your shutter speed down enough to make a difference or increase your aperture, thus reducing your depth of focus.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008

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