Advice needed for sports shots

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by StoryBookPhotography, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. StoryBookPhotography

    StoryBookPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Hey there,
    I have a fairly new camera so I am still learning all the bells and whistles, so please bear with me..
    However, I have been taking some pictures at my son's baseball games.
    The still shots of him on the field look great. I am having trouble with action shots. When he is swinging the bat, the bat comes out very blurry.
    Also, I took some of him jumping up to catch a ball and he is blurred.
    I had the camera on Sports mode which is what the manual said to use for action shots. Any suggestions? he has a big game tonight and I would like to get this figured out. :)
    My camera is a Canon EOS 40D and I am using a Canon 70-300 lens.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Kinda confusing but ill try to help you out.

    In order to stop motion you need to increase the shutter speed. But in order to do there needs to be atiquite lighting. You will also need to make sure you have the largest aperture (smallest F number) and using a high iso will also help. In order to do all this you will need to shooting in manual mode.

    good luck!
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum. I just typed out a response to someone else...but I think the message applies here as well.

     
  4. StoryBookPhotography

    StoryBookPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much for trying to help. I looked back at one of the pictures where he is jumpng up to catch and his whole body is a blur. The ISO was 800.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Part of the problem is that this lens has a small max aperture...especially at the long end of the zoom. Pro sports shooters use telephoto lenses with wider apertures...like a 300mm F2.8 or a 400mm F2.8. These lenses, however, are large, heavy and very expensive....unfortunately, that's what it takes to get those great sports shots.
     
  6. StoryBookPhotography

    StoryBookPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Oh great, LOL. This is a nicely priced lens and what was recommended to me by the pros at the camera shop. So, can I make do with this? Any recommendations on settings to try out? Manual mode is new to me, so I am a little skeptical. Do I need to increase from 800 to 1600 or is that too much? Also what about shutter speed and aperture? I am so sorry for all the questions.
     
  7. KOrmechea

    KOrmechea TPF Noob!

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    That lens should be good on a sunny day and if you're just starting out, it's fine.

    A shutter speed of at least (or is it "most"?) 1/500 is generally recommended for stopping action. Adjust the aperture and ISO from there. Or, if you don't feel too comfortable in full manual, try shooting in Tv mode (you choose shutter speed and the camera chooses the aperture).

    That being said, I see nothing wrong with a slightly blurred bat. A bat is made to be swung. Swinging is (generally) a fast action. A slight blur helps convey that and (I feel) makes the shot more exciting. However, that's not to say that it's the only way to do it.

    Experiment (especially on someone else's kid)! You'll soon learn what you like and don't, what turns out well and what doesn't. That's half the fun.

    Good luck.
     
  8. StoryBookPhotography

    StoryBookPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Thanks I was getting stressed about having wasted my money on the lens I have. Also, the bat is very blurred. It makes the picture look bad. And the ones of him jumping up are so blurry you cant even make out who the kid is. More blur than I want, LOL
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As mentioned, that lens isn't well suited for sports/less than great light. It's a fine lens in great light...but keep in mind that pro sport shooters use lenses that cost upwards of $5000...and yours was what, a couple hundred? So you can't expect the results to be the same as what you see in Sports Illustrated :D
     
  10. StoryBookPhotography

    StoryBookPhotography TPF Noob!

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    My lens was around 800.oo. I certainly dont expect Sports I Illustrated quality pics. I just hope to get nice pictures of an 8 year old baseball game. I know others who do not have as nice of a camera and they are able to get the swings and jumps with no blur. I guess it will take time and trial and error. I was just hopng to get suggestions on maybe a few settings to try. :)
    I am right up on the fence or on the field for the pictures. The lighting has been good as these games are usually in the afternoon or middle of the day.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Oh, you must have the 70-300 IS?

    That is certainly a nicer lens than the non-IS 75-300 version. The Image Stabilization will help to fight blur from camera shake...but unfortunately, it doesn't help to fight against blur from moving subject. Better to have it than not...but not as good as a larger aperture.

    Can you show us some examples, along with the EXIF date (the shooting info like shutter speed, aperture, ISO etc)?

    That might help us to diagnose what is going on with your blurry photos.
     
  12. StoryBookPhotography

    StoryBookPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Yes, mine has IS. So, are you saying its not a piece of crap after all, LOL. :) How do I post a picture?
     

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