help, action shots?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jazzitupphotography, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. jazzitupphotography

    jazzitupphotography TPF Noob!

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    So I like to take pictures of my horse, but whenever I take action shots of him, his legs appear blurred. I was wondering what I've been doing wrong?

    I have a 450D with 18-55 mm with IS.

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  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    what was the shutter speed?
     
  3. jazzitupphotography

    jazzitupphotography TPF Noob!

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    Can't remember, these pictures were taken back in december. I guess that would help haha.

    What would be the ideal shutter speed for action shots with horses?
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ideal is a fast as you can with action ;)
    generally your wanting as fast as you can get - so sometimes you have to take compramises:

    1) upp you ISO - noise is far better than blur - you can reduce noise in editing and work with a shot to get a reasonable result - with blur you can't remove it

    2) if your shooting in an auto or semi auto (like aperture priority mode) then use exposure compensation to underexpose the shot - that will make the camera choose faster shutter speeds - though sometimes you have to go for full manual mode and dial in the speed to get it (which might mean you get an underexposed shot

    3) use a wider aperture - of course this can lose you your depth of field in a shot (area of photo in focus) and with closer shots of big animals like a horse its sometimes something that you can't have the option of for some poses - side on head shots you can normall get away with a smaller depth of field - wider aperture (smaller f number)

    4) flash - horses are like any other animal; some blink - others ignor - some run 100 miles from it - and some attack. You won't know till you try - inside it will give you the added light you need for a faster shutter speed without having to increase ISO and opening up your aperture
     
  5. jazzitupphotography

    jazzitupphotography TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Overread, that helped a lot.
    I'm going to go out tomorrow and experiment with my shutter speed/aperture and ISO, and I'll give my flash a go. I'll try to remember everything you suggested! thanks
     
  6. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    you can cheat the shutter speed a little bit depending on the gait...obviously a horse at a trot is going to have less leg blur than a barrel racer booking it full speed. depending on the shot though, sometimes i think blur helps to convey the speed. obviously you don't want every picture like that though - refer to suggestions above
     
  7. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    faster shutter will keep the legs crisp. Although, having the body of the horse sharp and the legs blurry (like when the horse is in a full gallop) is a really cool effect.
     
  8. jazzitupphotography

    jazzitupphotography TPF Noob!

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    OK so I shot all of these with a fast shutter speed (from 1/100 to 1/160) and kept my ISO at 1600 (the highest it will go) I didn't mess much with the aperture, kept it around f5. There was almost no light in the arena. I'm not happy with these shots.. just wondering what I could do next time. I edited them a bit on Photoshop, but didn't have time to do much with them. Just upped the brightness/contrast (yes they were initially darker)

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    OK this is the worst of the day..
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  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't know squat about photographing horses, but I'm guessing to freeze a moving horse crisply you are looking for shutter speeds faster than 1/250th. I'd probably start test shooting at 1/1000th myself.

    Indoors where there isn't much ambient light any flash may actually do a decent job of freezing some movement. Outdoors or where there is a lot of ambient light you'll need a upper end flash that allows for high speed sync. Without high speed sync your shutter will be limited to slower speeds when using a flash.

    If you are going to be shooting indoors without a flash you'll need a fast (large aperture) lens. For zooms this means f/2.8, and it'll have a bigger price tag too. Fast prime lenses are often much cheaper and even faster than zooms. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 costs about $80, and is a great cheap option for low light shooting.

    Anytime you are shooting into a very bright light source, like the windows to the outdoors, the camera is probably going to goof it on it's own. Either set the exposure manually, increase exposure comp, or learn to use the exposure lock button. You can point away from the windows, lock the exposure, and then recompose.

    Along the same lines, when you are shooting into the dark tell your camera to under expose a little bit (raise the shutter speed). While underexposure can lead to noise issues, I think a decent shutter speed is more important here. Also with the available light it's a somewhat dim scene in reality, so it's okay that the photos would reflect that.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Pretty much same agains as Matt said - flash might be your only option for good lighting in those indoor conditions - just remember to test it first without the rider ;)
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your problem is your lens it is not capable of shooting horses indoors it is not fast enough you need minimum F2.8 and at iso1600 i don't think that will be enough, i was shooting dog agility indoors this weekend and i was at ISO3200 F2.8 1/320 and that was only just fast enough
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photojournalism-sports-gallery/153956-5d-dogs.html

    here are some horse shots of mine to give you an idea of what shutter speeds you need Gary Clarke : photos : Bramham Horse Trials (Canon 10D)- powered by SmugMug
    hover your mouse over the picture on right and click photo info
     
  12. jazzitupphotography

    jazzitupphotography TPF Noob!

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    here's what I got with the flash. I didn't like how it looked on my LCD so I didn't use it again.

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    I thought it just looked like something I'd taken with my point and shoot. Oh well, in a few months our 10 feet of snow is going to melt and I'll be able to take some outside.



    what do you guys think of these?

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