HS football at dusk...

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by eric-holmes, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I went to the local HS and thought I would take a few pictures. I have a Nikon D60 and I was using the 55-200 lens.

    Here is the problem I was having. Since it was kind of dusky, the shutter was slowing down which was causing the pictures to be blurry. If I would set it on manual mode and shoot at 1/50, the pictures would be real dark. How would you guys get around this?
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Faster glass and higher ISO.
     
  3. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Would a filter on the end make things worse? I guess I don't know what you mean my faster glass.
     
  4. Mturulski

    Mturulski TPF Noob!

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    Faster glass= typically a lens that is capable of shooting at f 2.8 or wider. Some filters, depending on their type, would have a impact on how much light you're letting into the lens. As previously suggested, to avoid blur, shoot as wide open as possible, and raise your iso setting. I would think for your case, you would want to try an get a shutter speed of around 1/250 or faster.
     
  5. ArmoredPersonel48698

    ArmoredPersonel48698 TPF Noob!

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    I own a Nikon D60 with a 18-55mm and a 55-200mm. I encounter the exact same problems you encounter. There are a few ways, that I know of to help fix/get around this issue.

    1) Set it on manual, open the aperature as wide as possible, and see how high you can get you shutter speed before it starts to get to dark. I run around 1/250th to 1/500th depending on the time. During warmups, 1/500th on shutter priority with a ISO of 400 is pretty good. During the later parts, I run on 1/250th (or 1/200th if I'm using my flash) with a ISO of 1600 or Hi 1 (which I'm presuming is Nikon's D60 variant of 3200...could be wrong).

    2) Metering. First off, go into your settings, and where it says AF/AE lock, set it to AE only. Find a dark spot (i generally use my school's track as it's black or my shadow...if there is one), point your camera at it, press the shutter button down half way, wait for the camera to meter, press and hold the AE lock button, let go of the shutter button, raise the camera, focus on your target, and start shooting. This should result in your photo being brighter. If it's two bright, raise the shutter speed up a bit and do the process again.

    3) Fast glass...ftw. Every now and then, I might bust out my dad's D300 with either his 200mm f/2 or his 400mm f/2.8. All depends on where I'm at, what type of sport, and the time. I use the 400mm for the JV games as they're earlier and so that I can sit down and save my back for the 200mm during the V game coming right after it where I'm running back and forth down the sideline.

    4) Post-processing. If you're pictures come out grainy (noisy as others call it) run it through a program that basically removes the grain...I think it's called Noise Ninja, or something like that. Pictures coming out dark? Run it through photoshop or gimp or another picture editing program. Crank up the brightness, adjust the color, and fix anything else that needs fixing.

    Gimme a second...I have a Kodak book that recommends shutter speeds...hold on...hmmm...let me find it.

    *begins digging in his cluttered closet*

    AHAH! Found it. Oh...never mind. Doesn't have football in it.

    Here's an example:

    During the higher light times of the game (like warm ups), I use a higher shutter speed and a lower ISO as there is enough light to deal with everything.

    http://gatecrusher420.deviantart.com/art/PCHS-Football-2-136811595

    ^That is an example. Shutter speed of 1/500th w/ ISO 400.

    Now...for low light...well...I'll have to upload one for you to show you what you'll get. Wait...I have one uploaded.

    http://gatecrusher420.deviantart.com/art/PCHS-Cheerleading-7-136789328

    ^That's 1/200th of a second w/ ISO 1600 WITH a flash at about 40 feet...maybe less.

    Another: http://gatecrusher420.deviantart.com/art/PCHS-Cheerleading-6-136789104

    ^That's 1/160th of a second w/ ISO 1600 with a flash.

    So as you can tell, ISO helps alot, albeit, can turn a great picture, into a grainy mess. But as I said in option 4, simple post-processing can help.

    Hmm...I think I might post this on my site. Good little tutorial.

    I hope that helps. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Twilight or night time sports requires fast glass and/or a high ISO setting. Nikon has several good lenses for night football. My favorites would be the 135 f/2 and the 200 f/2 VR. My 135 f/2 is the "brightest" f/2 lens I have ever seen. The focal length is good too. The 200 f/2 VR is heavy,and needs a monopod.

    There are other good lenses for football, but none of them are inexpensive. Given that the 200/2 is now a $5k lens, the $2400-$2700 price of the D700 is a bargain, considering that it gives almost two stops' better in High-ISO performance than the D300 or other small-sensor bodies.

    Another option is to shoot from the sidelines and get what you can get, using a 50/1.4 or the 85/1.8 lens; both can do "okay" as long as you shoot closer action. The 55-200 is simply too slow a lens....it just does not admit much light.
     

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