Low Light Sports Photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kjc9847yu, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. kjc9847yu

    kjc9847yu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello!
    I have a digital camera, specifically Canon PowerShot G5, don't know if you're familliar with it..

    I usually shoot in Horseball games (not sure if you know this sport, but it has horses and lots of speed). The games can either happen in or outdoors and during the day or at night. Outdoors, at night, as you can imagine, the lightning is very poor and, even indoors it can be pretty rough as well.

    So, I have to move the camera a lot and the game has lots of movement itself, so I have to use a high shutter speed, so it won't get blurred. But then, specially in low lightning, the photo gets to dark and with lots of noise. I've already tried lots of shutter speeds and appertures compensations, even played a bit with ISO's and, even using flash, it either gets blurred or noisy. :confused:

    And I can't use any zoom lens or anything like that, because the camera won't allow it, so I'm stuck with these manual features. I'm really amateur, and have very poor experience yet, only know the basics. But I understand that this camera is very good for me, and I'd like to know how to improve this, cause I know it is possible, for sure! I just don't know how to.. :cry:

    So, I'm asking: what shutter speed, apperture, ISO, flash (even lenses or filters just to know, in case I use another camera), etc, etc, whatever you think it's best, should I use for low light sports photography? Please, tell me what you think, help me! :hail:


    Thanks in advance! ;)
     
  2. Lensmeister

    Lensmeister TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this EN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    FRom a 35mm Sports photographers point of view. I use a Canon EOS 10 and a Sigma 70-210mm APO f/2.8 lens with 1600 ASA/ISO film. THis gives me the chance to freeze action, but the film does create heavy grain.

    Best always to have a fast lens ... the f/2.8 lets me get the action 'stopped' at the time the shutter is pressed.

    Shutter no lower than your lens length ie 210mm not slower than 1/250

    Appature I use minimum f/2.8

    ISO 800 +

    Flash NEVER .... puts players sports people off their concentration.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Welcome to the forum.

    The G5 is a very good point & shoot digital camera. The problem is that it's just that...a point & shoot. While you can adjust the settings, you cannot use a lens with a bigger aperture, which is really what you need. Have you seen the pro photographers at sporting events? They use those huge lenses that are long but also very big around. That's because they need very large apertures so that they can use a fast enough shutter speed to stop the action. Of course those lenses can cost up to $10,000.

    There are somethings that you just can't do with your camera, low light sports photography may be one of them.

    The G5 does have a hot shoe, does it not? You could try using an accessory flash that is much more powerful than your built-in flash. This will help if you are close to the action, but is still not going to be a perfect solution.

    Do the best you can, set the ISO to maximum and use the widest aperture (lowest F number) and see what shutter speeds you can get away with. You may even need to use a shutter speed that will leave your photos underexposed...and then use image software to try and bring up the detail. You will get a lot of digital noise but if that's the best you can do with your equipment, that's what you have got to do.
     
  4. kjc9847yu

    kjc9847yu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your quick answer.

    My camera is digital, so I don't use film. But I set ISO to 400 which is the minimum possible (I can choose from 50 to 400).. I try appertures around 1/1000.. if I use lower it sometimes gets blurred. And I usually use the lower apperture I can.. f2.0 or sometimes more.

    As for flash, only sometimes I use it, but in this kind of sport I don't think it puts players off concentration. I say this, because i play this sport myself, and haven't got time to even think about flashes!

    Thank you for your advice!
     
  5. kjc9847yu

    kjc9847yu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes.. I guess you're right. I was just wondering if I would be doing anything wrong, but maybe the camera really isn't enough for what I want..

    Thank you!
     
  6. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You should be able to freeze a lot of action with shutter speeds around 1/250 or even 1/125 or slower. You may still get some motion blur but sometimes that's OK. You can try panning the camera with the subject as they go by you. If you do this well, you can get sharp images with slow shutter speeds and the background will be blurred...which really give the impression of speed & movement.
     
  7. kjc9847yu

    kjc9847yu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, that makes an impressive effect. But wouldn't I need a larger zoom lens, so that the subject would occupy a larger percentage of the photo? And what should my apperture be? Maybe with the lowest DOF?

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Your need for a zoom lens depends upon how close you are to the subject and how much of the frame you want to fill with the subject. You should still be able to get that effect with any focal length.

    If you are blurring the background with movement, you don't really need to have a short DOF. Although, how far in or out of focus the background is...will affect how the blur looks. The aperture setting will differ for different lighting conditions. What is important for this type of thing is shutter speed. Although, you don't want you DOF to be too shallow or it will be hard to keep the subject in focus.
     
  9. kjc9847yu

    kjc9847yu TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll try that.
    Thanks!
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

low light sports photography