Oh geez..I think I just messed up Big time! HELP!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bbaker35, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. bbaker35

    bbaker35 TPF Noob!

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    Wow..I'm real scared right now. I am new to photography and I'm almost certain that the level of equipment is far better than my level of knowledge. Canon Digital Rebel XT shooting with a Canon 75-300mm 4.0-5.6f lens.

    So I offered to take some pictures of my friend's daughter (homecoming) from the sidelines of the football field tonight...not a good idea. I tried about 5 or 6 different settings and only got a couple acceptable shots... I think I would have many more but I did something wrong. I thought since the light wouldn't be great on the field I should set the iso very high (I choose 1600) obviously wwaayy to high!! Now all the pictures are really dark..

    I am new to editing, but use Photoshop CS. Is there any way I can switch or edit the picture to compensate for the extra high iso setting I shouldn't have used?

    Any advice would be helpful...

    Also..I shot some pictures in RAW format because I thought that might be easier for me to try to correct any mistakes I was making. Now the extension of a few of my pictures is .CS2 Now Photoshop won't open those files. Is there anything I can do to make photoshop open these files?
     
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    No worries. I have a Rebel XT as well and had the same problem. You just need to download a plug-in from the photoshop site.. I will see if I can find the link, but you have to follow the instructions (whoops.. speaking from experience here)

    http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html

    I believe that is the correct link. Good luck :D
     
  3. CDG

    CDG TPF Noob!

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    I used CS in my school's photo lab briefly, but I think it's very similar to 5.5-8.1 that I normally use. You want to use curves or levels, but that might or might not work. 3d lighting might not be available in CS- I don't remember, but sometimes the 3D lighting filter can help compensate for dark shots...

    IMO, for sports photography I use 800 flim, sometime 400. I prefer film in a lot of respects over digital, but then again, saying that is not productive...

    When you adjust levels or curves, you will have to deal with the graininess that sometimes comes out. I think somebody posted a way to counter this in a post about astronomical photography, in the Tutorials section... might be worth a look for you.
     
  4. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    It's not you that messed up. You don't have the equipment to handle low light sports, so it's ok.

    if you want to be able to, there's a nice zoom lens which costs more than the camera.
     
  5. bbaker35

    bbaker35 TPF Noob!

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    I know I know...I'm sure $2,000 could buy a nice lens. So this brings up another another good question...I have a million!

    What would the correct camera settings be for standing around a football game like that??

    Also..I'm going to be shooting some dancing in a gymnasium...any advice there?? I really really can't blow that one.

    And...Any suggestions for my next piece of equiptment. (flash maybe)

    I have the digital rebel XT with the regular sucky 18-55 mm lens and I just got the canon 75-300mm USM lens. (I know it's bottom of the line but I'm in college for cryin out loud.

    I have been contemplating a speed light from Canon, but then I figure why the hell would I buy that when I woudln't have a clue when to use it either??!!


    Thanks Al
     
  6. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    A flash will come in very handy, not certain if it will be permitted in the gymnasium, but outside should be no problem. If what you were refering to was the 580EX, the instruction manual (in English) isn't overly lengthy.

    Experimenting is the best way to learn. Obviously, not the best thing to hear when you are on a deadline, but keep checking your histogram as you shoot, and change the settings around, so you can study the EXIF after and take a mental note on what worked and what didn't. I have only shot some action photography and these are the settings which worked for me.

    Put it on Shutter Priority. If everything is blurred in the picture due to camera shake/motion, depth of field is useless. For kayaking, I usually had a shutter speed of 1/250, and a F-stop of 5.6 at an ISO of 200,as it was an overcast/rainy day, but the reflection of the water brought extra light. You will probably want to use at least an ISO of 400 or 800. The quality doesn't degrade too much with the Rebel XT from 100-400. (The kayaking photos can be found at http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29845 , which may give you an idea of how photographs at those settings may turn out)

    Sometimes panning with a slower shutter priority can bring up stunning results.

    Hopefully this helped some. Good luck! :D

    Edit: I didn't make myself clear when I said, "change the settings around", I should have mentioned that what I meant was changing it several degrees within reason (ie. Tv: 1/250, 1/200 etc.. as opposed to 1/4000 to 1/16 ;) )
     
  7. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    a flash would be a good idea, but that's only if you get close enough, and of course it doesnt look nearly as good as natural lighting unless you use it only for fill.

    it seems you are confused about a couple technical bits, namely ISO. ISO doesnt make a picture darker. It makes it so the sensor (or film) is more sensitive to light. your choice of ISO was good, if you had a faster lens you might have been able to pull off ISO 400, even 100. next time, dont try random settings, just set it on aperture priority mode (Av) or Shutter priority (Tv) You can get a good prime lens for sports (if you are able to get close enough) for $350. as for RAW files, that just may have saved your outing. You'll need to install the software that came with your XT, and one of the programs is called EOSviewerUtility. after you install it, open it, then find the folder on your CF card (from the explorer type thing on the left). find the .CR2 images, and click on one. If not already open, you need to get to the RAW editing toolbar, it should be under view->toolbar or something. adjust everything on that, then go file->convert and save in file, and fix everything up there to convert it to JPG, then do the rest of your editing in photoshop.
     
  8. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    I you can get closer a lower mm lens will probably have a better Fstop for low light.

    Also, if they are standing still long enough, use a tripod and go with a lower shutter speed.

    I just wish they would switch to Saturday day games instead of Friday night games!!!
     
  9. bbaker35

    bbaker35 TPF Noob!

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    I'm so thankful I found these forums..I guess now I have to just sit back and read what you experiened people say.

    BTW. I would love to shooting Saturday games instead of Friday night games, but until they switch high school homecomings to Saturday mornings I guess thats not an option. ha ha

    Thanks All
     
  10. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    I'm a professional sports photographer when I'm not doing studio work, and while I've gotten some decent results with equipment similar to yours, it can be pretty tough and you kind of have to tweak the equipment a bit.

    Here's what I'd do... Shooting a football game at night (especially high school and the sometimes spotty lighting they usually have) with a variable aperture lens, I'd shoot either shutter priority mode or full manual. Tv would give you a higher percentage of usable shots, full manual would give you more consistent results across the board. Either way, your shutter speed is going to have to be around 1/250sec. You can probably go down to 1/180 or even 1/125, but be prepared to either pan a lot or get a lot of motion blur on fast action shots. If you go manual, set the aperture to its lowest possible setting. ISO I'd start at 400 and go to 800 if my first few shots were coming out too dark. Remember, with your lens you're going to get darker photos the further out you zoom, as your aperture will be changing. That's why the pros on the sidelines of the big games have those monstrous lenses--they're a consistent aperture (usually f/2.8 ) all the way out through their zoom range.

    A decent 70-200 f/2.8 can be picked up for around $1000 used, and if you're serious about sports photography, that should probably be your first investment. It's amazing how much your percentage of usable shots goes up with that lens. I shoot an older Sigma version of that lens, but am thinking about upgrading to a newer Canon with an IS system (image stabilization). (And just for curiosity sake, those huge 400mm f/2.8 lenses that you see at pro football games go for around 6 grand. :shock: :thumbsup:

    For dark indoor photography (like dances or wedding receptions), an f/2.8 is extremely helpful, but the flash is much more important. Also, an absolutely fantastic lens that is amazingly cheap is Canon's 50mm f/1.8. It's only around $80 or so and gives awesome results, especially in situations like what you're describing.

    Hope that helps a bit! :D


    Cheers!
     
  11. bbaker35

    bbaker35 TPF Noob!

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    Ahhh..Sharkbait!

    Thanks so much. Exactly the information I needed. So I guess you really did answer just about all my questions.

    Let's see. So given that I do have a crappy lens (well not crappy, just not $1000000000000 like the ones you see at big games) there isn't too much I can do. But for football games you suggest Shutter priority with around 1/250 sec, starting at iso 400 or even going up to 800 if the 400 doesn't turn out the way I want. I guess until I hit the lottery or get a real job, what I have is what's going to have to work. I think I'm still struggling trying to understand the concept of how the camera will react depending on how much I am zoomed in or out with my Canon 75-300mm f4.0-5.6 lens because I am sooo new to photography. To be honest the best pics I took at the game were at an iso 400, but my pictures were extremely blurry. I think it was because I was trying to go handheld because of the crowd around the fence being homecoming. Do you think a monopod would have definately done the trick??

    Finally, I need some specifics of how you would suggest shooting a group of people dancing in your regular yellow toned gymnasium (it's my fraternity doing a funny dance. Keep in mind the only lenses I have are:

    1. The less than amazing Canon 15-85mm kit lens that came with my digital rebel XT and

    2. my 75-300mm f4.0-5.6 that I would prefer to use because of the amount of zoom available.

    I need tips on everything...from how to white balance in the gym (if you think it's required) to which lens to use and the settings.

    I appreciate your help, and you really do not understand what a great thing it is for a newbie like me to be able to speak directly to a professional like yourself. You really are doing a great thing for photography.


    Thanks Again,
    Ben
     
  12. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    It's not how your camera will react, but how the lens will react. When you see a lens with a variable aperture (like your 4.0-5.6), that means that as the lens is zoomed, the maximum aperture goes from 4.0 to 5.6. The larger the number on an aperture notation, the smaller the opening in the lens, and hence the less light is let into the lens (and therefore the camera). Most photographers say that a lens is 'fast' or 'slow'. Your lens is a pretty slow lens, as you have to shoot at slow shutter speeds in lower light. an f/2.8 lens is a fast lens, as the 2.8 aperture is a LOT bigger and lets in a lot more light. Your 300mm at f/5.6 has an aperture roughly the size of a 50c piece, or maybe a bit larger. A 300mm f/2.8 would have an aperture somewhere around 5" across. Lots more light means you can shoot higher shutter speeds.
    I wouldn't even bother with the long-zoom in that kind of lighting. I've tried my 200mm f/2.8 in low light and it's not good. Stick with the slightly faster short-zoom. In lower-light situations, flash is everything. Invest the money if you can in a 580EX.
    I'd let the AWB do its thing and see how the shots came out. Canon's AWB seems to do a pretty decent job in most situations. Your images may come out with a slight yellowish tint from the sodium-arc lighting in most gyms, so you might have to play with a few different white balance settings to see what works best--just do a couple test-shots.

    Definitely stick with the short-zoom. No question. :)
     

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