Shooting Sports at Noon. Need Tips

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by stevemunoz, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. stevemunoz

    stevemunoz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For the next few weeks, I will be shooting a Soccer team that plays on weekends. All of there games are at noon, which makes for a lot of light, but it is very harsh. This is not a pro league, just an amateur city sports group.

    What is the best way to capture the images, and minimize the harshness of mid-day shooting. I haven't done much sports photography, so I'm not quite sure how to tackle this situation. With the sun behind directly overhead, it will make for harsh shadows, but is there any way to minimize this?

    I will be praying for overcast days, but I need to prepare for a sunny blue sky.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Unless you can use flash, you probably won't be able to overcome the shadows...and even if you are allowed to use flash, it may not be effective or a good idea.

    I think you will just have to be aware of where your exposure is and decide what you want to expose for.
    When shooting sports, catching the action and maybe some facial expressions, is usually more important than perfect exposure across the image.

    I think what I would do, would be to expose as brightly as I could, without blowing out any detail on the players (might be tough if the uniforms are white).
     
  3. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    516
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Washougal, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Flash would be a good way, but it may not be effective in such bright conditions, especially if you are not right on top of the action. But then with flash you are limited to a slower shutter (sync speed), so you might not be able to stop the action anyway.

    I've shot several of my son's sporting events in this kind of light and although you get great shutter speeds, sometimes their faces are in shadow, it's unavoidable. You might have to do a bit dodging/burning on their faces/uniforms to balance things out. If they're wearing white uniforms you can pretty much guarantee the whites will be blown out while the rest of the photo is properly exposed. To help avoid this I usually underexpose by 2/3 stop. Use the histogram to double-check.

    Shoot from your knees if you can (from your butt if they are youth players). You get a better angle and it helps to isolate the subjects by using distant objects as the background instead of close ones.

    One thing I've found fun is to shoot so the subjects are backlit by the sun. The backlighting really makes flying dirt and grass pop. Although since your games are at noon there's probably not going to be much backlighting.

    In conditions like that I would shoot RAW (if you don't already). It gives you more latitude for recovering lost highlights.
     
  4. sinjans

    sinjans TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Newfoundland, Canada (yes by')
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    +1 with BigMike.
    Also shoot RAW. It will make processing a lot more forgiving
     
  5. sinjans

    sinjans TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Newfoundland, Canada (yes by')
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Opps. I think Dihlberg and i hit the post button simultaneously
     
  6. stevemunoz

    stevemunoz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks, i'll give this a shot. I'll probably take my swivel stool out there and set it down. It's light, and I can move it around to make shooting more comfortable and stable. Wish I had a monopod, but I may give the tripod a shot (have a ball head, so should move well). I think the hardest thing for me will be the focusing. Haven't had to much practice with fast paced action focusing.

    I'll post some images after the first game. Hope this goes well.
     
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    16,062
    Likes Received:
    2,813
    Location:
    Chesterfield UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Leave your tripod at home it will get in the way also if your not shooting with a heavy 300mm you don't need a monopod
    What camera and lens will you be using ?
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    11,443
    Likes Received:
    2,100
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You're going to get harsh shadows in noon time sunlight. Live with it, it can't be helped. Try to anticipate the opportunities when the players will not have such harsh shadows. A goalie looking up at a shot at the net. Players heading the ball etc. Some of the action you are just going to get those shadows. It's the nature of sports shooting.

    Leave your flash at home. If you are in the stands it is useless, especially at noon. If you are on the field you need to remember a couple of things. You ARE NOT anything on that field. The players are there competing in a sporting event. That is what it is about, whether they are 6 years old or professional athletes they all need to be treated the same and given the best opportunity to compete. Strobes at field level can be distracting to the players.

    Also leave the tripod at home. As I said before, you are nothing on that field. It is your responsibility to make sure you are not interfering with the action be it in bounds or out of bounds. Balls exit the field of play as do players and officials. A tripod is cumbersome. Having something like that can be a hazard to the participants. The action happens fast and so do the collisions.

    If you want steady support, get a monopod and learn to use it. I always have one under my 400 f2.8 on the sidelines for obvious reasons. That doesn't mean that it cant assist someone with smaller lenses. When I am shooting a college football game there is always a photographer or few on the sidelines with a 70-200 on a monopod. Thing is a monopod is good support that is light and very maneuverable.
     
  9. stevemunoz

    stevemunoz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I will be shooting with a Rebel XTi and a 70-200 4L or the 50-500 4-6.3 depending on how much reach I'll need. I will be on the sidelines, so I'm not sure which will be better, so I'll take both.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

advice for shooting soccer at noon

,

how to photograph sports at midday

,

shooting on noontime

,

shooting sports

,

shooting sports at n oon

,

shooting sports in noon sun

,

sports photography, shooting at noon

,

techniques shooting day football at noon

,

tips for shooting at high noon

,

when is shooting midday okay?