Soccer Game Camera Settings

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by mwilson263, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. mwilson263

    mwilson263 TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to my grandson's soccer game tomorrow afternoon - 5 year old kids with legs kicking & flailing who rarely actually hit the ball, but having so much fun. :)

    I've never done any type of sports photography but am taking my camera (Canon 6D) to try & get a couple decent shots. I'm hoping you might have some tips for camera settings to help me out. Things I've read about settings for sports are:
    • high shutter speed to stop motion - 1/1000 on average (use shutter priority mode?)
    • enough DOF to focus on subject
    • AI Servo to allow focus on moving subject
    I have a (seldom used, lower end) 70-300 F4 lens that I'll likely use, unless you'd recommend one of my other lenses (24-105L or 100mmL macro).

    Any tips? I'll post a pic or two afterwards provided I have any keepers.


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Assuming that this is an outdoor game, than your settings should be fine, 'though with five year olds, I don't think you'll even need 1/1000. The 70-300 sounds like a good choice and if conditions permit, than f5.6 - 8 should be good. The only other thing I'd recommend is using a single AF point rather than multi-point AF.
     
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  3. mwilson263

    mwilson263 TPF Noob!

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    It is outdoors, and supposed to be a fairly sunny day so conditions should be in my favor. I think the camera is already at single focus point but will make sure to check that. I thought of one other thing - I've heard some shoot continuous (in bursts). My camera isn't real fast (6 fps if I recall), but would that be helpful?
     
  4. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've done mostly hockey but yes, use a fairly fast shutter speed. Maybe do a couple of test shots and see if 1/500 or so is fast enough or if you're getting movement blur. I usually use f8 as a starting point; to get a larger area of the playing area in focus you might need to go to a smaller aperture. If you want a more close up of your grandson you could try a somewhat larger aperture to just get him.

    I learned to anticipate the action. I often might get set and focused on the net and wait til the action comes to me (into the crease area in front of the net). You don't want to chase the action around as much as anticipate which way play will go next. Takes some practice. You could maybe figure out where to sit that you'll get your grandson on the side of the field where he's most likely to be if you can.

    I focus manually, but I've had lots of practice. I don't shoot continuous, if you try that probably a short burst at a time would give you a more reasonable number of photos. It's a matter of trying a technique and figuring out how and when to use it.
     
  5. mwilson263

    mwilson263 TPF Noob!

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    As I thought the shots I got at the soccer game were average at best, but it was fun to try and most importantly I got to watch the grandson have fun. I did learn that sports photography definitely isn't for me. It moves too too fast. I like landscapes and portraits where the subject stands still. My hat is off to all you sports photographers - it's definitely not an easy genre. He has more games, and I'm sure I'll try this again. :)

    Sharon - I did my best to anticipate the action. I did get better shots doing it that way than trying to follow the action - thanks for that great tip. These couple were shot at 1/800, f7.1, iso 400. I missed 1/2 the ball on the one, but still one of the better ones I got.
     

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  6. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    Mike, sorry that I was too late to chime in on this but I had a couple of football games and competitive cheer team practices to shoot this weekend. (Been a little busy.)

    Others gave solid advice and it appears that you got a few images of the day. Don't give up because it is something that takes time. I've been shooting sports for about 4 years now and still miss plenty.

    If I may offer a little suggestion on these two images. Bot look to me about a half maybe 3/4 a stop under exposed. For kids this small, the 1/800 is fast enough to stop the action.

    My suggestion would be to put it in AV or Manual, set shutter at 1/800 or 1/1000, aperture as wide open as you can get it and use auto ISO. With the 6D, you should be able to limit the ISO in auto to a range of 100-1600. If you want to do it in manual on a bright sunny day, I wouldn't go over ISO 400 and would actually try to ISO 200.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In my opinion, probably not really. The sports photographers who do that are hoping for that one shot in ten where the player's eyes are telling the story. By shooting on Continuous, they maximize their chances of getting the money shot.

    For a children's game, just getting good exposures and good frames should be good enough. If you can anticipate a flurry of action coming up, and have time to switch it to continuous, then go for it. You never know what you'll get, but that's part of the fun.
     
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  8. mwilson263

    mwilson263 TPF Noob!

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    Looking back at these I agree with you - I could've brought these up a touch to brighten the shot.

    Hadn't thought about auto ISO - will give that a try on one of his future games. It wasn't as bright a day as I anticipated (darn weather forecasters!), but the sun did pop out at times, so keeping exposure even was a little troublesome.

    Thanks so much for the advice - I have to admit, I am looking forward to trying it again. It's kind of like golf for me - I do just barely well enough to keep coming back for more. :)
     
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  9. mwilson263

    mwilson263 TPF Noob!

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    That's the conclusion I came to. I did a couple continuous, but for the most part I tried to get the framing and exposure correct, though still missed those. It's a start, and was fun. It can only get better (hopefully). :)
     
  10. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Also, try to shoot with a wider focal length to ensure your subjects have a lot of space within the frame ... you can always crop out stuff, but you cannot add.
     
  11. mwilson263

    mwilson263 TPF Noob!

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    Good point - that's something I need to really work on. I have a tendency to shoot too tight in all my photography & get subjects too close to the edge of frame. I need to learn to leave a little room.
     
  12. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ... and don't be afraid of blasting away at max FPS.
     

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