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ronlane

ronlane

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Love your photography! Do you have any tips or advice... I have been shooting my daughter and her team all season but I just got a new lens and looking for any tips. I have Canon Rebel t6i and I just added a Sigma 70-200 2.8. We have three more competitions this season and I am looking to improve each time. I think I am going to try 1/1000 at 2.8 and set the ISO to Manual to get suggestions to be a starting off place. We will be at a venue I have never been to before. Keep up the good work. Thanks in advance.

Thank you. That Sigma 70-200 will help you a lot. The limited focus points and the ISO of the T6i will be your biggest issue. I honestly don't remember if the t6i has back button focus or not but that is something that I would suggest to use. For most Cheer competitions the lighting isn't too bad during the performances (well here in Oklahoma that is). I would suggest using the 70-200 at 2.8 with a 1/1000 shutter and use the lowest ISO that you can get good exposure with. (I would say something like 5000 or 6400) I wouldn't push it past that on the t6i.

I have been shooting cheer for about 6-7 years and still feel that I need to get better each comp. Being the gym photog has given me somewhat better access than most parents get, I'm generally in front of them and at times can get dead center of the mat.

One big thing is don't stretch for those corners that are typically darker than the center. Let the action come to your side. If I am forced to one side or another, I will try to switch sides for the second day of the comp.
 

twoodfranklin

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Thank you... I have been designated the 'team photog'... so I usually get the best spot. I will give it a try this weekend and see how it goes. I am in Alabama and the lighting is hit or miss. But we will be in Orlando in May and I look forward to better lighting there. This weekend it will be the luck of the draw.
 
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Thank you... I have been designated the 'team photog'... so I usually get the best spot. I will give it a try this weekend and see how it goes. I am in Alabama and the lighting is hit or miss. But we will be in Orlando in May and I look forward to better lighting there. This weekend it will be the luck of the draw.

Summit or the other one in Universal Studios? We are supposed to be going to KC for one of the Regional ones instead of going there.
 

ac12

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Something to keep in your back pocket, so to speak.
If the comps are held in the typical high school gym, the lighting can be poor. So, think about getting a Yongnuo 35/2 (Canon does not make an APS-C 35mm lens), and/or a Canon 50/1.8. These lenses are a stop faster than your f/2.8 lens. So if it is really dim and you are fighting for every bit of speed you can, these are another option.
For basketball, I will sometimes use the 35/1.8 instead of a 17-50/2.8, for the extra stop of speed. I shoot on the court floor, so the 35 works for me.

Most gyms have fairly even lighting, so going manual is fine. Once you determine the correct exposure, you are good for the rest of the event. It avoids meter confusion when you have bright or dark backgrounds.

Study the auto focus modes on the T6i.
For Canon, I normally recommend my students use single point, rather than area/zone autofocus.
The reason is that Canon area/zone uses closest subject logic, to pick what to focus on.
So, If you have 5 girls in the AF area, the camera will pick the closest girl to focus on. The issue is, your subject may NOT be the closest girl.
If you can zoom in tight enough, to just get your subject, then it does not matter.
 
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twoodfranklin

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Thank you... I have been designated the 'team photog'... so I usually get the best spot. I will give it a try this weekend and see how it goes. I am in Alabama and the lighting is hit or miss. But we will be in Orlando in May and I look forward to better lighting there. This weekend it will be the luck of the draw.

Summit or the other one in Universal Studios? We are supposed to be going to KC for one of the Regional ones instead of going there.


It is actually 'The One' that we are going to.
 

twoodfranklin

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Something to keep in your back pocket, so to speak.
If the comps are held in the typical high school gym, the lighting can be poor. So, think about getting a Yongnuo 35/2 (Canon does not make an APS-C 35mm lens), and/or a Canon 50/1.8. These lenses are a stop faster than your f/2.8 lens. So if it is really dim and you are fighting for every bit of speed you can, these are another option.
For basketball, I will sometimes use the 35/1.8 instead of a 17-50/2.8, for the extra stop of speed. I shoot on the court floor, so the 35 works for me.

Most gyms have fairly even lighting, so going manual is fine. Once you determine the correct exposure, you are good for the rest of the event. It avoids meter confusion when you have bright or dark backgrounds.

Study the auto focus modes on the T6i.
For Canon, I normally recommend my students use single point, rather than area/zone autofocus.
The reason is that Canon area/zone uses closest subject logic, to pick what to focus on.
So, If you have 5 girls in the AF area, the camera will pick the closest girl to focus on. The issue is, your subject may NOT be the closest girl.
If you can zoom in tight enough, to just get your subject, then it does not matter.


Thank you. I actually have the Canon 50 1.8... I have never tried it for cheer. I use it for portraits.

And yes I have it set on AI Servo and to focus on the center square.

I appreciate your feedback!
 
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ronlane

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Something to keep in your back pocket, so to speak.
If the comps are held in the typical high school gym, the lighting can be poor. So, think about getting a Yongnuo 35/2 (Canon does not make an APS-C 35mm lens), and/or a Canon 50/1.8. These lenses are a stop faster than your f/2.8 lens. So if it is really dim and you are fighting for every bit of speed you can, these are another option.
For basketball, I will sometimes use the 35/1.8 instead of a 17-50/2.8, for the extra stop of speed. I shoot on the court floor, so the 35 works for me.

Most gyms have fairly even lighting, so going manual is fine. Once you determine the correct exposure, you are good for the rest of the event. It avoids meter confusion when you have bright or dark backgrounds.

Study the auto focus modes on the T6i.
For Canon, I normally recommend my students use single point, rather than area/zone autofocus.
The reason is that Canon area/zone uses closest subject logic, to pick what to focus on.
So, If you have 5 girls in the AF area, the camera will pick the closest girl to focus on. The issue is, your subject may NOT be the closest girl.
If you can zoom in tight enough, to just get your subject, then it does not matter.


For most (like 99%) of the cheer comps that I have ever been to, they use setup similar to that of a concert, so the stage is pretty well lit in the middle. The edges do get dark at times but I just avoid them. I have never needed to use an off camera flash during a comp. And even though I have shot flash during sports at wrestling and I know that the kids aren't bothered by it, I'm not sure I'd take the chance with cheer. (Wouldn't want a flyer to fall).

I agree with using manual settings, as stated the lighting won't change after that.

I use the expanded focus points. (one in the center and the four around it to form a cross.

One more thing to add to that. I use the low burst mode on my Canon 1Dx's so that I can get multiple images when I want but I rarely shoot more than 2-3 images continuously. (I had to take the 1Dx off of the high burst mode because at 12 fps, I would get a couple of images that were almost identical and I didn't need but one.)

Something to keep in your back pocket, so to speak.
If the comps are held in the typical high school gym, the lighting can be poor. So, think about getting a Yongnuo 35/2 (Canon does not make an APS-C 35mm lens), and/or a Canon 50/1.8. These lenses are a stop faster than your f/2.8 lens. So if it is really dim and you are fighting for every bit of speed you can, these are another option.
For basketball, I will sometimes use the 35/1.8 instead of a 17-50/2.8, for the extra stop of speed. I shoot on the court floor, so the 35 works for me.

Most gyms have fairly even lighting, so going manual is fine. Once you determine the correct exposure, you are good for the rest of the event. It avoids meter confusion when you have bright or dark backgrounds.

Study the auto focus modes on the T6i.
For Canon, I normally recommend my students use single point, rather than area/zone autofocus.
The reason is that Canon area/zone uses closest subject logic, to pick what to focus on.
So, If you have 5 girls in the AF area, the camera will pick the closest girl to focus on. The issue is, your subject may NOT be the closest girl.
If you can zoom in tight enough, to just get your subject, then it does not matter.


Thank you. I actually have the Canon 50 1.8... I have never tried it for cheer. I use it for portraits.

And yes I have it set on AI Servo and to focus on the center square.

I appreciate your feedback!

If you had a second body, the 50 would be good on it. But for cheer if you are wanting to just isolate pieces, the 70-200mm is going to help you more even with the slower aperture. I shoot full frame and there are times when I am trying to get the full pyramid in at 70mm, I will have to step back as far as I can and still not get it all in.

Because of the size of the floor and your location, I'm not sure that a prime is the ideal way to go with it. Sure you can crop but that isn't needed as much if you are using that zoom to it potential.
 

ac12

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Mine have been small potatoes compared to both of yours, just in the high school gym.
I have not gone to the regionals, in the state capital, cuz that is at least a 2-1/2 hour drive one-way.

If I shoot the Nikon D7200, I shoot continuous. The shutter button has a nice feel, and I can fire off single shots.

Agree on the zoom. Soooo much easier to use than a prime. 1/3 of the time the prime is too short (OK I can crop), 1/3 of the time the prime is too long (this is when I lose image).
With an APS-C camera, I use the 17-50/2.8 and 70-200/4.
I had to go with the slower 70-200/4, cuz the f/2.8 lens was too heavy (2x the weight) for this old man, to shoot sequential games (JV+Var).​
 

ac12

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I just got an email from the Cheer coach.
This year competition will be virtual, in our gym. And only ONE meet.
So I plan to study the routine at practice, so I don't screw up at the meet.
 

ac12

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I just shot the virtual Comp Cheer performance at my school.
They had to do it outdoors, for Covid. They video recorded it, to send in to the competition.
Unfortunately, the video setup was not tested and the bugs worked out, in advance. So they had to fall back to shooting the video with a cell phone.​

The routine was 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
When I first heard the time, I thought it was short, but they squeezed a LOT of stuff into that time.
On Tues, during practice, one of the girls dropped face down onto the mat . . . OUCH. I thought it was an injury, but she was OK.
So when they were doing the performance today, I was cringing during the lifts.

To my untrained eye, they did fine.
 
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ronlane

ronlane

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I just shot the virtual Comp Cheer performance at my school.
They had to do it outdoors, for Covid. They video recorded it, to send in to the competition.
Unfortunately, the video setup was not tested and the bugs worked out, in advance. So they had to fall back to shooting the video with a cell phone.​

The routine was 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
When I first heard the time, I thought it was short, but they squeezed a LOT of stuff into that time.
On Tues, during practice, one of the girls dropped face down onto the mat . . . OUCH. I thought it was an injury, but she was OK.
So when they were doing the performance today, I was cringing during the lifts.

To my untrained eye, they did fine.

Yeah 2:30 is a little short but about right. Just wait until you start getting 100 - 200 images during that 2:30, lol. (When I go to events we usually have 7 - 15 teams competing)
 

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