Football pic


TPF Noob!
Sep 16, 2010
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I'm new to the forum and hope you guys can help. I got my D90 a couple of months ago and didn't really play with it although I should have. This is my son's senior year and I want to take some really good football action shots of him for his scrap book. Any suggestion on the setting I should use when it start getting dark. I'm having trouble with that and the photos being blurry. Any suggestions? We have another game tomorrow and I want to improve the photos.

Thanks for your help.
People have probably written entire books on this subject. From what I've learned so far you'll want to do everything to get fast shutter speed possible. Consider shooting in shutter priority mode, no slower than 1/250 shutter speed. 1/500 is really the lowest recommended, but you may have to make concessions. Just remeber that slow shutter speed = blurry pictures.

  • Use the highest ISO setting you can tolerate (1600 or higher will be noisy, but help get a better exposure with fast shutter speeds)
  • Set the aperture as wide open as you can tolerate. Lower f-stops allow more light, but provide a shallow focus depth of field.
  • Finally, you could always spend a mess of $$ on a nice lens.:D
  • If you are using a kit lens, the maximum aperture will decrease (higher f-stop) as you zoom in. You may want to leave the lens zoomed out more to get a wider aperture. Your camera has a respectable resolution so you can crop pretty heavily and still get a decent web image or 5x7 print.
Oh, and you may also need a baseball bat to smack other parents out the way. Those dang parents are always crowding the shot! :lol:
If you are just using the kits lens, then you are in trouble. Your best bet is to shoot in aperature Priority mode (the A on the dial), set the aperature to the lowest number it will allow (3.5-5.6 depending on how far you are zoomed in). Then set your iso to the highest setting, I'm not sure what it is on the d90. The camera will automatically determine the shutter speed. If you can't get it to over 1/500th of a second you are going to have problems with motion blur. You really need a lens with a constant maximum aperature of f2.8 or bigger to shoot football at night, and even then it is a challenge.
To address the difference in our advice (aperture vs shutter priority):
I suggested shutter priority with the thought that you could somewhat lighten up a dark shot in photoshop after the game, but you cannot focus up a blurry shot.
Shooting in aperture priority may result in blurry shots.
Shooting in shutter priority may result in very dark shots.
Try not to get too stressed out about it. 20 years from now you'll be happy for ANY pictures you have of your son playing football. Focus and good lighting are nice, but just having the pictures at all is worth more than anything else.
Just wanted to say welcome!

I agree with the posts above. For action shots at night you will need to drop some mad $$$ on the glass!

In the mean while, try to get as many shots as possible before the sun goes down.

Also, look for a Pro taking photos from the sidelines. It would be well worth a few great shots from them in the future!

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