Sports Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by grumpydaddy, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. grumpydaddy

    grumpydaddy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi,

    I need some help improving my skills with sports photography. After photographing my daughter's first gymnastics meet, I have two weeks to learn more so I can improve my shots for the next meet. Below is a typical photo from the meet:

    [​IMG]
    2012-01-13_0618 by grumpdaddy, on Flickr

    This was taken with a Panasonic FZ150 using the following settings:
    Shutter: 1/60
    Aperture: f/4.2
    Focal Length 69 mm
    ISO Speed 1600
    Exposure Bias +2 EV
    Exposure Program Shutter speed priority AE
    Metering Mode Multi-segment
    White Balance Auto
    Focus Mode Auto
    Image Stabilization On, Mode 1

    Most of the pictures (including the one above) were taken in pretty poor lighting from quite a distance, Usually 50' to 100' away. I'm fairly pleased with what I'm getting, but I'd love to get the subject in better focus. Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks in Advance,
    Mike


     
  2. LINYBIMMER

    LINYBIMMER TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    New Yawk
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Fast Glass, repeat after me: Honey, if we want decent photographs of our lovely athlete, I'm gonna need fast glass and a zoom lens. My buddies at thephotoforum.com recommend a 70-200mm lens with a maximum Aperture of 2.8.

    Ask me how I know!!
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    45,748
    Likes Received:
    14,778
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think you're probably about as good as youre going to get with this camera. Sports photography is expensive; to get anything significantly better you're going to need a DSLR, and at least a 200mm (preferably 3-400) lens, with a large (ideally 2.8) max aperture.
     
  4. sparks017

    sparks017 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Auburn, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Basically what the other two said, DSLR, telephoto lens with at least a f/2.8. That will deffiently help a ton with the low lighting.
     
  5. Netskimmer

    Netskimmer No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    229
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    New equipment not withstanding, you could try to get shots when the gymnasts are moving more slowly. I don't watch much gymnastics but I know that there are points in the set where they move more slowly or try to stay in a difficult position for a length of time. These opportunities would allow you to get sharper shots at slower shutter speeds.
     
  6. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,761
    Likes Received:
    1,379
    Location:
    NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Or a bridge camera with the capability to go MUCH higher in the ISO and wider in the aperture with a mega zoom.
    You are going to get a few shots here and there-when she pauses-with a slow shutter like that, but it's not likely you will get many decent ones. The shutter is dropping too slow for hand held to avoid getting shake just from your hands, let alone keep her motion from blurring.
    In order to do that you have to create more exposure somewhere other than in the shutter speed. Dropping down to f/2.8 and pushing your ISO up around 3200 to 6400 would fix most problems you are having.
     
  7. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Chicago burbs
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First step is to get closer, so you don't have to zoom in so much. The lower zoom settings are where your lens is the fastest.

    Crank up your ISO too, until you are just below the maximum amount of noise that you can tolerate.

    Other than that, all you can do is to buy more capability. Buying a digital SLR gets you a bigger sensor. Bigger sensors don't need as much enlargement to get the same size pic on screen, so they're sharper. Consequently, you can dial up the ISO sensitivity more without ruining the image quality.

    The fast lenses the others are talking about allow you to keep the ISO sensitivity lower, again for sharper pix. Going to an SLR with a telephoto zoom lens is going to cost you probably around $700 if you buy new. Getting the f/2.8 telephoto lens is going to add another $1000, probably.

    So you really have to decide how much it is worth to you to get better pictures.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    41,401
    Likes Received:
    5,696
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For action sports you really need a shutter speed of 1/250 or faster. 1/60 is 2 stops to long a shutter speed so you're not onlyn getting motion blur you're also getting some camera shake blur.

    The photo you have posted is underexposed at least a full stop, and you already had +2 EV compensation set..

    So 2 stops of faster shutter speed for motion stopping, and another full stop of exposure to correct the under exposure means you need 3 stops total, on tiop of the +2 EV compensation.

    Three stops of ISO takes you from ISO 1600 to ISO 12,800, which your camera likely can't provide.
    Three stops of lens aperture takes you from f/4.2 to f/1.4, which your camera likely can't provide.

    But, any combination of the exposure triad that yields the 3 stops you need will work.

    However, you have a couple of additional issues. First, your camera has one of the smallest image sensors made for digital cameras, so those 12 million pixels are all very, very small which makes for poor image noise performance.
    Second, the lens has a 24x zoom range making it a classic jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type lens. 10x zoom lenses have image quality issues as it is.

    What you got is about as good as it's going to get with that camera and lens, unless you use strobed light (flash).
     
  9. cnutco

    cnutco No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,566
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    NE GA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hire a professional photographer that has the equipment!
     
  10. AceCo55

    AceCo55 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    South Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    As the previous posters have said - equipment. You are asking too much of the technology/machine you have. It is not designed for doing what you want it to do.
    The solution could open up a whole new world of debt though :lol:
     
  11. greybeard

    greybeard Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Messages:
    3,951
    Likes Received:
    1,056
    Location:
    WV
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Sports photography can get real expensive. You need fast lenses, high ISO, and fast shutter speeds and it just ain't cheap. In the mean time you have to get closer and max out your ISO. Don't worry about noise, it is more important to freeze the action and get the shot than to worry about noise.
     
  12. grumpydaddy

    grumpydaddy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    Thank you to everyone who responded (except cnutco who added nothing to the discussion). So it looks like I'm stuck with what I have, hopefully, I'll be able to get closer to the action next time.

    Thanks again for the advice,
    Mike
     

Share This Page