tips for action photography

ISHUTTER

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I like shooting motocross pictures.Some of my pictures turn out very good but sometimes a fair amount of them appear slightly out of focus.Is there a tip that could help me get sharper action pictures?
 
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ISHUTTER

ISHUTTER

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I thought it may help to tell you what equipment I am using.I have a Canon 400d with an ef 70-200 f/2.8 lens.I always shoot in AI Servo autofocus.Any help will be greatly appreciated.Thanks!
 

Peacemaker636

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You may want to get a faster lense (one with an aperture that can open wider). Then you can use a faster shutter speed and still get a good exposure, without the motion blur.
 

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Set it to Av. Put the aperture at 2.8 and then raise the ISO to get the shutter speed above 1/360, as soon as it seems to do that at some of the darker areas of the field, arena, court w/e, then stop raising it. (To avoid grainy pictures)
 

JIP

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You may want to get a faster lense (one with an aperture that can open wider). Then you can use a faster shutter speed and still get a good exposure, without the motion blur.
Cmon now! the guys got a 2.8 lens it's not lens speed that's the problem. I think a good idea would be to post some samples so we can see precisely what the problem is.
 
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ISHUTTER

ISHUTTER

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Yeah,I am pretty sure it is a tecnique error or possibly I am overlooking a setting on my camera that might help me.I am still relatively new to this.I will try to get some pics up later and let you all give me some opinions.
 

martinez_81

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Another technique I came across while reading some book is that you have to set your Aperture, Shooter speed and focus in advance on one particular spot and then just wait for your bike to come into your spot (viewfinder).

It is not so 'flexible' though because you have your camera pre-set already for one place only, but at least your photos will be sharp. Once you find a nice spot on the track where the most action is takig place you should got nice results.

Cheers:thumbup:
 

JIP

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If you pre-focus with a narrow aperture you can get a pretty wide range of focus area that can be captured of course it would have to be fairly light out
 

RacePhoto

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le and it covers
this is a good article i found about motorsports photos...its made for cars and road racing, but I'm guessing the points would be about the same

http://www.ephotozine.com/techniques/viewtechnique.cfm?recid=88

Very good article and worth printing and reading because it has so many good points.

Let me put emphasis on some of them with a little additional information.

Panning, don't stop after you take the picture. Keep following the subject. It's just a matter of smooth and not jerky shots. It will make a difference.

He didn't mention shooting with both eyes open. After awhile it's not as strange as it seems. Where this comes in handy is watching the approach of a car (or anything else) with your wide angle left eye and then close-up with your tighter crop right eye.

Anyone who has shot trap or skeet knows both of the above work. :thumbup:

His article is about film, but otherwise it fits well.

You can shoot a fast shutter speed and stop everything, which can be nice if you have a desire to freeze time. You give up extended depth of field, except in very bright Sunlight.

You can shoot a middle speed like 1/125-500 while panning and stop almost everything except things that are moving very fast, gain a little depth of field for focus range.

Shoot something slower than 1/125 and pan, which will get you more depth of field for the subject you are following, and blur the background which makes it less distracting. Since you are trying to pan at the same speed as the subject, you will get more rejects. But when you hit one right, it's really a nice effect.

I tend to just stick with ISO 200 as my starting point and try to stay there and match my style of shooting to that. I want sharp and if it's possible, I don't want to worry about noise. Of course if it's darker outside, that's not an option.

I do use a monopod for panning, whenever possible and have a Canon IS lens set to mode II. Since you can set the point you want to be shooting in advance, you know the range.


I liked his 3 P's! :mrgreen:

Pre-focus
Pan
Pray

(Practise)

Did he include "HAVE FUN" !
 
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ISHUTTER

ISHUTTER

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Thanks for the replys everyone.I will definately check out that article that was posted.I am still learning my equipment set up and I probably need to shoot more pictures on different settings and see how they turn out.I mostly use my camera in "tv-shutter priority" because I undertand the concept of different shutter speeds and how if affects a picture but I don't fully have a handle on how aperture settings affect everything.I am trying to learn as much as I can.
 

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At the long end of the telephoto, your depth of focus is not going to be very big. So if possible, raise the sensor sensitivity to at least 800 and stop down a little bit. Do prefocus, as you will probably know approximiately what area your guy is going to be at when you snap the shutter. For exampe, if a guy is coming over a jump, focus manually on one guy that does it. Set exposure properly in manual mode. Leave the focus where you set it manually. Now, when the crosser comes up to the jump, all you have to do is follow him and press the shutter release at the right time. Alternately, leave the camera pointed there, then press the shutter release as he flies through the frame. To raise your success rate, zoom out a little. With 10MP to play with, you can afford to crop just a bit in post-processing.
 
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ISHUTTER

ISHUTTER

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Thanks for the tips JeremyZ.So is manually focusing the preferred way?I have always used auto focus assuming than in AI Servo mode the camera will contiously keep focusing on a moving subject while I keep the shutter button 1/2 pressed.I can see where manually focusing and pre-focusing would take any auto focus malfunction out of the equation and I will give that a try.
 

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Racephoto hit this nail right on the head... I normally run my 70-200L @ 2.8 or so using the center focus point... ISO400 for mediocure days and ISO100 for sunny... mainly the deal is to try and keep your shutters down a little to induce some movement... I try not to use a monopod myself due to its reduced movement capabilities in some applications...

Also for the 70-200L it helps to have infield access... or you will be shooting only certain areas of the track with having to move around quite frequently...

oh yeah... sun to your back whenever possible...

not that I shoot a TON of MX... but here are some example pages for you...

Our local private track...
http://trjphotography-rossm.fotopic.net/c1174063.html

Southwick National '06
http://trjphotography-rossm.fotopic.net/c1174053.html
 

JIP

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At the long end of the telephoto, your depth of focus is not going to be very big. So if possible, raise the sensor sensitivity to at least 800 and stop down a little bit. Do prefocus, as you will probably know approximiately what area your guy is going to be at when you snap the shutter. For exampe, if a guy is coming over a jump, focus manually on one guy that does it. Set exposure properly in manual mode. Leave the focus where you set it manually. Now, when the crosser comes up to the jump, all you have to do is follow him and press the shutter release at the right time. Alternately, leave the camera pointed there, then press the shutter release as he flies through the frame. To raise your success rate, zoom out a little. With 10MP to play with, you can afford to crop just a bit in post-processing.
Not with an 800 ISO
 

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