Night Time Football Action Shots

Discussion in 'Sports' started by jodi_crandell, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. I'm using a Nikon D40X with a Nikor 70-300 lens and need advice on settings for night time action shots. I usually use auto settings during the day time with great results. But I'm having difficulties with night time shots, everything is coming out blurry. I'm a novice photographer with a good eye but lack knowledge with manual settings. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Unfortunately the lens you are using is probably not fast enough (aperture wise) to work at fast aperture speeds for typical night time football. Its usefulness will depend on the venue's lighting but for most cases you are probably out of luck. Fortunately there are techniques you can use to get good results with slower shutter speeds. Reading through some recent threads such as these may give you some insight:
    http://www.photo.net/sports-photography-forum/00UhUj
    http://www.photo.net/sports-photography-forum/00UgUb
    http://www.photo.net/sports-photography-forum/00UYui
    If you have the budget, there are of course lenses that will help make the task easier.
     
  3. Elliot thank you for your response. This lens takes amazing pictures during the day its unfortunate that night time photos are a problem. Are there any settings within the cameras menu system that might help me. I've attached a shot I took a couple of weeks ago during the day. Thanks again!
    00UieD-179583584.jpg
     
  4. My first sentence should read:
    Unfortunately the lens you are using is probably not fast enough (aperture wise) to work as fast aperture lenses are typically needed for typical nighttime football shooting conditions.
     
  5. Thank you! Now I need to start looking into a good night time lens.
     
  6. Jodi, I suggest shooting manual mode and try these settings: Set your aperture to f5.6. Set your shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/160. Set your ISO to the maximum you are comfortable with, likely ISO 1600 although if you shoot RAW, ISO 3200 can be processed to give reasonable results. Take a couple of shots. If they are still dark, lower your shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125. At these slower shutter speeds, you will need to pan (move your camera with the subject) to get good results.
     
  7. Elliot, thank your for you tips. I will try them out Tuesday night at the football practice, I will let you know how it goes. What did you think of the picture I posted that I took during the day?
    Thanks again!
     
  8. Elliot, thank your for you tips. I will try them out Tuesday night at the football practice, I will let you know how it goes. What did you think of the picture I posted that I took during the day?
    Thanks again!
     
  9. Jodi, the picture you posted looks great - nice composition and beautiful color. The D40x is a very capable camera for sports although not everyone agrees. I have used my D40 for soccer, surfing and indoor hockey with great success. Please post a couple of pictures from your upcoming practice.
     
  10. Jodi -
    Great photo -
    For night shooting in low light the gold standard for Nikon shooters is the 70-200 F2.8 (about $1700.00 new / used US)
    Good news is that for around $600.00 you can get the Sigma version of the lens -70-200 F2.8 (but no Vibration Reduction).
    Kick the ISO in the D40x up to it's max... My fear is that with the slower shutter speeds suggested, you'll get a lot of blurry shots.
    Dave
     
  11. Jodi. I agree, the Nikor 70-300mm is my ALL TIME FAVORITE. I prefer to shoot baseball and love using that lens. I agree with all the pros on the forum, to shoot night sports under the lights, you'll need a faster lens. I have the Nikor 80-200mm f/2.8. It works well and is very sharp, but after being spoiled the the 70-300, I miss the reach. Oh well, you make do with what you can afford. :-D Good luck.
     
  12. Here is what I shot tonight. My sons team was practicing and there was a younger team playing a game so I took photos of both. Tell me what you think?
    00UjtC-180171584.jpg
     
  13. I forgot to give you info on the picture settings...Quarterback Running 1/80, f/5.3 ISO1600
    The second picture that is attached is 1/100, f/4.8 ISO 1600
    00UjtO-180171784.jpg
     
  14. Jodi, the exposures look good and as you see, you can get good results at slower shutter speeds. Not all shots will be keepers but you can end up with many nicely exposed and sharp shots. A couple more tips. In general, slow shutter speeds work best when the subject matter is moving perpendicular to you (meaning they are moving to your left or right, not directly towards you. Also, as you may find the shots more interesting if you lower your shooting position (sitting or on your knees). A monopod will be useful in helping eliminate camera shake. Good luck!
     
  15. Elliot - Thank you so much for the tips! I will keep playing around with the settings. Your tips definitely made a difference.
     
  16. Motion is less apparent when the subject is coming towards you and more apparent when it is crossing left or right (i.e. motion parallel to the camera sensor). See this reference:
    http://www.shortcourses.com/use/using2-4.html
     
  17. am using a Nikon D60, having the same trouble with night action shots. How do I change the aperture (f) thingy. Yes, dumber than a stick here! Any help would be appreciated.
     
  18. Set the camera to Aperture Priority (not competely familiar with the D60 display) but it should show up with an "A" in the dsiplay.
    Then, change the A (probably showing 5.6, etc.) to as low a number as possible (probably 4 for your lens).... then charge the ISO to as high as it will go.
    Good luck!
     
  19. Just wanted to post a new picture that I took last night at my sons game with the rain coming down in sheets. Thank you for all your tips, my night photos are getting better. Here are the settings 1/125 f5.6.
    00UqA5-183523884.jpg
     

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