Youth Football what mode?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by cisco_bastias, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. I've been shooting youth football the past 3 weeks, and I'm not very happy with the results. I'am using a Canon XTI,
    the first 2 weeks I used a Canon 75-300 f/4-6.5 this last week I used a 70-200L f/4.

    All the games are day games and I dont get the best light (feild is east to west) I get quite a few shadows, which I
    can live with. But the biggest problem I'am having is exposure. I am shooting in Manual mode and I have to make my
    adjustments in between plays.

    When a play moves from one side of the feild to the other my shots become either underexposed or overexposed. I'
    am not very good at photoshop so I'am not sure how to adjust those pictures. Should I use TV or AP for these
    shots? As far as ISO goes I dont go over 400.

    Any advice would be appreciated if any of you need examples (or a good laugh) I would be happy to post some pics.

    Thanks in advance
  2. I go the easy route, and set my D300 in shutter priority. Depending on lighting for day - sunny v overcast, morning or afternoon - I can shoot anywhere from 640 to 1250 and the exposure comes out fine. On some images, I need to adjust by adding fill light in PS but only if I want to expose the face better. I use a Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR.
  3. If the amount of light changes frequently, which it sounds like it does in your case, shoot in aperture priority. With the lens
    you have, I would shoot wide open. Adjust your ISO as needed.
  4. When the light isn't changing, I shoot in 'Manual'. Meters can be fooled by the reflectivity of the subject. And this avoids that problem.
  5. I'm very much a newbie at this, but I've had good results in sports photography from shooting in aperture priority mode, with a maximum aperture and anything from ISO 100/200 on a bright day to ISO 800/1600 if it's very dull.
  6. It sounds as though your problem is that part of the field is in deep shadow, and part may be sunlit, which might easily require 4 stops difference of exposure. My strategy for this would be to use Av mode set at the widest aperture. I would choose the ISO on the basis of ensuring a fast enough shutter speed for the shadowed part of the pitch while not ending up with a required shutter speed faster than the camera can manage for the sunny bit. Meter the sunny part of the pitch, and adjust ISO until you get a shutter speed of 1/2000th-1/4000th. That should allow 1/250th-1/500th in the shade. It's tricky because you are operating at the limits of the camera's abilities (it can't shoot faster than 1/4000th). If you find that no more than 400 ISO is needed to get 1/500th in the shade, then instead I'd simply use the Sport mode, which will keep shutter speed high, and aperture wide open, with auto ISO in the 100-400 range. (it's a shame that Canon crippled the Sport mode by not allowing a higher ISO than 400)

    Manual exposure is fine for overcast days when the whole pitch should be evenly lit. In fact, then it's better than the other alternatives, because the metering won't get confused by the colour of player shirts.
  7. I also use a Canon xti and will second Mark's suggestion. I shoot aperture priority wide open with the iso of either 200 or 400.
  8. I hate to shoplift a thread but I have to ask this because I didn't like how my pictures came out this weekend, and part of the answer is in this thread already,

    What focus mode is best, 1 shot (probably not), AI focus , or AI servo?
  9. In response to the original question, I would agree that Aperture Priority is probably the best bet in your situation. If you could go all the way down to 2.8 I might suggest manual because it is nice to lose the background and focus the attention on the action in the photo. I wouldn't recommend TV because the shutter speed will likely drop too low in the shadow and you'll end up with a blurry picture, and in order to raise the ISO high enough to avoid that you may end up with more noise than you are happy with.

    On the other hand, when I shoot football I get the best results by setting up down field from the drive in one position and waiting. That way I can set the camera ahead of time and let the action play out in front of me, without worrying about what my aperture and shutter speed are. From a typical game I get maybe 5 or 6 shots that I really like, out of 400 or so frames. So if you figure that you aren't going to get every great play anyway and focus on getting that one great shot, you will probably end up with a few great pictures rather than a lot of decent ones. I've found that some of my best shots have come from waiting in the corner of the end zone.

    To answer Adam Petty's question, I prefer AI servo because it allows me to follow the action from the quaterback to the receiver without having to take my finger off the shutter, and the camera focuses on both. It takes a little practice, and sometimes a shot is ruined when a player runs in front of the camera and the throws off the focus, but I have found it to be a lot more effective than AI focus when there is a lot of action and you want to be able to change focus quickly.

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