View Full Version : I need some sports shot help

09-08-2013, 06:04 PM
Once again, my daughter is playing soccer, and once again, I cannot grab great shots.

I am using my Tamron 70-200 2.8, shooting in TV around 250

Do I just not have the equipment to get those super sharp, upclose images?

I am guessing I need to shoot a lot faster than 250 (maybe 1000 or faster) and up the ISO

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5504/9705737494_2198648eff_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/9705737494/)
avery1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/9705737494/) by Theantiquetiger (http://www.flickr.com/people/theantiquetiger/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7383/9705731460_3fda3a02af_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/9705731460/)
maddy soccer1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/9705731460/) by Theantiquetiger (http://www.flickr.com/people/theantiquetiger/), on Flickr

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5484/9705748264_133972a63f_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/9705748264/)
avery2 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theantiquetiger/9705748264/) by Theantiquetiger (http://www.flickr.com/people/theantiquetiger/), on Flickr

09-08-2013, 09:50 PM
I think you should up the speed a bit. It does depend on the sport, but I typically shoot ball sports at appox 1/800. I think your gear should be fine.

Personally, I have a custom set up assigned to one of the custom functions, and I vary it as required from there. Standard settings as follows.

I use Tv - with 1/800
auto ISO (set to max of 800)
centre weighted exposure metering
auto focus based on half a dozen central focus points
AI Servo focussing with Rear button focus (I find this very valuable for sports). Marko's podcast put me onto this.
Hi speed burst - but I rarely ever reel off more than 2 or maybe 3 per "shot" - I find spray and pray doesnt really work compared to anticipation and knowing the sport (and indeed the individual player characteristics).

Getting a clean background is one of the best things you can do, but is often difficult. Increasing shutter speed will also open up the aperture helping to blur the background but focus becomes the big issue with little margin for error. Getting low is good also and it appears you have done this.

In post I find I need to adjust white balance (reflected green grass causes colour casts) by picking a white point close the ground (eg someones white boots). I do crop a large percentage of shots. With sport I feel you can be a bit more heavy handed with sharpening than normal.

A great site for learning sports photography is Big Lens Fast Shutter - particulalry their "training ground"

Based on the shots above I think the shutter speed is the major issue. In the 2nd one I think you missed the focus as well (based on which parts of the grass are in focus). I also note in the other 2 that the grass isnt sharp, and as that does not move, indicates to me there is camera movement in addition to the movement of the action. If you are in a position where you have to move the camera quite bit to follow the action you may need even faster shutter speeds. If possible try to anticipate the action and minimise camera movement, or have the players running towards you rather than panning side to side

09-09-2013, 09:33 AM
RM gives fab critique.

For me though - You'll need to include more info.

Please name the exif data in each shot.

What focusing mode are you using for your camera (AI Servo?) Have you looked into the tracking modes in your camera manual?

How do you focus?

1/250 might be a bit slow - I like 1/800 or 1/1000 for this.

09-12-2013, 10:51 AM
Not much to add, but I think that RM and Marko gave some excellent advice, faster shutter and AI Servo focusing should be a big help.

09-13-2013, 05:44 PM
When I switched to back button focus I found a tremendous difference in all my action shots, I'd never switch back, and I agree a higher shutter speed is needed. If you're shooting outdoors hopefully you'll get enough light to achieve this. I shoot gymnastics, indoors and it can be very tricky.