Tag Archives: sports

Low light action photography Part 2

Acrobats in small circuses like Circus Vargas often work in very dim lights of their big top. ISO 400 1/160 f2.8 Nikon 1D. In 2001, the Nikon D1 was the best camera of its time, however, its low light capability was horrendous, that's why I exposed this at ISO 400

Of the obstacles you face whenever you want to take a picture, low light is probably the toughest to overcome. Things get even dicier when your subject is moving.

#3 Lighting

At religious ceremonies in church, you can sometimes get away with low shutter speeds like 1/30 sec @f2.8 ISO 800. With my 50mm, I could have used a higher shutter speed like 1/125 sec @ f1.4 but I wanted my son's hand to register as more of a blur as he waved to my wife. Canon 1D

Whenever light levels are low:

  • you won’t have the shutter speeds needed to handhold long lenses successfully
  • you can’t freeze the action even if you use a tripod or image stabilization because your subject is moving
  • your lens might not focus
  • color temperature or white balance might be an issue because most environments choose lights based on practicality and efficiency instead of whether it’s good for photography

Bear in mind, your ISO is already set to the highest that you can live with taking into account digital noise. Continue reading Low light action photography Part 2

Low light action photography Part 1

Even at a shutter speed of 1/800 sec, Indonesian badminton player Taufik Hidayat's racquet registers as a blur. Badminton, the fastest racquet sport, is one of the toughest to shoot because no flash is allowed and the gyms are usually not very bright. I used a Canon 40D, a 85mm 1.2 L lens, ISO 1600 at the U.S. Open 2 years ago.

Now that DSLRs are in the hands of more and more 1st-time camera owners, I’ve noticed this question come up a lot.

I’ve tried to photograph my son’s basketball games, but all my pictures are blurry. How do I get better pictures with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel?

Continue reading Low light action photography Part 1

Photographing kids sports

Goal– Not the sharpest picture I’ve taken, but given the circumstances, I am thankful I have it.I’m sure my son thinks so. If there is a downside to not working at the newspaper, it’s not having access to long lenses. Shooting soccer without at least a  400mm can be a challenge because there is so much clutter in the background and the action is usually far away. For that reason pros who shoot soccer usually use 2 camera bodies. One with the long telephoto on a monopod and a 2nd body with a 70 -200 zoom.

As the photographerin the family, we often have to take one for the team.

By that I mean, “we” often don’t get to just enjoy the moment as a spectator.

It’s worse if you’re the coach and you’re trying to photograph the game as well.

Been there and done that.

By the end of the game, my brain is totally fried from the multi-tasking.

Continue reading Photographing kids sports

Getting started in sports photography

Everyone’s getting into it–Sports fans everywhere are more than willing to do it for free for better access making it more and more crowded for working professionals at sporting events. Sometimes tempers flare in the trenches because amateurs without credentials aren’t considerate when working around others often times stepping in the way of legitimate working pros.

I heard from Liz of Kansas City who is very interested in being a sports photographer.

So I thought I’d write about it having dabbled with it in my previous life.

Foremost on the minds of those of you with similar aspirations should be this: sports, a past time, happens in the evenings and on the weekends.

So, if you have a family with young kids, expect major negotiations with your spouse on the scale of SALT talks (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks of the Cold War era) Continue reading Getting started in sports photography