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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2

    Advice on shooting indoor (sports)

    After years of point and shoot digitals, my wife and I finally made the move up to a SLR. I went with a Canon Rebel EOS XS. The main reason for moving up was for shooting pictures of our daughter at cheerleading competitons. We never had any luck with point and shoots in regards to the lighting unless you were right next to the stage, which was rare and even then, most of the pictures were blurred.
    I am a novice and need some advice of taking successful pictures this year. Typically the majority of the arena is dark, with the stage being very bright.

    I got a package deal that included a 18mm-55mm lens and a 75mm-300mm zoom lens.

    Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    1,546
    Will you be taking these pictures from the bleachers or from a designated photographer area closer to the action?

    Indoor sports are tricky because it all comes down to how much ambient light you have. If the venue your in has TV lights then you will get much better results then if they dont. Its all about getting the proper shutter speed that will allow you to freeze the frame but still get enough light to expose your shot properly. Things youll need to have in order to get worth while pictures is


    1. A fast lens - You'll want a zoom lens that gives you at least 200mm of zoom and has an aperture of f/2.8. The long zoom will get u the ability to zoom in on your daughter even if you are the closest to her. The large aperture will take in more light which will allow you to use faster shutter speeds without underexposing the picture.

    The Canon 70-200 f/2.8L is the best choice but is very pricey. Sigma makes a 50-150mm f/2.8 and while its not as good as the Canon it performs well (I use one) and its a whole lot cheaper. Not sure what other options there are for the Canon camp.


    2. High ISO - Whenever I shoot indoor sports I'm at at least ISO800, most of the time ISO1600. This also will help you get more light so you dont underexpose your shots while shooting at the shutter speed you need. BEWARE though that the high ISO you use the more noise you get in your pictures. I'm not sure how the XS performs at high ISO.. You may wana check out Jeff's review on the camera and have a look at the samples.


    3. Shoot in RAW - Shooting in RAW instead of jpg will give you the ability to go back to the pictures from your computer and edit them better, mainly exposure. If you take a picture that looks a little underexposed you can bring the exposure up in post processing. I dont know what program you use to edit pictures but Adobe Lightroom is excellent for this.


    Sorry if this is unclear I'm throwing this together in a rush. Lemme know if you dont understand anything and I'm sure others will chime in if I missed something.
    Nikon D90, D40 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
    Vertical Grip, SB-600, SB-24, Sunpak 433D, Metz 40AF-4N, Alienbees CyberSync Triggers

    R3G Media | Flickr

    "You're pulling some awesome action shots with a cam and lens that are supposed to be rubbish ! " - Rooz

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,153
    The best you can do with your kit is

    1- Shoot Raw, you will be able to brighten them up slightly

    2- Go in Tv with at least 1/125 (This means your camera will pick the widest aperture it can for you)

    3- Use the highest iso your comfortable with

    My advice would be more along the lines of either getting yourself a small flash, or grabbing the cheap 50 1.8 and using the manual focus, i dont think it'll AutoFocus very well in those conditions, but if you're doing it manually, with the Xsi's 1.6x focal multiplier your at 85mm f/1.8 you should be able to grab some nice shots.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, California
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    1,546
    Only problem with that most sporting events don't allow flash and even if it did. A hot shoe flash wouldn't be able to reach far enough to make a difference. As for the 50mm, that's a really short focal length for sports also and unless the OP is content with group shots it may not be enough not being able to isolate their daughter
    Nikon D90, D40 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
    Vertical Grip, SB-600, SB-24, Sunpak 433D, Metz 40AF-4N, Alienbees CyberSync Triggers

    R3G Media | Flickr

    "You're pulling some awesome action shots with a cam and lens that are supposed to be rubbish ! " - Rooz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,153
    Just offering an alternative, 85mm isn't that bad. i've used 70 for faceoffs and whatnot in hockey before.

    I don't think hes looking for Printer sized poster iso100 quality shots, just some shots of his daughter growing up.

    at the 100$ the 50 1.8 costs, its a great starter lens to have for any portrait type situation.
    Hey! Look its a shiny link! Click it!
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    107
    Here are some things to consider when photographing sports indoors:

    1. Watch for action and movement. Sports like Basketball and Volleyball are consistently fast paced.
    2. Set your camera to a high ISO setting. Downside, you'll get more noise at higher ISOs
    3. Shoot with a fast shutter speed – at least TV/200 if you can. Once again, because you need to capture movement, a fast shutter speed will freeze the motion of the athletes, giving you a clear photo.
    4. Use a lens with the lowest aperture possible, say f4.0 to f2.8. A wider aperture will increase the intensity of the light hitting your sensor, maximizing the available light.
    5. Look for expression, emotion.
    6. Shoot in RAW. Shooting in RAW will enable you to fix the colors in your post processing.
    7. Pan with the action. Follow the action and constantly prefocus on your subject. This will help in getting the shot fast.
    8. Remember the rule of thirds. mentally divide the image with a tic-tac-toe grid and place the subject where two lines intersect. This will make your image more dramatic and interesting.


    Read more: http://digital-photography-school.co...#ixzz0Tyr7FhOZ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for all the tips! We are going to get used to the camera this weekend at our son's football game. What advice would you provide for shooting outside in partly sunny to overcast conditions?

    Thank you in advance!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    1,546
    Quote Originally Posted by rdegroff View Post
    Thanks for all the tips! We are going to get used to the camera this weekend at our son's football game. What advice would you provide for shooting outside in partly sunny to overcast conditions?

    Thank you in advance!

    Shooting in shutter priority at ISO400 would be a good start. Even on an overcast day there's more than enough light to get a fast enough shutter speed.
    Nikon D90, D40 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
    Vertical Grip, SB-600, SB-24, Sunpak 433D, Metz 40AF-4N, Alienbees CyberSync Triggers

    R3G Media | Flickr

    "You're pulling some awesome action shots with a cam and lens that are supposed to be rubbish ! " - Rooz

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,200
    Always shoot in Aperture Priority with the largest aperture your lens has.

    Action moving across your viewfinder takes a faster shutter speed to stop than action coming towards you. If there isn't enough light to stop the action without blurs change your camera position.
    _______________
    Nikon D3, D300, F-100, 10.5 Fisheye, 35 f/1.4, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.4, Zeiss 100 f/2, 105 f/2.5, 200 f/4 Micro, 200 f/2 VR, 300 f/2.8 AF-S II, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, SU-800, SB-900, 4xSB-800, 1.4x and 1.7x TC
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    180
    OK, that's 3 people saying Tv or Av. For outdoor; I've had better luck in manual unless it's patch clouds; then Av.

    One suggestion for indoor; get a color-reference-shot. Shoot a regular white piece or paper, or better yet a gray card. Since you're shooting in RAW it makes for much easier color balancing.

    Many pro stadiums have spent mega-bucks on more photo-friendly lighting so that as the light bounces off the yellowish floors it doesn't vary so much. A school gym might be harder so going black-n-white might be better.

    For me; IS has always helped. Although it won't matter on most of the action shots because they'd better be at 1/400th or above or you'll get motion blur anyway, it just adds a little extra crispyness. If light is so bad you're forced to 1/200th or so then only good panning or rare lower-action shots will turn out but at least you won't have everything ruined by camera shake.
    Lots of Canon DSLR stuff.

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