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Monday, May 3, 2010

Here I go again....

... always trying something new but this was one lot which went very wrong.
We had an ice skating competition on and I decided to see if I could get some pictures to share. Once again, it is something I had never tried to do before but wanted to see what they would come out like.
Now there were a lot of difficulties involved in this:
1. The fast and unpredicatable movement of the subjects.
2. The very low light in the building.
3. Not being allowed to use a flash for 2 reasons: (A) the distance from the subjects was too far and would not reach them and (B) the flash would have in anycase broken their concentration and it was a competition after all.
4. Not being able to set a specific distance to have them in focus.
WOW!! What a task this turned out to be and you can see the awful results. About the only thing I got right was that there is no blur of movement but with using ISO1600, everything is very grainy and the colors are not correct.
So, somebody out there please help and tell me what I SHOULD have done!! LOL!!
All I can say it that I could at least show you their lovely costumes they had on ..... well maybe .... if you look close enough and can ake them out in this mess!! LOL!!

42 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

If my photos had come out that well I would have been very happy but as a perfectionist I can understand you would expect better. Diane

Firefly said...

I wish I could help but my camera equipment and knowledge are very limited. This is where one needs those long lenses that concentrate the light I think.

Kirsty said...

But look at the shapes you captured! Job well done I think!

A New England Life said...

Good day Joan,

In these types of situations I usually end up playing with the settings until I get just what I want. Of course I am no help, sorry about that.
Do you think maybe the Aperture was set to high and didn't let in enough light?

Sharon

cameravoyages said...

Considering the situation, the pictures are pretty good!

I don't know what camera you are using, but a flash does not help very much at those distances anyway. The only options are:
- be sure your aperture is wide open (smallest number) by shooting at the aperture preferred setting.
- The higher the ISO, the more grain, so make sure the noise reduction feature is on if you have it
- try raising the ISO in steps and check the results, perhaps you could have raised it less

Otherwise, if you have a small fortune set aside, you can buy a top of the line DSLR with a fast f2.8 70-300mm zoom lens. and shoot at ISO 12,800!

That's something to dream about... :-)

Life in Egypt said...

No help, Joan have enough of a problem photographing birds in feathers never mind ones in leotards or whatever.

Jo said...

Joan, I'm watching the comments here to see if I get any help with the low colour on my photos. Your photos are beautiful, otherwise. No blurring with all that speed and action.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: Those are neat photos and nothing to be ashamed of. I think you did a great job.

troutbirder said...

Sorry no advice here Joan. This whole subject is way above my head.

Smoke said...

Here's my advise, next time, put on a pair of skates and get up close, use the flash, and blame someone else.

Diane AZ said...

I think you did extremely well considering the low light and all. Looks like a fun competition to watch. I enjoyed your pictures.

I encountered similar challenges the other day trying to photograph vultures in flight.

Craver Vii said...

Thinking out loud... I assume you already opened up the aperture nice and wide, and probably also bumped up the exposure compensation once or twice. I assume also that you tried to anticipate the shots, and used the continuous shooting mode. I have been reading how a lot of photographers are shooting RAW and adjusting the colors in post editing, but I have not tried doing that.

You did a fine job with these photos. The only thing I know about sports photography is that they use incredibly expensive equipment. Even then, they have good positions to shoot from right up there on the sidelines.

Thanks for putting the question out there. I'll come back so that I can learn what good suggestions your friends might offer.

JM said...

These are great and the girls look lovely!

P.S. The Nile shots were taken in November.

Zane said...

Sometimes one has to accept that the venue, conditions or lighting are not suitable for exceptional photography. Once one is resigned to this fact, and open to experiment then good results may possibly be achieved. I always have an objective when taking photographs and I try to make it a realistic objective. I do not believe that much fiddling and adjusting can make huge differences to the overall quality of photographs. My objective in this scenario would be to capture the action as opposed to capturing every button / sequin on a costume. A huge problem with indoor venues is lighting - often cheap and nasty. I personally would not go the high iso ranges, but I may have tried the panning function on my camera - object in motion in focus with blurred background.

Overall though you have captured the images, and without knowing what camera setup you used I would not be able to recommend settings. Auto may have worked just as well.

PS. I do notice that the angle of my lens (parallel) or slightly elevated or lowered may allow additional light, so camera, lens, body positioning is often key. There must be a hidden trick in that previous sentence :)

blog with no name said...

Wow Joan, I'm no expert or nothing... But I think that those are excellent, I can't even hardly keep somthing moving in frame!! Let alone be fretting over what else needs to be done.
You'll get it figured out and it's look out Sports Illistrated! The first one of the spin seems like it was the hardest to me. Timming was perfect, I would have just closed my eyes and hoped for the best!

You should find a sponser and have your own photo safari show... Gaelyn can be your trusty side kick, riding ostriches and stuff like Stan Brock from "Wild Kingdom"

Becky and Gary said...

Gee, I think you did just fine. I don't like taking pictures indoors at all. They always come out too bright with the flash, and then again too dark with out it. I need to study up on this.
B.

Krista said...

Joan, I love that you shared this with us!

I understand your frustration - I have great difficulty with high motion/low light photos as well.

I think you did a great job though! The subjects are clear and you get a good idea of the motion of the subjects.

FWIW, this is why I never post pictures that I've taken indoors. I'm terrible at it. LOL!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Perfectionist? :) Well maybe Diane but I like trying new things and seeing how they come out. It was another learning curve for me and I learn something new every time.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are right Jonker but I have to make do with what I have as you know the prices of lenses here!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Krista. About the only thing I was happy with was that I did not get them blurred with the movement.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Sharon, I think the main problem here was that I set the ISO too high. I did try a few settings as I went along and most were worse than these. :) It was good prcatice though. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Adrian. I was using my 400D with a 300mm lens on it. I used 1600 ISO and should have brought it down to about 400 I think then I would not have had the grainy pics but then the pics would have been much darker and I could not seem to find a happy medium. Well next time they have a competition I will go and try again. Maybe I will find better setting then. :)

No small fortune I'm afriad. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I know what you mean Tony. Maybe I should stick to the feathered kind myself. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jo. I like to pose questions like this as there are some excellent photographers out there and I for one need all the help I can get. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Tom. I am always willing to try something new at least once but as they say, practice makes perfect and maybe one day I will become a good photographer. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Way above mine too TB. LOL!! But I like to give it a try. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! LOVE your advice Smoke!! But Bobby Danger might come after me and throw me down one of those holes with the asses. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Diane. These girls were very good but then I am not a judge as it is the first time I have been to something like this. I loved all the costumes of the girls, they were really spectacular.

Last year I went to the bird farm and there they have a show with some of the birds and I was very pleased with the pics I took of some of them flying as I had never tried it befor either. I will look up the settings I used and pass them onto you as it might help with the vulture pics.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I tried so many things Craver that I dont recall them all. :) I do remember using continious mode and anticipating where they would be so my brain is maybe not that old after all. LOL!!

I keep on reading about pics taken in RAW and what you can do with them but I have never shot any in that mode. Got to try it sometime too.

Leasts face it, Sports Illustrated will never see me. LOL!! I will stick to my bugs thank you. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Zane, I am always open to trying something new and I must say some of the results I have achieved have been very good and much better than this. Then again, I for one am not perfect and without trying and making these kind of mistakes, I would never be able to learn anything. Luckily I am not so egotisticle as to hide my mistakes away but rather put them out there for help and advice. :) I have learnt a lot of things I should try next time with the comments I received so maybe next time I can come back with better results. :) Most of the results I got was through panning and using continous mode too.

LOL!! I am going to have to study and absorb that last sentance before I can comment on it. LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Mike. I am sure if you went out and tried you could get just as good results if not better than mine. :)

Now that sounds like a very good idea you have there. I told Gaelyn when she was here how much I would love to get back to being a full time tour guide but vehicles are so expensive here.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky. You are right, maybe I should have gone and read up about it too before trying it. You know what they say "if all else fails, read the instructions". LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Krista. I am ALWAYS a terrible photographer. LOL!! Well okay, now and then something passable turns up. :) I do like trying new things though so this was good practice.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jose, these young ladies were so pretty. I wonder who makes their costumes.

Thanks for the info. It looked like winter time to me. :)

Rambling Woods said...

I think you captured the 'joy' and 'beauty' perfectly and that is what I go for to make up for my less than wonderful technique....Michelle

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I have to agree with you there Michelle. I am never too worried about having the "perfect" picture just one which conveys what I need it too. :)

I have a friend who will work for hours to come up with that one perfect picture. Although his photography is stunning, I do not have the time or the patience for working on it like that. :)

Mary said...

These are great! Under those conditions, my photos would have been awful. These are in focus and show the beauty of the sport. Wonderful!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Mary but I doubt they could have been worse than these. :)

Gaelyn said...

Grainy yes, but you certainly captured the feeling of grace and motion with no blur. Was that at the mall? I like Smoke's idea, just get out on the ice. ;-)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello my friend!! Missed you!! Thanks Gaelyn, yes, there were we had lunch on your first day. I like Reardons idea too!! LOL!! Would probably have been chased out though and wonder if they would have accepted the excuse it was for my blog? :)

Anna said...

Hey Joan I think you did the right thing to use the high ISO. However, blame the arena for the low light. It is very normal. I wouldn't know what to do, I just always hope that there is lot of light when I take pictures. Anna :) PS I think they are still great.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Anna. This is a good way to learn - go out and try something different and see how it turns out. :) I found a lot of the comments on this very helpful too so the next time I will have a better idea of what to try.