Topic: Pix of Week
As fall is rapidly approaching we find ourselves in the mood to watch some live football. Fortunately, we live near several high schools with football programs, so off we went. It was also a chance to try some sports shots under fairly demanding conditions. This is because the first two games were under the lights. And unlike pro stadiums, these lights left a lot to be desired when attempting to stop action without a flash on a football field (from the bleachers).
We read up on Scott Kelby's settings that he uses when shooting the Atlanta Falcons, but found our lighting not nearly as good as his. As a result we could not push our shutter speeds over 1/1000 th for lack of light. We also found like most sports, anticipation is crucial to have a chance of getting something dramatic.
Our first game was that of Champlain Valley Union (CVU) playing Colchester High School at Colchester, Vermont. Our grandson played in this game, so for some of the time I followed him and got this shot of him (#25) tackling the Colchester Laker runner.
For the camera / photo enthusiasts, the shot specifics were:
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
Lens: Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS USM with 1.4x Extender at 290 mm
Exposure: 1/640 at f/4, and ISO 4000
Settings: Manual Mode, Parital Metering, no flash
The resulting images had a fair amount of digital noise, especially since even with the aperture wide open they were still a bit underexposed. We had to use Nik Software Dfine 2.0 to clean them up prior to posting.
Champlain Valley Union won this season opener, so we decided to follow them to their next game the following week. That game was against the Essex Hornets at Essex. These bleachers were set back a little further from the field and the resulting lighting from photography was worse. In addition the Essex uniforms were a little darker making it more difficult to get a sharp focus.
The camera settings turned out to be similar, but we found a shutter speed of 1/800 worked a little better to stop action. We also found ourselves panning much more in this game and had to switch the Image Stabilization to the panning mode to get a sharper image. ISO was still at 4000, but we had to brighten images even more in post processing to make up for underexposure in camera.
Essex took the lead early and maintained it most of the time through the third quarter, but only by a few points.
In the fourth quarter in the waning minutes of the game CVU managed to get three interceptions, scored and turned the game around. They then held them scoreless and finally ran the clock out to win the game.
One of my favorite shots from that game is of the jubilant CVU coaches after the first interception and score that put CVU in the lead. Don't they look happy?
We are really looking forward to our first day game with real daylight to work with to see what we will get.
If you would like to see some more of out shots from these games, check out these game galleries here:
Posted by Warren