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Photography help....again

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  • Photography help....again

    what mode setting do you shoot over fences or action shots?
    outdoors, usually very sunny, white sand.

    I have a canon Rebel xti with a 55-250 telephoto..f4-5.6 IS
    (not the best glass, but it is what I have)

    i usually shoot in AV...still shots are awesome, crisp subject, perfect blur to background, but, action shots....not so much

    they are either blurry, dark or completley blown out light....almost nothing in between!

    What setting to use? Do I need (do I dare) go completely manual to control shutter speed and aperature????

    What do you do?

  • #2
    since my photo equipment is still in the dark ages (gasp - I still use <shock> FILM ! ), for action shots, if you really want to freeze the action, you need to use a fast shutter speed (that would be at least 1/125th of a second or faster). In strong daylight, getting good shots at 1/250th of a second is do-able with digital equipment, and you will have good depth of field, so focus is a tad less critical.

    Rick in VA

    Comment


    • #3
      I imagine this would be similar to shooting in bright snow conditions, which I am familiar with. Be sure you are on the sunny side of the horse, i.e. with the sun at your back. Zoom in as close as you can to the horse, so that the light sensor is picking up its reading from the horse not the surrounding snow/sand. I can shoot in Auto mode this way, with the Acive setting selected on the zoom lense.
      My Equestrian Art Photography page

      Comment


      • #4
        Use the Sport mode. Don't fool around with anything manual until you know what you are doing.
        Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

        Comment


        • #5
          I wouldn't try shooting action on full manual - too many things can change instantly. On the XTi there is an ADEP mode or you can shoot on Av. Av is aperture priority so you can leave your aperture open to like f4 or f5.6 and your camera will automatically set to the fastest possible shutter speed. You will have to be careful with focusing though. To capture crisp action try to shoot at at least 1/500th of a second - faster if light permits.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would practice and teach yourself to use it manually. I've found the sport setting on my canons to generally be insufficient for shooting horses in action.
            ---
            They're small hearts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rmaryman View Post
              since my photo equipment is still in the dark ages (gasp - I still use <shock> FILM ! ), for action shots, if you really want to freeze the action, you need to use a fast shutter speed (that would be at least 1/125th of a second or faster). In strong daylight, getting good shots at 1/250th of a second is do-able with digital equipment, and you will have good depth of field, so focus is a tad less critical.

              Rick in VA
              I love my 35mm camera but get strange looks when people realize its not digital.... but not as strange as the looks my dh gets when he tapes DD rounds with a VHS camcorder. Still shoots a great movie and we can just take it out and pop it in the VCR and presto - horse show tape!

              Although he got a bit annoyed when someone asked which TV station he worked for ....

              Comment


              • #8
                For jumping shots, I use the TV mode and set it usually around 1/400 depending on the light(I have an Xsi but I think the main settings are still the same). I found that by just playing around with the different settings worked for me until I got exactly the picture I wanted. Unless the light is really really bright, don't even bother with the super fast shutter speeds(like 1/4000) because your pictures will be too dark. You don't have to go completely manual if you don't want to; you can get good shots either way.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sandstar View Post
                  what mode setting do you shoot over fences or action shots?
                  outdoors, usually very sunny, white sand.

                  I have a canon Rebel xti with a 55-250 telephoto..f4-5.6 IS
                  (not the best glass, but it is what I have)
                  ...
                  What do you do?
                  Does the Rebel have the ability to separate metering and focus?

                  Once upon a time, what I did with the Canon 10D is put the metering on the * button and leave focus on the shutter button (half-press to lock focus).

                  Then I put it on shutter priority and set the shutter speed. 1/1000 usually works for action. Focus on the fence (half-press and hold the shutter button). Now go find the horse, or something similar and press the * button to meter.

                  Then it's your choice whether to track the subject or go back to the fence and wait to click.

                  If you can't separate metering and focus, you may have to go to manual mode to get enough control. I spent a lot of time shooting at group lessons to figure it all out, and I learned a lot from "The Basic Book of Photography".

                  I really need to get the 10D and that lovely white lens out of its storage box...
                  --
                  Wendy
                  ... and Patrick

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I put mine in shutter speed priority mode, which I think is Tv, and I usually have the shutter at 1/125 or 1/250, and let the camera figure the rest out - that's what I'd do - you set the shutter speed and go from there!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Whoever suggested shooting on sport mode is horribly wrong. I mean, if you're fine with just taking snapshots, sure, but if you actually want to learn how to use your camera, forget it.

                      Av mode is fine - and what I typically use when shooting over fences with my 1D or my 5D. Your glass is fine considering what you're shooting. If you were in an indoor arena, you'd have more issues. F/5.6 is fine at 250mm in bright conditions. I shoot with the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS so I have a few more stops available, but generally in sunny conditions, f5.6 works well.

                      It sounds like your issue may have to do more with the metering mode your camera is on. I don't typically like shooting in spot metering for a few reasons, primarily the fact that with a dark-colored horse, everything else will be blown out, including the horse (as the camera attempts to render it in 18% grey). Center-weighted averaged metering will give you the best results - it evaluates the whole scene, with slightly a little more weight toward the center focus point, which is where the horse should be anyway. Set your light meter to overexpose by about 1/2 - 1 stops and then correct any overexposed details in post-processing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It depends on the light and the color of the horse, a black horse in sun needs a different setting than a light gray horse in sun.

                        I shoot with a Canon EOS 40D, 75-300IS lens 4.0-5.6f. Manual is a MUST when shooting action, in my opinion, the only time I took that off is when I borrowed a friend's 400mm L... gosh it was HEAVY, I needed an extra arm.

                        Here are some examples of what I tend to shoot:

                        Gray in overcast:
                        Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                        Aperture: F/5.0
                        ISO Speed: 800
                        http://fc07.deviantart.com/fs43/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                        Chestnut in BRIGHT sunset (published in Sidelines, I own this image, I did not just take it from someone)
                        Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                        Aperture: F/7.1
                        ISO Speed: 800
                        http://fc09.deviantart.com/fs46/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                        From the other side of the arena in sunset:
                        Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                        Aperture: F/6.3
                        ISO Speed: 800
                        http://fc05.deviantart.com/fs49/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                        And here is a very sunny shot for you:
                        Shutter Speed: 1/5312 second
                        Aperture: F/5.0
                        ISO Speed: 800
                        http://fc04.deviantart.com/fs46/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                        I suggest to you take 1000 shots to practice, take a test shot of a jump/where the horse is going to be and look at the info. The chart should look like a bell curve when the light, aperture, and curve levels are correct. I shoot with info mode on on the LCD so I can change it quickly if its a little off. I started shooting years ago with a film SLR, so the change to digital was fun, but a total change and I have found that I have a lot more options with instant feedback.

                        For focus, I focus on the rail closest to me and then hold it down and take a single shot, I do not use sequential like some people like to do.

                        Good Luck!
                        Coruscant Stables

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Shoot in RAW and fix it in photo shop... use fast shutter speed.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another vote for practicing and learning to use your camera in manual mode. It's so much easier to get things right than relying on the camera itself. I'm nearly always in manual these days with mine, regardless of the light conditions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                              Shoot in RAW and fix it in photo shop... use fast shutter speed.
                              It's not that easy. Fixing severe over or under exposure in RAW greatly decreases the quality of the images. It's not that hard to get it right in-camera - the first time.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks everyone for very helpful suggestions.
                                I am off to experiment. I am determined to learn to use the camera...not sure I am ready for complete manual yet, but I think TV with attention to light and metering may be a starting point.

                                Originally posted by wsmoak View Post
                                Does the Rebel have the ability to separate metering and focus?

                                Once upon a time, what I did with the Canon 10D is put the metering on the * button and leave focus on the shutter button (half-press to lock focus).

                                Then I put it on shutter priority and set the shutter speed. 1/1000 usually works for action. Focus on the fence (half-press and hold the shutter button). Now go find the horse, or something similar and press the * button to meter.

                                Then it's your choice whether to track the subject or go back to the fence and wait to click.

                                If you can't separate metering and focus, you may have to go to manual mode to get enough control. I spent a lot of time shooting at group lessons to figure it all out, and I learned a lot from "The Basic Book of Photography".

                                I really need to get the 10D and that lovely white lens out of its storage box...
                                wsmoak-

                                I think you may be right...it may have to do with metering...thank you
                                and...you have a white lens and you keep it packed away in a box???

                                Tha Ridge;
                                you are correct, I was on spot metering...thanks for that explaination..I changed it. My problem is definitely worse with dark horses, and I was focusing on the jump. I will try tracking the horse....thanks

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by cgray0983 View Post
                                  It depends on the light and the color of the horse, a black horse in sun needs a different setting than a light gray horse in sun.

                                  I shoot with a Canon EOS 40D, 75-300IS lens 4.0-5.6f. Manual is a MUST when shooting action, in my opinion, the only time I took that off is when I borrowed a friend's 400mm L... gosh it was HEAVY, I needed an extra arm.

                                  Here are some examples of what I tend to shoot:

                                  Gray in overcast:
                                  Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                                  Aperture: F/5.0
                                  ISO Speed: 800
                                  http://fc07.deviantart.com/fs43/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                                  Chestnut in BRIGHT sunset (published in Sidelines, I own this image, I did not just take it from someone)
                                  Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                                  Aperture: F/7.1
                                  ISO Speed: 800
                                  http://fc09.deviantart.com/fs46/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                                  From the other side of the arena in sunset:
                                  Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                                  Aperture: F/6.3
                                  ISO Speed: 800
                                  http://fc05.deviantart.com/fs49/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                                  And here is a very sunny shot for you:
                                  Shutter Speed: 1/5312 second
                                  Aperture: F/5.0
                                  ISO Speed: 800
                                  http://fc04.deviantart.com/fs46/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                                  I suggest to you take 1000 shots to practice, take a test shot of a jump/where the horse is going to be and look at the info. The chart should look like a bell curve when the light, aperture, and curve levels are correct. I shoot with info mode on on the LCD so I can change it quickly if its a little off. I started shooting years ago with a film SLR, so the change to digital was fun, but a total change and I have found that I have a lot more options with instant feedback.

                                  For focus, I focus on the rail closest to me and then hold it down and take a single shot, I do not use sequential like some people like to do.

                                  Good Luck!
                                  Why are you shooting at such a high ISO in sunlight? You should be shooting at the lowest ISO possible to increase image quality.

                                  OP- The "guideline" for stopping motion for shutter speed is 1/2x the lens length, so if you are shooting with a 400mm lens, you should be shooting at 1/800 sec. I find to stop the motion of the horse, you need to be at at least 1/500 regardless of the lens length.

                                  If you are having trouble with focus, a higher aperture will definitely help and give you a greater depth of field (area in focus) so you don't have to be as completely accurate as you would with a smaller depth of field. If you have enough light (a bright day) shooting around f/11 will help get your images sharper.
                                  It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by two sticks View Post
                                    Why are you shooting at such a high ISO in sunlight? You should be shooting at the lowest ISO possible to increase image quality.
                                    Couldn't tell you, I usually shoot at 400... Must have been photog error upon taking those shots. The large formats turned out okay with minimal editing. And as long as they print okay for publication, that is what I am concerned with.
                                    Coruscant Stables

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by sandstar
                                      OP- The "guideline" for stopping motion for shutter speed is 1/2x the lens length, so if you are shooting with a 400mm lens, you should be shooting at 1/800 sec. I find to stop the motion of the horse, you need to be at at least 1/500 regardless of the lens length.

                                      If you are having trouble with focus, a higher aperture will definitely help and give you a greater depth of field (area in focus) so you don't have to be as completely accurate as you would with a smaller depth of field. If you have enough light (a bright day) shooting around f/11 will help get your images sharper.
                                      Do I need to be in a completely manual mode to set this?....I have noticed when I use AV and control aperature, I cant control shutter speed and this is when the horses are dark and lack any kind of detail. The shutter speed the camera chooses is usually VERY fast like more than 1/1000. If I set the camera in manual (yikes) ...I control aperature, shutter speed and ISO...am i missing anything I should know about??

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by cgray0983 View Post
                                        It depends on the light and the color of the horse, a black horse in sun needs a different setting than a light gray horse in sun.

                                        I shoot with a Canon EOS 40D, 75-300IS lens 4.0-5.6f. Manual is a MUST when shooting action, in my opinion, the only time I took that off is when I borrowed a friend's 400mm L... gosh it was HEAVY, I needed an extra arm.

                                        Here are some examples of what I tend to shoot:

                                        Gray in overcast:
                                        Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                                        Aperture: F/5.0
                                        ISO Speed: 800
                                        http://fc07.deviantart.com/fs43/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                                        Chestnut in BRIGHT sunset (published in Sidelines, I own this image, I did not just take it from someone)
                                        Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                                        Aperture: F/7.1
                                        ISO Speed: 800
                                        http://fc09.deviantart.com/fs46/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                                        From the other side of the arena in sunset:
                                        Shutter Speed: 1/1579 second
                                        Aperture: F/6.3
                                        ISO Speed: 800
                                        http://fc05.deviantart.com/fs49/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                                        And here is a very sunny shot for you:
                                        Shutter Speed: 1/5312 second
                                        Aperture: F/5.0
                                        ISO Speed: 800
                                        http://fc04.deviantart.com/fs46/i/20..._cgray0983.jpg

                                        I suggest to you take 1000 shots to practice, take a test shot of a jump/where the horse is going to be and look at the info. The chart should look like a bell curve when the light, aperture, and curve levels are correct. I shoot with info mode on on the LCD so I can change it quickly if its a little off. I started shooting years ago with a film SLR, so the change to digital was fun, but a total change and I have found that I have a lot more options with instant feedback.

                                        For focus, I focus on the rail closest to me and then hold it down and take a single shot, I do not use sequential like some people like to do.

                                        Good Luck!
                                        CGray,
                                        Do you mind me asking why you are shooting w/ such a high ISO in that bright sunlight? At 800 ISO you are letting a ton of light in, thus the need for that extremely high shutter speed. In bright Sunlight you actually wouln't need that high of an ISO, shooting at a shutter speed of 1000-2000 is plenty fast enough to stop the action while still allowing for enough light in your photo and keeping your aperture at 4.5-5.6.
                                        Another disadvantage to shooting at 800 ISO, is that you will eventually see noise in those shots with enlarged prints.
                                        I just wanted to offer my two cents worth for others that are reading as well.....
                                        Caught by a Flash -Equine Photography

                                        East Coast Jumps -Custom Wood Horse Jumps

                                        Comment

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