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1 hour ago, spud131 said:

Going up to Luss Highland games next weekend and going to take the camera and have a play about and try and get a good few action shots at some of the events.
Was reading up online yesterday and there was a couple of differant schools of thought on the best way to shoot action shots.
The first being to use shutter priority as that is what it is there for essentially and not letting the shutter speed drop below 1/1000.
The second one was to put it in aperture priority and set it to the biggest aperture and adjust the iso so that the camera will adjust the shutter speed to around 1/1000.
Ive seen a few people post sports and racing shots on here and was wondering if anyone had any advice and the pros and cons of each method.
It's an outside event and meant to still be sunny next weekend so should be plenty of natural light.

(Restricting my comments to Heavy Events only - not Strongman - and some event-specific points rather than the technical photography details. )

Luss has heavy and light Stone, heavy and light (Scots) Hammer, Weight for Distance and Weight for Height.

And Caber.

Stone

Almost all of the best current putters use rotational technique, and the event will be from grass. I think that it will probably be from a 9' square instead of the 7' circle that is used for athletics event. This means that some of the big guys will put in an extra partial turn, and you can get some quite spectacular views of swirling kilts and straining to control the Stone. 

From the back of the square, i.e. looking down the landing area, you'll get good shots as the putter goes through the usual starting position, that is, after their initial partial turn if they're using one; and will also get nice views just before the left foot (assuming a right-handed thrower) lands at the front of the square. In both cases, the shoulders will have gone just past being square to the back of the circle - from where I'd be taking the shots.

With the 22lb ball, there is more of a need to lift with the legs and a slower delivery, as well as more strain in the face. I would consider (with a decent length of lens) positioning yourself at right angles to the line of throw - looking right into the straining faces.

You don't need to have a crazy fast shutter speed for any of those shots. Look out for Scott Rider throwing, if he's there, and also Lukasz Wenta.

Hammer

(Note: the SHGA now uses a cage for these events, so you may be compromised.)

The classic shot of this event is from the side, at the top of the last wind-up swing before release. With a good enough thrower, the spine will be not far from horizontal.There's a fair rotational speed at the hammer-head: you can try some that show some blur to emphasize that or can try to freeze it. I'd give both of them a shot. If Kyle Randalls is throwing, watch his technique.

Weight for Distance

Similar to shooting discus throwers, as a modified (extra turn) discus technique is used; but the technique is both slower and more spectacular. I'd favour, again, shots where the thrower has gone just past the point of "shoulders square to the back". That may happen up to 3 times per throw, although I think that the  extra bit will usually not be a full extra turn. In any case, it's worth a high shutter speed for WfD, as the action is astonishing if you capture it properly. Rider is also pretty good at this event.

Weight for Height

Although speed and power are involved, the weight (56lb) means that it's hard to perceive that from any distance away. I would instead seek to capture the balance and extension - either at maximum outward swing, with arm horizontal, or maximum vertical, just before release. Now that no film wastage occurs, it's also worth trying for the classic shot of the weight at its apex, because the thrower will usually still be pretty much fully extended. You could easily have gone through a complete spool for no good shots, before digital came along.

Caber

I don't like photographing this event much, it's too wandering and inconsistent. Probably the time when I'd put down the camera and pick up the plastic cup of beer. Take a drink.

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7 hours ago, spud131 said:

Going up to Luss Highland games next weekend and going to take the camera and have a play about and try and get a good few action shots at some of the events.
Was reading up online yesterday and there was a couple of differant schools of thought on the best way to shoot action shots.
The first being to use shutter priority as that is what it is there for essentially and not letting the shutter speed drop below 1/1000.
The second one was to put it in aperture priority and set it to the biggest aperture and adjust the iso so that the camera will adjust the shutter speed to around 1/1000.
Ive seen a few people post sports and racing shots on here and was wondering if anyone had any advice and the pros and cons of each method.
It's an outside event and meant to still be sunny next weekend so should be plenty of natural light.

@sugna has given a some good tips for the specific events. 

In terms of settings if you are looking  to freeze the action I would use aperture setting, set your aperture at either the highest aperture setting or just a stop lower if it really bright and use the ISO settings to maintain a shutter speed of at least 1/800, although you can drop as low as 1/640 or 1/500 if the subject matter is not moving too fast.  Setting this way you can also drop the ISO lower to lower the shutter speed to get the /motion blur if needed without changing much.

Also, not sure if this is a myth but I always do it anyway, turn off the image stabilisation.  The theory is that it causes some lack of sharpness at high shutter speed and although I can't be sure, I do it anyway.......one less thing to drain the battery if nothing else.

Edited by Mackie The Staggie

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1 hour ago, spud131 said:

Was reading up online yesterday and there was a couple of differant schools of thought on the best way to shoot action shots.
The first being to use shutter priority as that is what it is there for essentially and not letting the shutter speed drop below 1/1000.
The second one was to put it in aperture priority and set it to the biggest aperture and adjust the iso so that the camera will adjust the shutter speed to around 1/1000.
Ive seen a few people post sports and racing shots on here and was wondering if anyone had any advice and the pros and cons of each method.
It's an outside event and meant to still be sunny next weekend so should be plenty of natural light.

Try some slower shutter speed photos, especially for the cyclists. You can get good panning photos with the blurred colourful crowd in the background, just keep lowering the shutter speed until you get to 1/100 or even 1/50.

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Taken from a FB Page, 2 miles away from where I live

C237D8DB-2FA2-4825-A35E-06AB3A594594.png

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Taken from a FB Page, 2 miles away from where I live
C237D8DB-2FA2-4825-A35E-06AB3A594594.thumb.png.8f2586a76fcf86e04600131ecd7a185a.png


Back on the fags again heid?

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Managed to get this little burnet moth (not sure of the exact species), on my phone today.

20180707_132416.jpg

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So tried something a bit different today......Cricket.   This may be the first and only time tbh, not got the same excitement as the shinty.

 

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Edited by Mackie The Staggie

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On 07/07/2018 at 21:54, Mackie The Staggie said:

So tried something a bit different today......Cricket.   This may be the first and only time tbh, not got the same excitement as the shinty.

These are excellent. Never tried cricket but always been impressed by these shots with the bails flying off :lol: Mind you, must be easier than in the old days with film.

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On 27/06/2018 at 13:08, Stevo Fife said:

Hiya matey,

personally I wouldn't test the sharpness using live view. Its going to blow the resolution and not give you a true reflection on how sharp/unsharp your lens is. Only my opinion mind. Its a sharp lens in general but the main issues are either back or front focusing.

I've heard the 150-600 can be sharp out the box but everyone's opinion on sharp will vary.  Mine was back focusing quite a bit straight from the box so the dock was essential for me. The way i see it is if you are going to spend £1200 on a lens another £40 aint gona hurt too much :rolleyes:I've calibrated mine and still not 100% happy with it (albeit its much improved) so will be doing it again soon. You need a tri-pod, a bright day, no wind, targets and bloody patience.

The Sport is a very heavy lens and I struggle with it hand held. Most of my hand held shots are binned with the odd keeper.

I'd suggest setting it up on a tri pod and taking some test shots through the range from 150-600. Use camera auto timer so your hands free from the camera to minimise movement.

I found the 600mm infinity tricky as your shooting at a target approx 35 meters away. A piece of wood with a good grain on it worked ok for me.

Loads of info online on how to calibrate the thing.  Couple of examples below:

https://petapixel.com/2013/06/10/testing-out-sigmas-lens-calibration-usb-dock-and-software/

http://outdoorphoto.community/forums/showthread.php/32587-Sigma-150-600-doc

 

Dock arrived today (and also a couple of those focusing charts which are dead cheap anyway) so I took a quick couple of shots using autofocus rather than manual like last time.

I used focus at 10m- infinity and 2-10m. Just stuck to 600mm as I'm planning to go after more Ospreys tomorrow.

This was before downloading the software, so I also used 2 different bodies just in case the software could cope with this (it doesn't, which strikes me as a bit of a flaw).

But 2 shots is not enough as the AF is a bit erratic. I actually got a front focus and a back focus in 2 consecutive shots. I think I'd need about 10 shots to see if there's a systematic error. Just wondering what you did?

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1 hour ago, The Mantis said:

Dock arrived today (and also a couple of those focusing charts which are dead cheap anyway) so I took a quick couple of shots using autofocus rather than manual like last time.

I used focus at 10m- infinity and 2-10m. Just stuck to 600mm as I'm planning to go after more Ospreys tomorrow.

This was before downloading the software, so I also used 2 different bodies just in case the software could cope with this (it doesn't, which strikes me as a bit of a flaw).

But 2 shots is not enough as the AF is a bit erratic. I actually got a front focus and a back focus in 2 consecutive shots. I think I'd need about 10 shots to see if there's a systematic error. Just wondering what you did?

I'm just back from a week in Mull. Got some cracking shots of sea eagles etc. Got home Friday night to find I'd dropped my XQD card with all my photos on. Back to Mull on Saturday to try and find the fucker only to find its been trampled on by sheep. Trying to see if a specialist company can recover the data.

Anyway, enough about my bad luck...

Few questions.

Are you set up on a tri-pod (OS switched off) outside in bright weather with no wind and totally still?

Are you using single point focus? Did you get round to setting the camera up for back button focus?

Are you using aperture priority F5.6 (or even manual) setting with fairly low shutter speed (say 600 minimum)?

Is your ISO set to around 100?

Your seeing the back/front focusing issue so that shows the lens is out. What you need to do is  take a series of shots (I take around 10 at each distance) @ 2.6m / 6m / 15m & 35m (infinity).

Do one distance at a time and check/calibrate to suit before moving on to the next. Takes hours but worth it.

I cant comment on other bodies as i only use the sport on a D500 and it never comes off. I use a D600 for other stuff.

I've recently updated the firmware and my lens is out (coincidence?) so will be re-calibrating it fairly soon.

Let me know how you go. I'm still learning as well so good to share the experience!

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13 hours ago, Stevo Fife said:

I'm just back from a week in Mull. Got some cracking shots of sea eagles etc. Got home Friday night to find I'd dropped my XQD card with all my photos on. Back to Mull on Saturday to try and find the fucker only to find its been trampled on by sheep. Trying to see if a specialist company can recover the data.

Anyway, enough about my bad luck...

Few questions.

Are you set up on a tri-pod (OS switched off) outside in bright weather with no wind and totally still?

Are you using single point focus? Did you get round to setting the camera up for back button focus?

Are you using aperture priority F5.6 (or even manual) setting with fairly low shutter speed (say 600 minimum)?

Is your ISO set to around 100?

Your seeing the back/front focusing issue so that shows the lens is out. What you need to do is  take a series of shots (I take around 10 at each distance) @ 2.6m / 6m / 15m & 35m (infinity).

 

Oooft! I feel your pain. Was over in the Netherlands for Euro 2017. Got some great shots of a GC Grebe feeding its chick. Deleted them accidentally when I got home. 

I’m in aviemore right now trying to get more ospreys. 

I was doing everything you said except the back button focus but I don’t think it’s relevant here although I do use it in the field.

To me, the point is that with two consecutive shots, one was backfocusing, the other was frontfocusing, which to me indicates variation in the AF.

Obviously you’re a Nikon user and I’m Canon but putting aside all the usual jokes I don’t think AF is perfect. But I will try a large batch of shots. 

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On 7/10/2018 at 13:55, The Mantis said:

Oooft! I feel your pain. Was over in the Netherlands for Euro 2017. Got some great shots of a GC Grebe feeding its chick. Deleted them accidentally when I got home. 

I’m in aviemore right now trying to get more ospreys. 

I was doing everything you said except the back button focus but I don’t think it’s relevant here although I do use it in the field.

To me, the point is that with two consecutive shots, one was backfocusing, the other was frontfocusing, which to me indicates variation in the AF.

Obviously you’re a Nikon user and I’m Canon but putting aside all the usual jokes I don’t think AF is perfect. But I will try a large batch of shots. 

I'm not sure TBH why it would back and front focus on 2 same shots. Maybe the AF hunting? Try manual focus and see if that makes a difference. Like I said, you'll need to rattle off a few shots for comparison. 

My card is totally goosed and missus wont let me go back until next year. Been waiting a long time for those eagle shots so pretty gutted.

Look forward to seeing the Osprey shots.

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Juvenile cuckoo waiting to be fed by host mum meadow pippet, which is a quarter of her size. 

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logo 1600 x 1200 (1 of 1)-5.jpg

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21 hours ago, Stevo Fife said:

I'm not sure TBH why it would back and front focus on 2 same shots. Maybe the AF hunting? Try manual focus and see if that makes a difference. Like I said, you'll need to rattle off a few shots for comparison. 

My card is totally goosed and missus wont let me go back until next year. Been waiting a long time for those eagle shots so pretty gutted.

Look forward to seeing the Osprey shots.

Yes but I tried manual focus before, using live view so we’re back to square one :lol:

Cant see the point of using manual without live view as my own eyesight is the limiting factor.

edit- I’ll use AF to focus it then flip the switch to manual [facepalm/]

anyway, been pretty busy, so still to try it using a bigger sample.

Got some shots of adult ospreys landing on branches etc and on the nest, although not any better than last year, and it was pretty overcast. Also sat in the hide at the fishery for 3.5 hrs but not a sausage:( 

booked for the Bass in a couple of weeks but very much weather dependent. 

Edited by The Mantis

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3 hours ago, Stevo Fife said:

Something about these boats.

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We went to Mull last year and my partner spent an age photographing them. Will need to see if I can dig them out.

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New to this thread as I’m very much a beginner and trying to learn about apertures and shutter speeds etc. 

I get the odd picture which I’m very happy with and hopefully this week, as I’m up in Skye, I might get one or two that I’ll be happy to post on here.

Great thread and some great advice on here!

0DB1169D-5803-4792-BBD8-C40149F638DA.jpeg

Edited by statts1976uk

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13 hours ago, Rizzo said:

We went to Mull last year and my partner spent an age photographing them. Will need to see if I can dig them out.

Aye, do that. I decided to wait until low tide but sun was a bit tricky hence the black & white. Cracking location  though.

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