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Thread: Say hello to Walter

  1. #1
    arith's Avatar
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    Say hello to Walter

    Apart from a sparkly image which was more about sparklies; this was the only infocus image of a bird on my first trip out this year, mainly because it was stationary.
    I haven't been behind a camera for a while and so expected a few failures; but unfortunately they was all failures.
    Trouble is I can't think about everything anymore and had the camera set on single central point and single exposure focus, but even so; how do you take action shots in AF?

    Say hello to Walter

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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Action shots require two basic considerations. 1. The speed of the subject and how you want to convey that speed. You need a shutter speed to effect control. If you are photographing a racing bicycle do you want the background blurry, do you want the spokes clearly stopped, the feet on the pedals moving, etc. 2. DOF large enough to clearly capture all of a fast changing subject without having the time to stop and make adjustments.

    As for your photo it looks underexposed. The white at the top right may get blown out a bit but I think that would be better than the lack of detail in the darker areas. A depth of field that is less than 6 inches it far to tight for anything at the range this was taken. Eyes in focus with the beak and neck out of focus suggest either a too large of an aperture or an unstable camera. Small stuff that's easily corrected. Crank up the ISO and shut down the aperture a couple of sizes. I'm sure everything you know will come back to you with some practice.

  3. #3
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Cheers Andrew; I wasn't thinking undexposed since I pulled back 100% recovery and -1.75 stops in ACR, however I could have doubled the dof in this case by dropping to 1/250.

    The things I was trying to catch was the fast flying ones hence 1/1000 @f4 800iso Just seemed to keep missing on the AF.

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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    For birds in flight I use AIservo AF with center focus point only.Keep the focus point on the bird.Sometimes hard to do,but keep practicing.You'll get better.

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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Keep on practicing with the panning. Digital bits are cheap.

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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Hi, Walter! (sorry, my sense of humour preceeds me). I have nothing constructive to add, too new as I only got my very first DSLR mid-February, but I'm glad I creeped in... ...good learning bits in here. Can't wait to see your shots when you "nail" panning!

  7. #7
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Cheers Jim Jen and Andrew.

    I was thinking of a slight focus blur on the people with sharp birds.

    Say hello to Walter

    Panning is something I hardly ever do except in predictable circumstances like here

    Say hello to Walter

    Has anybody tried more registration points and what speed, unfortunately only 1/1000 but would like faster here.

  8. #8

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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Your 1/1000 is plenty fast enough. The best thing I found for practice on panning is traffic. It's easier to begin with a subject on a consistent speed and route. Get some confidence with cars then move on to the more erratic birds. A couple of things I can pass along are to get in a good stance with feet shoulder width apart with on foot back about 6 inches. Try and position yourself so you are facing straight on in the most stable position at where you anticipate taking the shot. Twist only at the waist. It's important to follow-through and not stop panning when you press the shutter button. As with many things we encounter, practice is sometimes the major key to improvement.

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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post

    Say hello to Walter[/

    Say hello to Walter
    Hi Arith, welcome back, hope all is well with you.

    These are remarkable. If you've been away from the camera for awhile it looks like you haven't lost your touch. I'm sure the action business will soon follow. Wish I could help out, but I haven't mastered the action shot thing yet. I was experimenting with some of the different focus settings a month or so ago and found that for me, I'm better off with single point, AFS.

    Wendy

  10. #10
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Cheers Wendy; and thanks for the advice Andrew. I wonder how much it costs to get into Donington racetrack.

  11. #11
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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Hi, Walter, Welcome to the electronic world!

    Several people have suggested photographing traffic. The center point focus works well, but only if your depth of field is sufficiently deep to keep what you want to capture in focus. I took one picture of a bird a LONG while ago (pre-digital) where only the eyeball was in focus because I was trying to catch the bird diving and actually wanted the beak and "face" in focus. Drove my friends crazy, not to mention me.

    I've found people also work well to start out, somewhat of a variation on traffic, because generally they move a bit slower. I got a couple of friends to help me out for a late afternoon so I'd get some good horizontal light. I asked the guy to wear a business suit and his friend to wear something outrageously colorful. She wore an outfit that was extremely reminiscent of Florida beaches in the 1970s (hot turquoise, hot pink, hot lime with a tie-dye T-shirt to match). I photographed them with ocean, dunes, forest, cityscape, big rocks, and in a living room. Their job in all the environments was to let me get my "fixed" camera settings set up at the start and then for them to move "slowly" while I took pictures and then faster and faster.

    Fortunately, the wind was up near the ocean, calm in the dunes and forest, "canyonlike" in the city, and up near the big rocks. We turned off the ceiling fans. The only thing I would have liked to have done was to go up to the mountains and catch some snow, but I was dead tired.

    Eventually, I had about 400 pictures from the effort (about two memory stick pro duos not quite full). I extracted the EXIF information from the RAW files and then started analyzing the pictures and the information. It took me probably two weeks to get to the point where I was ready to move on to faster subjects (skateboarders -- try and find a non-Goth skateboarder unless you want to sharpen your B/W skills!). But, the gradually increasing speed idea worked well for me, as long as I stayed patient and systematic.

    HTH.

    v

  12. #12
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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    ... I wonder how much it costs to get into Donington racetrack.
    Hi, Steve -

    Actually, you can probably get into the racetrack in the morning when they won't charge. Call the racetrack ahead of time, explain that you've just gotten a new still camera and want to see how it works on moving subjects. They'll tell you where to park and what entrance to use, etc. I found that posting myself on the turn where the horses would be coming straight at me worked well and then also waited until I could use a panning motion to get the horses stilled with the background in motion worked well also. (Notice that I didn't give you a direction WRT the track because it sounds like you might be someplace where the horses run right to left rather than left to right! ;~)

    I am taking the Pro Photography class with NYIP and they give us a student ID. So, I told the guy I talked to at Santa Anita that I'd be glad to bring along my DL and student ID as proof that I was legit. I left my notebook computer in the car and got about 10-15 images and went back to take a look at them before I "got serious" and tried to do more composition of my images. Taking this approach was really useful and I learned a lot.

    When I got home, I took a look at the EXIF information from the pictures I liked best (and also from the ones that I felt were "worst") to help me get better. The fact that all that information gets recorded is huge for me because I don't have to carry a notebook/tablet and pencil to note it all down every time.

    I do have paper and pencil in my hip pocket (literally) and my pocket model releases in case I need to fersure remember something. I also made my model releases small enough and with my name/email on them so I can use them as business cards in case people want a copy of a picture. I clip a dozen or so together with a large binder clip and put them in my other hip pocket.

    HTH.

    v
    Last edited by drjuice; 10th March 2012 at 03:30 PM.

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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Hi Steve,
    Just a thought about your original post about all attempts being failures.
    Have you considered that AF needs time to actually focus. Half pressing the shutter release allows the camera to focus, THEN fully press to activate shutter release.
    Many other points have been suggested, but I didn't see that one.
    Graham

  14. #14
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Cheers for that HTH, actually might be a good idea to go to the horse races at Uttoxeter, but I think television is there, it would certainly be cheaper since the bus company that serves Uttoxeter also serves my village; but would be very uncomfortable. But the much more expensive to get to Donington Motor racing track is served by comfy buses every 15 mins 24/7 and I was thinking track day when people race their own cars.
    In fact it is a bit of useless info but the last time I caught that bus, aircrew boarded it, captain with his gold braided uniform, the whole lot. I had to stop myself from starring at them.

  15. #15
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Say hello to Walter

    Cheers Graham, I was thinking maybe it was focussing on something else much bigger behind. These birds were really quick.

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