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Thread: A good weekend

  1. #1

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    Myra

    A good weekend

    Why? Well, I was asked to be the photographer at a minor league hockey tournament awhile ago. The tournament was this past weekend. I shot three games and the opening ceremonies on Friday evening, five games and a skills competition on Saturday and three games/awards on Sunday. Photos had to be processed and ready to show on Saturday and Sunday as the parents were given a certificate for a free 5x7 and they needed to see what they were choosing from. (I look after that and get paid per certificate used.) I even recieved a cheque from the host team for being there. Imagine that! I have been doing further processing and uploading for the past three nights and hope to finish tonight.All told, I likely took about 5000 photos over 48 hours and let about 1600 go public. I have never been so busy or tired in my life as there is still the day job and life in general.

    Certainly learned a lot:

    1) I definitely need a 70-200mm f/2.8 AND I need a 24-70 f/2.8 Not want anymore; need. I had my trusty little 85 mm, an ancient 70-210 and a chromatic/fuzzy IQ nightmare of a kit lens that I used in desperation for a few wide angle shots. I struggled to get the shots I wanted and didn't get the clear shots I thought I was getting.

    2) I should not have shot the whole thing in manual. The rink, believe it or not, was really bright. Picture white ice and tin foil type insulation up in the ceiling rafters. Looking back, putting it in shutter speed mode and letting the aperture adjust itself would have been smarter. I was doing too much fiddling when shooting and had to fix the exposure in PP on too many shots. Too much time spend cropping and too many shots lost because of distance with the 85mm . I never even thought of not shooting manual until it was all over. Duh!

    3) NO parents on the ice until the appointed photo person gets the shots that are needed. Parents and coaches pretty much took over when the group shots were done. It didn't help that I had the 85mm and couldn't get close to the line ups. (Hence the need for a wide angle.) Kids all want to look at their parents.

    4) People think we go home, hook up the camera to our computers and the photos just immediately come out perfectly.

    5) I don't like shooting in jpeg. The end result is not what I want. I went back to RAW for the Sunday games.

    6) Doing an event like that is a great way to shake off a few pounds.

    7 ) That I know some of what I need to do to improve. That sounds strange, maybe, but I am really critical of what I shot, not totally pleased, but at least have some ideas of how to make the shots better if there is a next time.

    Just had to share with folks who get it Next step is to register my name and see what I can do.

    Myra

  2. #2
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: A good weekend

    Congrats, keep that up and you might not have time for a day job!

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: A good weekend

    Myra

    That's sounds absolutely wonderful. Congratulations. I am full of admiration. You can well and truly put yourself in the semi-pro category. I hope you'll put some of them up here so that we can learn from them.

  4. #4
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: A good weekend

    Myra,

    Loved your description of the event. I think my head would have exploded trying to herd all those cats. I recently bought a SpiderPro camera holster, and your event sounds like a circumstance where having 2 cameras with different lenses ready to go might be a help. I was just pricing an 80-200 2.8- ouch! Congrats and good luck with your next event, would love to see some of your shots.

    Kevin

  5. #5
    JohnnyG's Avatar
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    Re: A good weekend

    I just purchased a 24-70 2.8 - BIG OUCH! The 70-200 2.8 is next on my list but first must sell some of my other lenses which will be duplicated by these two. I have a 50mm 1.8 and a 35mm 1.8 as well as a 55-300 (all nikkors) but after renting the 70-200 2.8 for a week, my life just won't be complete without one...I am not sure my life will ever be complete given all the gear available...gads, my wife will kill me yet.

  6. #6

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    Re: A good weekend

    Thank you Myra for a bit of inspiration!
    I myself am in the middle of an equipment identity crisis and will take a cue from your experience and go out there and see what it really is that I need rather than just speculate.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    JohnnyG's Avatar
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    Re: A good weekend

    I see the Canon 70-200 2.8 is a 100 bucks cheaper than the Nikkor, coming in at a paltry $2,299.00 US. I always believe any lens that costs that much should also provide some other pleasure than just taking a nice photo.

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A good weekend

    Hi Myra,

    My thoughts echo Donald's.

    Well done indeed,

  9. #9

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    Re: A good weekend

    Well, thanks to many thousands of trial and error photos and the advice and encouragement received here, I am just starting to be comfortable with the idea that this could become a bit more than a hobby. No fear of giving up my day job, though.
    You will have to trust me when I tell you that it is extrememly ironic that I seem to have found a bit of a niche in sports photography.

    Johnny, the 70-200 f/2.8 that I would like to purchase is not the IS version. Truly, I don't need that one. Locally, I can purchase the non IS for $1500 plus tax. I have seen a few older used versions for $800.

    These are a few from the weekend that I put up on Flickre as samples.

    A good weekend
    IMG_3627 by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr

    The less than sharp aspects of this photo are partly due to shooting through dirty glass in a window right behind the net. This was part of a skills competition so there were no other players near the main subject. Nice way to get the players isolated, but only a few take part. Settings were 1/400, f/2 ISO 1000.


    A good weekend
    IMG_3271 by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr

    See how I've lost the end of the stick? This is one of my frustrations with the 85 prime. On the plus side, the sharpness and colours showcase what the lens can do. (Used with Canon 40D in all my shots). There was no chance to get back any further for this shot. I did find some nice, clean glass to shoot through, though! Shot at 1/320 f/2 ISO 1000. (Manual)



    A good weekend
    IMG_2211 by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr

    This one illustrates how bright the rink was and how I was having issues getting the exposure correct. I was right across from the player (allowed to be in the penalty box which was great!), and I like the detail in the jersey but the ice and boards are blown. Shot at 1/320 f/2 ISO 1000. (Manual)

    I think I hit it a bit better on this next one, but again, I was shooting through glass. This one was shot at 1/250 f/2.0 ISO 1000 (Manual). All these photos have had a fair amount of cropping, some USM and possibly a touch of black levels adjustment. I really wish I had thought to shoot in shutter priority! See, learn, learn, learn...

    A good weekend
    IMG_1971 by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr

    BTW, these are all female players between the ages of 11 and 13. Were they ever good! Talk about determination. You can see it in their eyes, can't you?

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