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Thread: Please Help

  1. #1

    Please Help

    I took a bunch of photos at a local football game, and the majority of them came out like this one, very blurry and it appears as though there is "ghosting" or double images. I am just hoping that I did something wrong and that my equipment is still ok.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?????

    Please Help

  2. #2

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    Siggi-short for Siegfried

    Re: Please Help

    Similar result recently-shutter speed too slow,also went out and lens was on manual focus without realizing.Possible?

  3. #3

    Re: Please Help

    According to the meta data, the focus was (AF-A), which is one of the reasons I am hoping its a camera setting that I missed, but am really starting to think it may be a problem with the lens itself, not sure??

  4. #4

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    Re: Please Help

    Your shutter speed was reasonably fast, although 1/500 is possibly still a little on the slow side for fast action.

    But that doesn't look like motion blur to me, at least not entirely. The same goes for a rather shallow depth of focus at F5.6.

    Just an initial thought. Was your lens clean and not misted, etc? I've had similar problems when moving a lens from cold to warm conditions.

    The answer, I suppose, is to do some controlled tests. Mount on a stable tripod and shoot suitable subjects with a variety of settings.

    Printed material is always a good subject for testing. I like to use part of a page which includes text and a photo, like a magazine, and include part text with part photo.

    Check both auto and manual focus.

    If you can definitely rule out a lens problem we will have to consider what item of 'operator error' was at fault.

  5. #5
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help

    Warren,
    At a 300mm focal length and fast moving football players; perhaps the shutter speed of 1/500sec is just a bit too slow.
    John

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help

    I am wondering if you had the stabilization (IS, VC or VR) turned on and were moving (panning) as you shot.

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    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help

    Looking at the image at its largest size, I can see the 'ghosting' not only around the players (top of helmets) but also around the truly out-of-focus buildings and trees in the background; so I am going to guess that the primary problem is a form of motion blur.

    If I were to guess a little more precisely, I would suggest that the problem might be that you are pressing your shutter release button a little too aggressively. This is an easy thing to do when one is trying to "nail" 'that exact moment' when something is happening during action; John from Essex above suggests that the shutter speed you were using is not fast enough for that length of lens when shooting action and I would go on to suggest that this would be greatly compounded if you were jarring the camera to a significant degree when tripping the shutter.

    Easy solution, although not a very elegant one - faster shutter speed, and use the 'high speed shooting' setting instead of single frame capture. that way, only your first image in a sequence would stand to be jogged into blurriness; and the rest of the sequence should be fine (if this is the problem).

    Main drawback: the camera doesn't know when "the moment" you are trying to capture actually happens, so high speed shooting tends to be hit-and-miss for action shots. So you might not get 'exactly' what you are trying for; but, at least you'll get something.

    You could also take up archery, which is very good for training one to release gently and smoothly when shooting; but that's a bit of an extreme solution ;-)

  8. #8

    Re: Please Help

    Very informative. So i can then guess its operator error and not equipment which is what i was hoping.

  9. #9
    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren View Post
    Very informative. So i can then guess its operator error and not equipment which is what i was hoping.
    Warren, I wouldn't call it 'operator error' because it is pretty much a natural response to get caught up in the excitement of the action and to respond to it in kind - by clicking the shutter a little too incisively, a little too forcefully. One must, however, resist the temptation to try and 'grab' a moment that lasts but 1/500th of a second; and instead of pacing oneself to the speed of the action one is trying to photograph, one really must become accustomed to resting that decisive moment of the shutter's click upon the stability of slow, even breaths that are being gently released rather than clutched and held.

    There is a delightful little book, often referenced, called "Zen and the Art of Archery"; and in it, the author mentions that the effect of releasing an arrow accurately is like letting it drop gently from one's fingertips - despite the extreme tension of the bow, and the fact that the arrow would easily pierce several inches of solid oak planking. The situation in photography is exactly the same: the camera is aimed toward its targeted subject until one 'knows' the moment where optimum alignment has been achieved; and in that moment, it takes only the slightest shift in force - as gentle as a breath - to realize one's goal.

    In the case of archery, the goal is to place an arrow accurately into a target - and here, the moment this occurs within floats along with the archer until it settles into perfect alignment. In the case of photography, the goal is to allow an image to enter the camera accurately - not to 'grab' it as it passes. The only difference is that in archery, one is aligning primarily in space; whereas in photography, one is aligning mainly within time. In either case, at the moment of optimum alignment, one needs do little more than shift a finger slightly to achieve the desired outcome.

    This is an easy thing to do; but that doesn't mean it is an easy achievement to realize! I suppose it is like perfecting a golf swing - the first step is to analyse what is happening; the second step is to consciously adjust the motions one is undertaking, toward achieving the desired outcome; and the third step is to let what works best become the normal and natural way in which one does that activity.

    I still miss shots all the time; but I also get shots all the time, too: because nobody, no matter how good they are, is going to get all those shots that they see happening 100% of the time, in each and every case.

    Nobody sees the shots that get away except you; so, when other people start commenting on how great the shots you get are, then you know you are making good progress - even if you think the ones that got away were much better!
    Last edited by John Morton; 11th October 2012 at 01:43 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Please Help

    Hi Warren, I think its just a depth of field issue. Your man with 51 on his back is fairly sharp and the ma in the back ground is blurred so at F:5.6 that could be expected. Try upping the ISO to about F:11 and see how that goes. Just try playing with your settings while your at the game and keep checking your results as you go. I always zoom in on the picture to make it bigger and then make adjustments. Have fun.

  11. #11
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    Re: Please Help

    Hi Warren- if you are still reading this thread-
    I believe definitely camera shake. For sure the shutter speed used was not sufficiently fast to prevent this.
    My method to determine camera shake is to look at an enlarged portion of an image and you will often see a "Double Image" around edges (especially horizontal line edges), or tiny spot highlights will look like a tiny streak of light instead- many tiny streaks of highlights is a definite sign of camera shake.
    I have magnified part of your image and the 'double image' is easily visible above each player. Even the light spots in the trees are streaked. There may also be a small amount of focus inaccuracy adding to the softness of the image.

    Please Help

    Love the action and colour.
    Keep on clickin.!

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