Friday, March 5, 2010

Second Time Out with Canon 1D Mark IV

Shot the first half of a men's NCAA basketball game tonight to get a bit more work with the 1DIV.  This post is for those who are interested in this Canon body and NOT about the quality of my basketball shots.  I know they're dime-a-dozen shots and that's pretty much what I'm good for with basketball :D.  This is about the camera performed.

In a word, performance was stellar.  Shot at ISO 3200 with a 70-200/2.8.  I intended to shoot at 2.8, but somehow inadvertently changed that to f/3.5 for some of the shots.

Custom function settings for C.FnIII were as follows:

2- (-1)

AF was fantastic.  No other way to put it.  Very fast to engage and lock onto my intended subject, accurate tracking, wasn't easily distracted.  I had very few OOF shots.  I don't shoot basketball very often, but I don't remember ever having this much success where AF is concerned.

At ISO 3200, these shots are very clean.  What's posted here are the jpgs out of the camera with cropping, maybe a touch-up or two to a couple of shots but very little processing and absolutely no noise reduction in post.  I shot L sized jpgs.

Finally, in an arena that typically is very challenging where white balance is concerned, I set a custom white balance using a translucent plastic lid.  Damn near perfect.

Here are 8 shots. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Photography: First Meet

Last night was Utah's first home meet.  What a booger!  I was ready, but it didn't matter.  Things moved faster than I remembered and I was making rookie mistakes throughout.  Much worse than being a rookie, though, because I was well aware of the mistakes as I was making them--inadvertently changing my settings, failing to anticipate movement, over-thinking, and fumbling ridiculously while trying to juggle two camera-lens set-ups while shooting floor.  Fortunately, these athletes are so good and so much of what they do is beautiful that even a disappointing hit rate can yield a few decent shots.  I'm posting some of the better captures.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Photography: Shooting Gymnastics

I've got my first NCAA D-I gymnastics shoot coming up this Friday.  I've been shooting the University of Utah women's gymnastics team for about 5 years now.  I enjoy everything about it--great sport, very successful program, wonderful atmosphere.  It's a great gig.  But with each new season, I face a seemingly increasing challenge to find a way to keep it fresh and exciting.  Not the shooting itself.  That's always exciting and I spend days prior to each meet thinking about and planning my shooting strategies.  I'm talking about the photos that result.  With the same four events every year, located in the same place in the same arena, same lighting....well, it kinda feels like I've been there and done that.  Thankfully there are a few new competitors each year to add a bit of variety, but that's not nearly as significant as a completely new angle or creative approach might be.  Another issue is that some of the more creative (to me) things I've tried have resulted in shots my client wasn't very excited about.  Clean, high-quality action images of the athletes performing is what I'm being paid to provide.  Thus far, my search for something 'new' and 'different' appears to have been at odds with that assignment.  Not always, but often enough to add a sense of caution to the process.

Two days to think it through.  Chances are I'll go at the first meet conservatively, re-orient myself to the venue and the sport.  Convince myself I can get the job done.  Then I can start thinking about where I might go from there.

A few shots from last year's season: