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SPORTS - Whadda ya have?

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Ray Sachs, May 10, 2010.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Last night I posted some shots from a baseball game yesterday and a couple of folks mentioned that perhaps we should have a general sports thread. And then Bill showed one of his grandson playing Aussie Rules Futball, which increased the impetus. So here goes.

    In the name of starting it off, here are the baseball shots re-posted (because I don't have anything newer this morning!). I tend to attend baseball games and cycle races in person and the two big local cycle races are happening when I'm gonna be out of town this summer, so this may be it from me for a while. But I'm sure you folks have all kinds of great sports shots. Lets put the lie to the canard that M43 can't be used for action shots (OK, it may not be optimal, but its certainly capable!).

    -Ray

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593884994/" title="Phillies 056 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 056" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593885198/" title="Phillies 059 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 059" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593267829/" title="Phillies 055 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 055" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593267983/" title="Phillies 057 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 057" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593885472/" title="Phillies 063 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="628" alt="Phillies 063" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593268027/" title="Phillies 058 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 058" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593268207/" title="Phillies 061 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 061" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593268459/" title="Phillies 064 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 064" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593268537/" title="Phillies 065 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 065" /></a>
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    One with some actual action...

    OK, most of those were more context than action. Here's one with the ball just coming off the bat...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/4593268277/" title="Phillies 062 by ramboorider1, on Flickr"> 4593268277_96c756fa6c_o. "1024" height="768" alt="Phillies 062" /></a>

    -Ray
     
  3. digitaldan1

    digitaldan1 Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Mar 22, 2010
    Hi Ray,

    just noticed you were at Citizen's Bank Park. Do you live in the Philly area? I'm in South Jersey myself.

    Dan
     
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Hi Dan - yeah, over in West Chester. I've only had the e-pl1 a bit over a month, so pretty much everything I've shot has been in the West Chester area, save for those Philly ball park shots yesterday and a short trip up to NYC at the beginning of April. Are you in the Philly part of South Jersey or the Shore part of South Jersey?

    -Ray
     
  5. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I can see there being advantage to getting the E-PL1 into a baseball game (hopefully anyway). I have never bothered taking my E-3 with long lenses as security searches your bags and if they see anything that looks like a serious camera (or I have heard as certain focal length of lens) - they won't allow it in. I am looking forward to heading to a few Toronto Blue jays games this year with the E-PL1 and see if I get hassled.

    BTW - what lenses were you using to get in tight on the field and the shallow DOF in some of thos shots?
     
  6. Caroline

    Caroline Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Mar 4, 2010
    London
    Motor sports is my thing.... here are a few with the much maligned "slow focusing" EP-1, all before the latest AF upgrades too :smile:

    Goodwood Revivial 2009 (that camera angle is my "trademark" track shot :biggrin:)
    p9192313_std.

    [​IMG]

    A very wet(!) London to Brighton veteran car run, November 2009
    [​IMG]

    Admittedly I could have done with a longer lens than the 14-42 kit here but I still got some good rally shots at Goodwood Festival of Speed, July 2009:

    _7030338_std.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

    657
    Feb 25, 2010
    Camberley, Surrey
    Speedy Photos

    Hi Caroline, love your first two "speedy pictures" :smile: I don't know how you do them, panning perhaps? I'm not sure how you judge how fast to do it!
     
  8. Caroline

    Caroline Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Mar 4, 2010
    London
    Thanks Chrstilou, yes it's panning and obviously tilting the camera at a funny angle! As to technique I set the camera in shutter priority mode and pick a shutter speed that really depends on how fast the cars are going - it can take a bit of trial and error to find a speed which works well for the particular type of car but usually something between 1/60th (for slower cars or a slow part of the circuit) to 1/250th - 1/300th (for F1 cars!) is enough to give you a bit of background motion without it being too difficult to keep the car itself sharp. Obviously you need to make sure the ISO is set high enough that you aren't at max aperture and still underexposing - I usually find 400 is OK unless it's very bright or very cloudy / raining.

    Panning itself is really just a case of practice makes perfect, and the key thing is to try to follow the motion of the car as smoothly as possible, starting the pan way before taking the shot and then not allowing the shutter press to interrupt or disturb the sideways motion (not as easy as it sounds!) as you pick the best point to press. Don't be too disheartened if at first you get loads of "half cars" because eventually with practice you will find it easier to pan and anticipate pressing the shutter button at the right moment without disturbing the "flow" of the panning motion, and it's this "jerk" as you press the shutter button which usually ends you up with a bit of the car missing. I remember when I started shooting motor sports in the 1990s I would end up throwing away about 2/3 of the shots, but as this was back in the days of film and very expensive to do that I had to learn fast! :wink: It also means I still quite often take just one shot during a pan rather than the machine gun style continuous shooting that a lot of people use, which is why I haven't really had a problem using the 2-3FPS Pen for this type of shot - though I must admit the 7FPS DSLR is still very handy for those head on shots where you're more likely to capture that "one wheel off the ground" moment as they go over the kerbs! :biggrin:

    In some ways NOT having a viewfinder actually makes panning easier especially if you hold the camera at arms length so you can see the action happening in real life as you also look at the screen, although it takes some getting used to if you have been used to an optical DSLR viewfinder, and my "hit rate" with that technique isn't yet as high as it is with the SLR.

    Personally I DON'T use a monopod even with my heavy DSLR lenses as I find it easier to control the pan if I am able to move the camera fully in three dimensions, but other people find it easier with one and with a huge DSLR lens like the biggest prime Canons (e.g. the 400 F2.8L) a monopod is pretty much essential if you don't want to give yoursef carpal tunnel syndrome by the end of the day! :eek: One of the reasons I like the EP-1 so much is that I don't get backache and arm ache lugging it around like I used to with my 40D kit..... :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Hi Rob,

    Fortunately there aren't many restrictions about taking cameras into Phillies games. I don't think you're allowed to take a tripod in or use flash, but otherwise its pretty open. I used the (much maligned) Panasonic 45-200 for all of the long shots - all hand held and with both IBIS and OIS on, just to contribute to the uncertainty about the relationship between those two mechanisms - the combination always seems to work best for me. I was about 2/3 of the way up in the stands but walked around to the concourse above and behind home plate for a lot of those (the same vantage point as that first wide angle shot of the crowd and the field, to give you some context). The B&W of the pitcher in his windup was taken from over near our seats up high down the left field line. The two wide angle shots were taken with the 9-18, which I've been mostly using as a 9 - haven't been using the zoom on that puppy much yet, but I imagine I will in time.

    I just saw today that the Phillies / Blue Jays series in June that was supposed to be played in Toronto is going to be played in Philly instead because of security and events surrounding the G-20 conference. But the Jays will be treated as the home team (except by the fans!), will wear home uniforms, will bat last, etc, and the designated hitter rule will be used. I may try to go, get to shoot the Phils in their away 'grays'. And maybe see Halliday pitch against his old buddies?

    -Ray
     
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Caroline,

    Those auto racing shots are incredible! Particularly the first two, at speed. Between the old cars, the panning technique and the grainy B&W look, they really look like great '60s racing shots. My father-in-law raced sports cars in those days and he had some shots taken of him that look a LOT like yours. Very nice!

    -Ray
     
  11. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    Could be an interesting series to see for sure, Ray! I'd like to get down there to see them 'at home' in their road uni's also... of course by then I'd like to have a telefoto like the 45-200 or similar. I find your shots more than acceptable to my eye. :smile:
     
  12. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    This should be a great thread, Ray, I'm looking forward to seeing it develop.

    BTW - Isn't baseball a bit like rounders? :biggrin:
     
  13. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Thanks for that info Ray

    That game with the Jays in Philly up against Halliday, would be a great one to see. Both good teams this year and here's a kicker - Toronto's home record is 7-10 and away record 12-5 - so it may be a good thing for them playing at Citizens Bank Park :whoo:. Here's hoping for a good game regardless who takes it. Hope you can get to it.
     
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    But Rob, its a HOME game for them, so they're bound to lose!! :cool:

    No, it should be fun - I assume they're also playing a regular HOME series here in Philly - when there's interleague play they usually play two series I think, so Halliday is sure to pitch at least once against his old mates. The Phils were definitely the stronger team overall last year, but I remember the games against the Jays being particularly tough ones and I think the Blue Jays may have won the series. Regardless, a nice day at the ballpark is a great way to spend an afternoon. With camera or without. Some days you need both hands free for dogs and beer!

    -Ray
     
  15. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oh yeah - that's right.:frown:
     
  16. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    Washington National's Phenom Pitcher - Stephen Strasburg

    I was lucky enough to have won some tickets at a silent auction to the Washington National's inter-league baseball game with the Chicago White Sox. To sweeten the deal, rookie pitching phenom Stephan Strasburg was the starting pitcher. For those not familiar with U.S. major league baseball, Strasburg who was drafted out of college last year, throws at an average pitch speed of 98 mph and reaches speeds of just over 100 mph. He has only pitched in 3 major league games so far and has already stuck out 32 batters in just 19 innings pitched. He is certainly a shot in the arm for the last place Nationals. Images: (E-P2 & 45-200 mm)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    U.S. Secret Service Counter Sniper Team on the roof as President Obama stopped by to cheer on his home team Chicago White Sox. I guess it worked as they won in extra innings, 2-1.

    [​IMG]

    Where I spent more money than I did on the tickets (I was not driving!)

    [​IMG]

    Rally dance was to no avail...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Although I do not understand anything about baseball, I think this is a nice series !

    C U,
    Rafael
     
  18. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    Coming from you, Rafael, and the photos I have seen you post, that is very encouraging to me. Thanks.:smile:
     
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Strasburg is QUITE the phenom - must have been cool to get to see him pitch. I'm hoping he pitches in Philly sometime this year - seems somewhere between likely and inevitable given how often the two teams play. For his sake, I hope they use him wisely and don't blow his arm out in the first few seasons. Its happened with phenoms all too often, but he seems like a smart kid and unlikely to let that happen. OTOH, for the Phillies' sake, I hope he's not too good for too long!

    I like the first two action shots of him best. Not quite perfect focus (or maybe a slight motion-blur?) but they get enough detail of his face to see the concentration and effort involved in throwing a major league pitch! No doubt a fastball!

    -Ray
     
  20. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    You are right about the IQ. This was the first night game I used the 45-200mm and while not unexpected, it was hard to keep the ISO levels down especially trying to use shutter priority to catch motion. While m-4/3s is really not the best for action shots, it can provide decent results under the right conditions. I also have had much better results in the mid-range focal lengths on the 45-200 vs. fully zoomed in on the high end.