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Photographing a rugby match
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Jan 11, 2019 00:28:32   #
foggypreacher
 
A friend is playing in a rugby match (scrum?) and I want to take photos of him and the scrum. i have a 35mm, 18-55mm, 18-140mm and a 70-300mm. The 18-55 and 70-300 are Nikon kit lenses. Which would be best and am I right that I should use Shutter priority for best at speedy subjects?

I tried to find "photographing rugby" "rugby photos" but found nothing. Any help is much appreciated.

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Jan 11, 2019 00:37:08   #
Peterff
 
Yes, use shutter priority. I would use the 18-140 and 70 - 300. Follow the ball, that’s where the action is going. A little motion blur might add to the shots.

Good luck.

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Jan 11, 2019 00:55:30   #
Vietnam Vet (a regular here)
 
Manual, 1/2000 iso 1200 is a good place to begin with your settings. expose for the face.

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Jan 11, 2019 06:50:24   #
Graham Smith (a regular here)
 
foggypreacher wrote:
A friend is playing in a rugby match (scrum?) and I want to take photos of him and the scrum. i have a 35mm, 18-55mm, 18-140mm and a 70-300mm. The 18-55 and 70-300 are Nikon kit lenses. Which would be best and am I right that I should use Shutter priority for best at speedy subjects?

I tried to find "photographing rugby" "rugby photos" but found nothing. Any help is much appreciated.


A scrum is used to decide which team gets possession of the ball after an infringement. Lineouts also make good pictures, these happen after the ball has gone out of play. Try to capture shots of tackles and drop kicks.

I have a few rugby pictures that I will post a link to a little later in the day.

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Jan 11, 2019 07:38:14   #
Tom DePuy (a regular here)
 
Vietnam Vet wrote:
Manual, 1/2000 iso 1200 is a good place to begin with your settings. expose for the face.


I'm not sure that 1/2000 th is needed for Rugby, as it is not really that fast of a moving sport, especially during scrums. To me the scrums would be what I would like to shoot as they have the most action. Personally I think that 1/500th would be a good starting point, and lower iso would probably work as Rugby is an outdoor sport and the lighting I'm pretty certain would be workable. JMHO though.

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Jan 11, 2019 07:51:09   #
craggycrossers
 
foggypreacher wrote:
A friend is playing in a rugby match (scrum?) and I want to take photos of him and the scrum. i have a 35mm, 18-55mm, 18-140mm and a 70-300mm. The 18-55 and 70-300 are Nikon kit lenses. Which would be best and am I right that I should use Shutter priority for best at speedy subjects?

I tried to find "photographing rugby" "rugby photos" but found nothing. Any help is much appreciated.


Nice question, and very different from someone in Texas !

Taking good pics of action-related events mean "fast-enough" shutter speeds to stop the action and the right aperture to ensure your subject is within the depth of field of the shot. Filling the frame is important too, so make sure you use one of your lenses that'll get you close.

The other important thing is "timing" ….. and that usually comes best with some knowledge of the game so that you can anticipate possible events. So, just watch the game for a while and get to know how things happen.


I'm just an enthusiast photographer, but did play rugby in the UK to a very high level. I've managed to find a few shots from 2012 that I've found. You'll be able to see my settings to give you an idea, and you can see what the weather was like. Only use as high an ISO as you need. I shot in full manual rather than shutter priority.

Start here to find good pro shots of international rugby .....

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=international+rugby&FORM=HDRSC2


(Download)


(Download)


(Download)


(Download)

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Jan 11, 2019 08:16:20   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
foggypreacher wrote:
A friend is playing in a rugby match (scrum?) and I want to take photos of him and the scrum. i have a 35mm, 18-55mm, 18-140mm and a 70-300mm. The 18-55 and 70-300 are Nikon kit lenses. Which would be best and am I right that I should use Shutter priority for best at speedy subjects?

I tried to find "photographing rugby" "rugby photos" but found nothing. Any help is much appreciated.


What camera body are you using APS_C or FF? In general, if you have not shot this sport before:

1) move your focus point one or two positions above center. This allows you to focus on the upper part of the player's body while not cutting their feet off.

2) Do not try to zoom in for tight shots. That is something you won't be able to do until you are more familiar with the game action. By that I do not mean familiar with the game as a fan or player, but familiar with the action as a photographer. Once you have shot a few games (5-10 or 200, it varies) you will be able to predict what is going to happen and get tighter shots.

3) You will probably want to shoot in AI-Servo continuous mode. In order to avoid a lot of out of focus shots and if your camera allows, you may want to see what focus priorities are available to you. Canon, for instance, has continuous priorities for second shot. You can either allow the frame rate to be the priority (more shots per second) or focus priority where more weight is put to acquiring focus (fewer shots but more in focus on a moving subject) I shoot a lot of marathons where the action has become quite predictable for me, so I now shoot single shot at these events. For something like rugby, football or soccer, I would switch back to continuous AI-Servo with focus priority.

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Jan 11, 2019 08:18:56   #
Graham Smith (a regular here)
 
Scrum pictures
The ball has been put into the scrum
The ball has been put into the scrum...
(Download)
The ball is won from the scrum
The ball is won from the scrum...
(Download)

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Jan 11, 2019 08:43:33   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
Graham Smith wrote:
Scrum pictures


Nice. I really like the first shot. I usually try to get tighter as a default, but the foreground here really adds to impact of the action. Very glad you did not crop this shot in tighter..

Good work.

In fact I am wondering if there is something about the group effort in Rugby that may benefit from wider shots as opposed to American Football which is really about separated individual (though simultaneous) efforts.

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Jan 11, 2019 10:18:31   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Note the EXIF data shows 1/640 to 1/1000 for the multiple action examples now posted. Unless in direct sunlight in white uniforms, the suggestions for a faster shutter would force a higher ISO and / or wider aperture than you need for a good results. Your 70-300 is probably the best choice for the event assuming you're standing on the sideline during the action on the field. The 18-140 would be useful for intermingling with the players, before and after the match and along the bench during the game.

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Jan 11, 2019 19:38:34   #
foggypreacher
 
Thank you all so much. I appreciate all your suggestions. I will take a cheat sheet with me and try them all and find what works for me. I will post of them after the match on the 19th.

Oh, dsmeltz, the answer to your question is I have a APS_C Nikon D3400. Looking forward to the days when I have learned enough on this camera to need an upgrade.

All of the suggestions, settings and photographs will be very helpful. Thanks again.

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Jan 12, 2019 05:43:03   #
Alex A
 
Hi, I spend a lot of my time photographing this sport in the UK.

General points:
* Shutter priority generally the easiest (but do check the exposures you're getting are ok).
* I use a Sigma 50-500 (brilliant lens) to capture the action - generally around the 350 end ...
* Mount it on a mono pod and undo the lens collar screw, so it can rotate to give you both the support and keep the camera horizontal - not a full gimbal but a good compromise.
* Don't often need much faster than 500th to 750th
* Set the camera to continuous focus and your highest motorwind setting.
* If you can shoot from the end that your friends team are trying to score at, I find you get the best opportunity to capture the physicality of the game. The players expressions are most important in this (and you'll need to change ends at half time).
* Shoot in RAW to give yourself scope for pulling more detail out if you under expose.
* Shooting from the side of the pitch limits the photo opportunities and you'll often need to physically follow the game up and down the pitch to keep up with the good views of the action. (unless you can get up higher).

Hope that helps a bit.

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Jan 12, 2019 05:51:21   #
picsman
 
I photograph mtb, snowsports and canoeing and my default shutter speed is 1/640, going down for mtb to generally 1/500 and up for canoeing to about 1/1600. All on auto ISO. Snowsports also requires an exposure adjustment and I may also adjust the ISO. Rugby isnt as fast as mtb so I would think up to 1/500 but you will need to pan your shots so in fact could reduce your shutter speed. A monopod or tripod might be helpful. I use a tripod and gimbal for the shooting canoeing on white water (I am on the river shore.) I sometimes use the same set up for ski slalom.

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Jan 12, 2019 08:05:16   #
tshift
 
foggypreacher wrote:
A friend is playing in a rugby match (scrum?) and I want to take photos of him and the scrum. i have a 35mm, 18-55mm, 18-140mm and a 70-300mm. The 18-55 and 70-300 are Nikon kit lenses. Which would be best and am I right that I should use Shutter priority for best at speedy subjects?

I tried to find "photographing rugby" "rugby photos" but found nothing. Any help is much appreciated.


You will get there just keep practicing and learning off of here. There are really knowledgeable people on here. Also always shoot tight, try to fill the frame with the action. It does take practice to get used to shooting tight but you will get there. Have fun always though and enjoy the journey.
Post some photos when you can. Thanks

Tom

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Jan 12, 2019 08:16:14   #
billnikon (a regular here)
 
foggypreacher wrote:
A friend is playing in a rugby match (scrum?) and I want to take photos of him and the scrum. i have a 35mm, 18-55mm, 18-140mm and a 70-300mm. The 18-55 and 70-300 are Nikon kit lenses. Which would be best and am I right that I should use Shutter priority for best at speedy subjects?

I tried to find "photographing rugby" "rugby photos" but found nothing. Any help is much appreciated.


I would suggest a minimum shutter speed of 1/1000 sec. and stop your lens down 2 to 3 stops. I would use the 70-300.
And practice shooting while you pan, I used to practice shooting my kids running in the back yard or shooting cars as they passed by. Remember, shoot while you pan, never, never, stop moving your camera as you shoot. Practice, practice, practice.

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