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Any help with gymnastics?
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Dec 19, 2021 22:10:04   #
Chicago312 Loc: Western suburb, Chicago
 
Hello,
first time shooting gymnastics; you know you have been shooting for a while when you walk into a gym and the first thing you think about is how horrible the lighting is.
Nikon D810, most photos shot 1/800 ISO 6400, then pushed ISO to 10000; really no keepers - too much noise
Used a 300mm f2.8 and a 70-200 f2.8

Ran into the AD, who had previously denied me a press pass for football - introduced myself and he let me shoot. I couldn't really get close as the meet runs 2 events simultaneously - each team doing 1 event before switching.

Also, very difficult to frame a shot - the ladies are running, jumping, flipping from a vertical position to horizontal to vertical to horizontal...

any suggestions?

Stephen

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Dec 20, 2021 06:14:28   #
tshift Loc: Overland Park, KS.
 
Chicago312 wrote:
Hello,
first time shooting gymnastics; you know you have been shooting for a while when you walk into a gym and the first thing you think about is how horrible the lighting is.
Nikon D810, most photos shot 1/800 ISO 6400, then pushed ISO to 10000; really no keepers - too much noise
Used a 300mm f2.8 and a 70-200 f2.8

Ran into the AD, who had previously denied me a press pass for football - introduced myself and he let me shoot. I couldn't really get close as the meet runs 2 events simultaneously - each team doing 1 event before switching.

Also, very difficult to frame a shot - the ladies are running, jumping, flipping from a vertical position to horizontal to vertical to horizontal...

any suggestions?

Stephen
Hello, br first time shooting gymnastics; you know... (show quote)



Someone should be able to help you. Not me as my gymnastics is just a tad better than these. Will be waiting to see what others say. Thanks BE SAFE, GOD Bless and have a wonderful holiday.

Tom

Reply
Dec 20, 2021 08:37:18   #
davidrb Loc: Hangar i13
 
Your subjects are women. Ladies don't dress in leotards public.

Reply
 
 
Dec 20, 2021 09:56:44   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Refer back to the recent post about extracting the 'original' image from Apple and post those examples. Unfortunately, your camera / original EXIF data is being stripped when you let Apple convert to these 'jpeg' files.

The first example reports f/2.8 with 1/1000sec and ISO-6400. If your lens aperture can't get wider, you either up the ISO or lower the shutterspeed, probably both.

Reply
Dec 20, 2021 09:56:49   #
rcorne001 Loc: Cary, NC
 
The following work pretty good for me, perhaps you might find some things to consider.

If possible, position yourself either head on or about 45° to the athlete. In my opinion it makes the shot a little more interesting. I try to capture expressions an high points of their routine.

I generally shoot in manual mode with a 70-200 f2.8 (sometimes closed a little bit, seldom more than f4), as close to 1/1000 as I can get with ISO around 4000-6400. Some events are along the sides and don't get as much light as the floor routine so I might adjust the ISO a bit. If I feel so inclined I might use exposure compensation. Images are shot in RAW as it allows me more control over making adjustments post processing.

To get focus, I have settled on Group Focus, using AFC. Area, single point and even 3D just don't work as well for ME. I also am set up for back button focus because it allows me to keep the subject in the focus area and then just press the shutter when I am ready. But that is my preference.

I would suggest you check out noise reduction in whatever post processing program you use and resign yourself to knowing you will have noise out of the camera. Depending upon how noisy the picture is, I will either make adjustments in Lightroom or more times than not, Topaz DeNoise AI. The latter allows you to download a 30 day trial if you want to check it out. Be careful with the noise reduction though. On some of my photos I have to come to grips with it being better to have a little noise rather than have them come out pasty looking like a mannequin!

I've attached a few images from an event last week. To see more, feel free to check out my website. To see the settings for each photo on my website, click on the "Info" tab.

https://rickcornell.zenfolio.com/f251439739

BTW - my keeper rate runs about 10%. If I was submitting the images for publication it would probably be at least half of that!

Keep plugging away. You'll find the combination(s) that work for you! And be sure to take a little time to appreciate the athleticism!


(Download)


(Download)


(Download)


(Download)

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Dec 20, 2021 10:00:40   #
John Paquette Loc: Little Rock, Arkansas
 
Look for primes that work for the distance you are shooting. 1.4 - 1.8 in a mm that frames the action you want. Also ask if you can use flash, most photos are from the side most likely the flash would not be distracting.

Reply
Dec 20, 2021 10:05:17   #
rcorne001 Loc: Cary, NC
 
John Paquette wrote:
Look for primes that work for the distance you are shooting. 1.4 - 1.8 in a mm that frames the action you want. Also ask if you can use flash.


With all due respect you NEVER want to use flash for events like this. They could not only distract them in performing their routine, but could lead to injury because of the bright light at an inopportune time.

Reply
 
 
Dec 20, 2021 11:14:39   #
tshift Loc: Overland Park, KS.
 
John Paquette wrote:
Look for primes that work for the distance you are shooting. 1.4 - 1.8 in a mm that frames the action you want. Also ask if you can use flash, most photos are from the side most likely the flash would not be distracting.


You will have 1 in a thousand that will let you shoot flash! Thanks BE SAFE!!

Tom

Reply
Dec 20, 2021 15:52:48   #
joecichjr Loc: Chicago S. Suburbs, Illinois, USA
 
rcorne001 wrote:
The following work pretty good for me, perhaps you might find some things to consider.

If possible, position yourself either head on or about 45° to the athlete. In my opinion it makes the shot a little more interesting. I try to capture expressions an high points of their routine.

I generally shoot in manual mode with a 70-200 f2.8 (sometimes closed a little bit, seldom more than f4), as close to 1/1000 as I can get with ISO around 4000-6400. Some events are along the sides and don't get as much light as the floor routine so I might adjust the ISO a bit. If I feel so inclined I might use exposure compensation. Images are shot in RAW as it allows me more control over making adjustments post processing.

To get focus, I have settled on Group Focus, using AFC. Area, single point and even 3D just don't work as well for ME. I also am set up for back button focus because it allows me to keep the subject in the focus area and then just press the shutter when I am ready. But that is my preference.

I would suggest you check out noise reduction in whatever post processing program you use and resign yourself to knowing you will have noise out of the camera. Depending upon how noisy the picture is, I will either make adjustments in Lightroom or more times than not, Topaz DeNoise AI. The latter allows you to download a 30 day trial if you want to check it out. Be careful with the noise reduction though. On some of my photos I have to come to grips with it being better to have a little noise rather than have them come out pasty looking like a mannequin!

I've attached a few images from an event last week. To see more, feel free to check out my website. To see the settings for each photo on my website, click on the "Info" tab.

https://rickcornell.zenfolio.com/f251439739

BTW - my keeper rate runs about 10%. If I was submitting the images for publication it would probably be at least half of that!

Keep plugging away. You'll find the combination(s) that work for you! And be sure to take a little time to appreciate the athleticism!
The following work pretty good for me, perhaps you... (show quote)


Outstanding shots 💙💙💙💙💙

Reply
Dec 25, 2021 22:51:09   #
Chicago312 Loc: Western suburb, Chicago
 
rcorne001 wrote:
The following work pretty good for me, perhaps you might find some things to consider.

If possible, position yourself either head on or about 45° to the athlete. In my opinion it makes the shot a little more interesting. I try to capture expressions an high points of their routine.

I generally shoot in manual mode with a 70-200 f2.8 (sometimes closed a little bit, seldom more than f4), as close to 1/1000 as I can get with ISO around 4000-6400. Some events are along the sides and don't get as much light as the floor routine so I might adjust the ISO a bit. If I feel so inclined I might use exposure compensation. Images are shot in RAW as it allows me more control over making adjustments post processing.

To get focus, I have settled on Group Focus, using AFC. Area, single point and even 3D just don't work as well for ME. I also am set up for back button focus because it allows me to keep the subject in the focus area and then just press the shutter when I am ready. But that is my preference.

I would suggest you check out noise reduction in whatever post processing program you use and resign yourself to knowing you will have noise out of the camera. Depending upon how noisy the picture is, I will either make adjustments in Lightroom or more times than not, Topaz DeNoise AI. The latter allows you to download a 30 day trial if you want to check it out. Be careful with the noise reduction though. On some of my photos I have to come to grips with it being better to have a little noise rather than have them come out pasty looking like a mannequin!

I've attached a few images from an event last week. To see more, feel free to check out my website. To see the settings for each photo on my website, click on the "Info" tab.

https://rickcornell.zenfolio.com/f251439739

BTW - my keeper rate runs about 10%. If I was submitting the images for publication it would probably be at least half of that!

Keep plugging away. You'll find the combination(s) that work for you! And be sure to take a little time to appreciate the athleticism!
The following work pretty good for me, perhaps you... (show quote)


Rick,
Your photos are excellent - I noticed on your zenfolio site, many photos were shot at D500, ISO 2500, +2 2/3 exposure compensation, 1/1000. It looks like you were able to get relatively close as well.
Obviously, I will have to make some adjustments the next time I get a chance to shoot gymnastics. I tried BBF, but it's not something I'm used to, having always used shutter focus/release. I may try using a faster prime (85 f1.8) as the gym I'm shooting in does not have adequate lighting.
Have a happy holiday season.
Stephen

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Dec 25, 2021 23:40:07   #
rcorne001 Loc: Cary, NC
 
Yes, a lot were with the d500. I later upgraded to a d5. I have floor access and as long as I don't get too close to athletes I'm good. A number were also shot from the stands. Except for the floor routines. As you have noted, I had to play with exposure a bit. Keep at it as when you get a good shot it is so worth it.

Hope you had a great Christmas and getting primed for new year!

Reply
 
 
Dec 27, 2021 13:33:06   #
Michael1079 Loc: Indiana
 
Just a few thoughts...
1.) As you've noticed, gymnastics venues are, more often then not, horribly lit. I've been in some where it was like shooting the proverbial black cat in a dark closet. I use a 5D MkIV with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. Fast glass is a must.
2.) You MAY NOT use a flash, or at least, not at any of the gymnastics competitions I've ever been at. USAG sanctioned events prohibit this.
3.) Use manual mode (obviously) and RAW (if possible.) (Many a WB and noise issue can be corrected in post processing!)
4.) Trying to find a balance between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO is the trick (as it is with any photograph!) A fast shutter speed (1/800 to 1/1000) is needed for most of the floor and uneven bars events.(I've read that some folks use 1/200 as a minimum. I can't...) A really fast speed is needed for vaults. You may get away with something slower on beam exercises, but not much slower.
5.) So, set the shutter speed for the activity being captured, and then work the aperture and ISO. The aperture will likely need to be wide open, so you will lose depth-of-field. If the venue is well lit, expect ISO settings around 3200. In other arenas, you will need a high ISO - typically use 5000 to 6400.
6.) Higher ISO increases grain, of course, so nailing the focus is crucial! A little grain is not as distracting as a blurry photo.
7.) If possible, find a spot on the floor out of traffic areas! (I know, easier said than done. Get to know a team coach and get permission, if possible!)
8.) Watch warm ups (and take practice shots!) to get an idea where the most dynamic action will occur, and then try to capture that during the competition. Someone wrote that you should wait for the "Wow!" moment!
9.) I've also read that you shouldn't rely on shooting burst mode. Not 100% certain that this is correct. Some people use burst mode with success, but others do as suggested above - wait for the "Wow" moment.
10.) Be aware of activity in background. There is a lot of movement of coaches and teams. Trying to focus on a gymnast doing a floor exercise during a crowded meet in a small venue can be frustrating.
11.) I use AI SERVO mode and Back-Button Focus. (I have read one article where the recommendation was to NOT use AI Servo - use One Shot. Not sure about this but may be worth experimenting with...)
12.) "Chimp" your photos and make adjustments as needed! Check exposure levels! Zoom in and fill the frame!

If you Google 'Shooting Gymnastics' you will find many good (and sometimes conflicting) articles.

Good luck and best wishes!

Reply
Dec 29, 2021 21:50:43   #
Chicago312 Loc: Western suburb, Chicago
 
John Paquette wrote:
Look for primes that work for the distance you are shooting. 1.4 - 1.8 in a mm that frames the action you want. Also ask if you can use flash, most photos are from the side most likely the flash would not be distracting.


John,
I may try my 85mm f1.8 next time. That will only give me an extra stop. Can't use flash unfortunately.
Stephen

Reply
Dec 29, 2021 21:52:19   #
Chicago312 Loc: Western suburb, Chicago
 
rcorne001 wrote:
Yes, a lot were with the d500. I later upgraded to a d5. I have floor access and as long as I don't get too close to athletes I'm good. A number were also shot from the stands. Except for the floor routines. As you have noted, I had to play with exposure a bit. Keep at it as when you get a good shot it is so worth it.

Hope you had a great Christmas and getting primed for new year!


Thanks, Rick
I'll keep trying. The season just started, I'll make a few adjustments and go from there.
Have a Happy New Year
Stephen

Reply
Dec 29, 2021 22:03:56   #
Chicago312 Loc: Western suburb, Chicago
 
Michael1079 wrote:
Just a few thoughts...
1.) As you've noticed, gymnastics venues are, more often then not, horribly lit. I've been in some where it was like shooting the proverbial black cat in a dark closet. I use a 5D MkIV with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. Fast glass is a must.
2.) You MAY NOT use a flash, or at least, not at any of the gymnastics competitions I've ever been at. USAG sanctioned events prohibit this.
3.) Use manual mode (obviously) and RAW (if possible.) (Many a WB and noise issue can be corrected in post processing!)
4.) Trying to find a balance between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO is the trick (as it is with any photograph!) A fast shutter speed (1/800 to 1/1000) is needed for most of the floor and uneven bars events.(I've read that some folks use 1/200 as a minimum. I can't...) A really fast speed is needed for vaults. You may get away with something slower on beam exercises, but not much slower.
5.) So, set the shutter speed for the activity being captured, and then work the aperture and ISO. The aperture will likely need to be wide open, so you will lose depth-of-field. If the venue is well lit, expect ISO settings around 3200. In other arenas, you will need a high ISO - typically use 5000 to 6400.
6.) Higher ISO increases grain, of course, so nailing the focus is crucial! A little grain is not as distracting as a blurry photo.
7.) If possible, find a spot on the floor out of traffic areas! (I know, easier said than done. Get to know a team coach and get permission, if possible!)
8.) Watch warm ups (and take practice shots!) to get an idea where the most dynamic action will occur, and then try to capture that during the competition. Someone wrote that you should wait for the "Wow!" moment!
9.) I've also read that you shouldn't rely on shooting burst mode. Not 100% certain that this is correct. Some people use burst mode with success, but others do as suggested above - wait for the "Wow" moment.
10.) Be aware of activity in background. There is a lot of movement of coaches and teams. Trying to focus on a gymnast doing a floor exercise during a crowded meet in a small venue can be frustrating.
11.) I use AI SERVO mode and Back-Button Focus. (I have read one article where the recommendation was to NOT use AI Servo - use One Shot. Not sure about this but may be worth experimenting with...)
12.) "Chimp" your photos and make adjustments as needed! Check exposure levels! Zoom in and fill the frame!

If you Google 'Shooting Gymnastics' you will find many good (and sometimes conflicting) articles.

Good luck and best wishes!
Just a few thoughts... br 1.) As you've noticed, ... (show quote)


Michael,
Thanks for the suggestions - much appreciated.

I shoot with a 70-200 f2.8; I'll play around with the shutter speed, but I'm trying to shoot 1/1000 whenever possible.

I actually may try pushing the ISO higher - as you said a little grain is better than blurred photos. I was shooting 6400-10000 with my D810. I will try going to 12,800 with my mirrorless Z6 next time. I have also heard/read where shooting higher ISO produces less noise (better to slightly overexpose) than to shoot lower ISO and adjust in post. My limited experience seems to reflect that recommendation. I typically shoot in JPEG.

I'm not so sure about shooting in AI-Servo; I've heard some pros can get away with it successfully. I know I'm not that talented. I shoot with AF-C (continuous) and typically short (2-5) shot bursts. I have tried BBF, but I "grew up" using shutter focus/release and have returned to that.

Have a Happy New Year
Stephen

Reply
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