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Airborne at Portobello

By DinkyDoo
Portobello Beach, near Edinburgh and the next event in the Scottish Beach Volleyball calendar. Got some great feedback last time so hopefully this shot has taken on board the comments.

Tags: Volleyball Sports and action

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Squirrel 12 461 7 England
18 Jun 2016 10:54PM
Hello Ken
A good start. I like the way you have used the 1/320 shutter speed to freeze most of the action. There is a little blurring in the ball and the players right foot but it adds to the image. If the shutter speed had been faster the player would look as if they were suspended in mid air.
The players shadow shows that the light was very hard and you did well to cope with those conditions. A little bit of fill in flash may have helped. It would have illuminated the side of the players face. It may be that you could not use flash because of distracting the player from the game. A little bit of dodging in the editing programme of your choice might help to bring lessen the hard shadow on the face and bring it out a bit.
Hope this helps

regards Jacq

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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4049 Canada
19 Jun 2016 12:30AM
Very much underexposed.

The trouble with relying on the modes like Action is that you can end up with this. Take control over the camera; set ISO to Auto; use Aperture priority, or set the shutter using shutter priority to something fast like this. Then, with the ISO being set to auto, the camera can allow more light in. Its stuck here as it cant increase the ISO, not can it open the aperture further, since its maxed out.

The mods show just how underexposed it is.


Velja 6 1 3 Slovenia
19 Jun 2016 9:05AM
Hi, Ken,
I use for the action photo (depending axis Light conditions) the following parameters:
ISO 400-800
-expose mode TV (action) or manually
-white balance (manually)
-Metering Mode: Multi-segment
-crossing focus
-Continuous shooting
This is my experience, confirmed in the field of athletics, dance, equestrian sport ..
Nice day you want Velja
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1286 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2016 12:05PM
You are, as Willie says. A long way under exposed. This could be gd, but you need to crop the people from left and right, then get the exposure right. You must learn what a correctly exposed image looks like and correct the auto setting to get that. Uncorrected auto n a bright sunlit beach WILL under expose.

I would also use fill in flash, but exposure must be right!

dudler Plus
16 979 1536 England
19 Jun 2016 2:18PM
The pose is perfect, and the technicalities (as in yoru previous shot, a couple of months back) have gone awry, I feel.

Last time, you used Shutter priority, and ISO 100, giving you underexposure. This time, an action mode, again giving underexposure, despite a higher ISO setting. I'd go for 400, and stopping down a little.

Willie's advice is sound. You might also want to take the shutter speed even higher to freeze the action completely, though a fraction of blur is often good, conveying the action.

A couple of other things. I'm not sure that the focus is on the player, and that's a shame. It looks to me as if sharpest focus is some distance behind him. There's stuff to learn about focus modes, even with Canons and Nikons.

Finally, the pictorial photographer in me really wanted you lying flat on the ground, so you could isolate the player against the sky. I can think of lots of reasons why this isn't possible/safe/likely to get you a shot at all, but having him above the skyline woudl be perfect...
dark_lord Plus
15 2.4k 599 England
20 Jun 2016 3:27PM
Underexposed and i suspect the main reason is that the sand and sky are very bright.
Add to that a scene mode. The lens can go no wider at that focal length (though f/4 for action is not bad) and with only ISO 160 and the camera set for 'Action' a fast shutter speed would be favoured and thus not help the underexposure.

It looks like you've captured the player at the top of his 'leap' so 1/320 has worked though really action demands more than this.
A little movement blur on the ball and player does help with the feeling of action (and surely being suspended in mid air is the point of this and many other sports/action images!).

The issue with blur here is focus error.
The player here is central so the camera should have coped fine (unless this is a crop and the player was off centre initially) or the AF didn't keep up with the play (unusual these days, and it's not as though this is an aircraft or F1 car). It is possible to have camera movement show at 1/320 too, and as there's nothing crisp here I suspect an element of that also.

Velja has given some great starting points for settings.

But as before, I can't fault your timing here - that's often the hardest thing to achieve. Work on your settings and you'll get some superb captures.

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