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Exeter Hockey

By johnalexander  
Just starting diong some sport photography. I am not very good at it and find it difficult to get a clean picture. I use al servo most of the time on all the points (should I just use the middle? and use a 70-200IS f4. However I ate the railings in the background. But I don't know what else to do. In this picture it isn't too bad but the others is really bad. the only lens I have with a larger aperture is 50mm 1.4.
I would be grateful for your opinions and critiques as I am just learing this sportsy stuff.

Tags: Sports and action

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


cats_123 Plus
13 4.7k 28 Northern Ireland
22 Mar 2010 2:03PM
in the absence of any a former hockey player I can appreciate the speed and angles that you're trying to catch. I think you have done really well here, capturing the speed and angle of attack/defence. Your pof seems to be the sole of the shoe, which may not have been your intention. I would suggest trying a focus setting that is single pointed and raise the aperture setting a couple of stops.

I am uploading a mod....have tried to `hide' the blue post at the rear and lifted the light a little

hope it helps Smile

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22 Mar 2010 3:34PM
Thanks Cat_123 .. much better composition
iancatch 10 4 45 England
23 Mar 2010 4:09AM
I agree with Cat_123 in that the focal point was the sole of the shoe of No 73. This has put the rest of the image slightly out of focus but there are other improvements to be made. Firstly the biggest issue for me is that we have no sense of where the players are or are going. Is the ball being defended into touch, or are we on the way to the goal.

Secondly the image is a little flat which is done by both of the players being fairly square to the camera and both running in the same direction together away from the camera. I realise that this is out of your control pretty much but if it was easy we would all be sport photographers. You need to think about where to position yourself on the touch line when you are going to get the most angles, directions and most importantly the most opportunities to get a great shot.

Thridly the composition more than the landscape format is wrong. Always try to get the subjects off center of the shot it makes it much more interesting. Also if the players are on the left it makes the viewer think they are trying to go right - perhaps to the goal. The fact that you have the same space on both sides brings us back to my earlier point that we have no sense of direction. If you leave the space on the right it doesnt matter if they were going that way it will give a sense of it.

Hope this is helpful

23 Mar 2010 12:40PM
Thanks Ian, How would I get them off centre when they are running everywhere? How would I focus on them and then re-focus? or would I just crop afterwards. ?
Lillian Plus
8 22 17 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2010 10:38PM
Ian has given you good advice as has cats-123, so the next shots you try will be all the better, but do remember for the first attempt you did well!
iancatch 10 4 45 England
1 Apr 2010 11:55PM
Hi John

Well the first thing I would say is that you have chosen one of the hardest subjects to shoot - sports action and you are right players are so inconsiderate and run everwhere and change direction quickly. The easiest way of adjusting compositioon if you have a large megapixel camera is to crop as because of the large number of pixels the shot wont go grainy when you essentially blow the picture up.

Like I said before choosing your position is important - notice how football photographers always position themselves behind goal slightly off to one side? This means that players are running towards them (ie direction is easier to predict) and they are able to get great facial shots as they are usually also facing them. They also get great drama shots as players are actually stopping a goal or trying to score one.

Look forward to your next upload


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