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Wrestling for the Win

By Michaelkremer  
I was trying to get some good action shots. This one i feel show a lot of the emotion going through his face and how hard he wants to win.

Tags: Action Sports Wrestling Wrestlers Sports and action

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2455 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2014 7:01PM
Hi Michael, welcome to ePHOTOzine and welcome to the Critique Gallery. I see you have joined the site today - I hope you will enjoy it and find it helpful - it's a good place.

You've uploaded to the Critique Gallery, where we try to advise on the taking and the processing of images. There are *sports specialists on the site, I hope some of them will appear here. I've photographed wrestling a couple of times, adults and juniors, I found it a fascinating challenge. Action happens in fits and starts, when the action comes it happens very fast; and because the sport is 'in the round' the chances are you'll be on the wrong side of the action...

Here you have two good expressions. Your timing was superb - this is a key moment, we can see that this matters! The lad on top in particular is priceless - so small, so fierce.

I wish you hadn't zoomed in so close. It's tempting but counter-productive - a bit more space would prevent the boys looking cramped, and would include the complete hand at the bottom. That cut-off really is a pity, because the pressure in those fingers is a big part of the story.

I'm assuming this was hand-held. Your shutter speed, 1/200 was fast enough to freeze the action in this instance but probably wouldn't have been fast enough to capture a throw in sharp detail. Here there are signs I think of camera shake, the speed wasn't fast enough for you to hold steady. 200mm at 1/320 would have given a fuller, sharper picture...

This is something that has been discussed in the CG, on MrsHeger's uploads. Poor light plus long focal length plus sports action always presents a challenge. My priority would be to get the shot sharp - fast enough shutter speed and careful focusing - and reasonably well exposed, increasing ISO as necessary - and be prepared to do some work on the exposure afterwards if necessary. Shooting in Raw gives a lot more scope for enhancement in difficult light.


* I know a member who has a lot of experience of photographing wrestling, I'll ask him to look in here.
Thank you for the input. I never really noticed his hand was cut off until you stated it. The lighting inside the gym was not very good so i had to get the fastest shuttle speed that i could while still have a good exposure. If I remember correctly this was taken before i knew much about aperature settings. So i could have used that to still keep the background blurred and the wrestlers in focus as well as to allow so light in. I will have to check what settings i had for the shot. And yes i was just lucky enough to have been at a good angle when i was shooting as they do tend to roll around a lot you just have to be in the right spot at the right time. Again thank you for the input. btw this was not edited in any way.
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4263 Canada
25 Sep 2014 7:36PM
I can hear them grunting and groaning!

Really good expression you have here. Welcome from me also, - I uploaded a modification thats brighter, - scroll up and click the modifications tab to view.

Your mode was Manual, - and as mentioned by Moira, when using a long lens when hand held, shutter speed is the most important part of the settings. So in these cases, use shutter priority, select the shutter speed at 1.5 times whatever focal length you use; let the camera look after aperture and ISO.

If you wanted to do this type of shooting a lot, you would ideally need a fast lens, - f/2.8 at least; most of us though shoot these moments for fun, and to catch moments just like this one.


I would love to get a fast lens but as of right now, I am on a very limited budget. This was done with my first dslr since i had an slr in high school about 12 years ago. This was done with a d3200 and a nikon 55-300 4.5-5.6 lens. All i can afford at the moment I am more trying to hone my skills with lower dollar stuff before i step up and spend a ton of money.
Also thanks for the welcome from both of you and thank you for the edit banehawi, I have not played with editing a whole lot other than the occasional lightening.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
25 Sep 2014 9:53PM
Welcome from me too.

I do sympathise with the desire for fast lenses.
With quite fast ISOs available being the norm these days does help a lot, although you will always encounter a situation where you want that bit more.
A little noise is preferable to an unsharp image.

However, your approach in honing your skills first is by far the best. No point in having a super lens if you can't time the shot, which you've done here.
Know your sport (that you're photographing) and know the competitors - it doesn't matter if they are the locakl kids or a top flight tournament, it's that knowledge that will help you anticipate and get good shots.

25 Sep 2014 10:07PM
Thank you. This was actually a nephews tournament. I also have another nephew that i go to his soccer games for his mom since she is out of state. I come from a sports background of everything from 14 years of soccer on traveling teams to rock climbing and snowboarding.
I feel that having such a diverse background in sports helps me think of what angle will look good by knowing what i like to see and what friends like to see when i take pictures of them. Whenever I take pictures of friends I always ask what they expect and want to see out of the pictures. I have some idea as a photographer as to what will look good but i am always interested in what others think looks good as well.
danbrann 17 640 17
25 Sep 2014 10:48PM
A poorly lit hall has been your enemy here. You went up to 3200 Iso but were still reduced to 1/200 sec..not really fast enough for action but you have done well because this is a static hold.I would suggest you have maybe cropped it too tightly but as you say t was your nephew you wanted. Next time you do wrestling ask the organisers if you can go up to ringside ans even use a wide ish angle lens
25 Sep 2014 11:07PM
This was also before i knew how to expand the iso of my camera. Its all a learning process so hopefully next time i can do it a little better and learn more each time. If you were not wrestlers or refs you had to stay at the edge of the mat and he was in a center ring. Thank you for the input everyone.
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2014 7:36AM
A good attempt and lots of chat above. The simple problem here has nothing to do with content, you are a good stop under exposed. You need either a slower shutter speed, a wider aperture, or higher ISO. Go to 6400ISO. Grain/noise is better than blur or under exposure.

You are on manual. How are you metering? You need to meter accurately before setting the reading manually, then check results regularly on the LCD. You should clearly see this is under.
This was before I knew how to expand the ISO on my camera. I was at the max with the aperture wide open. I didn't want to slow the shutter down any more because of blurring. I would rather have a slightly under exposed photo than a blurred one. Thank you for the input though

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