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Another nice set of images, Lio. My only question would be to all of you soccer shooters out there.....In images 1 & 2 the shallow DOF has thrown the offensive player soft or OOF and the sharpness and focus has shifted to the defender. In shot #1, this seems to work a little better because of the emotion you see on the defenders face. However, in shot 2, the shot is framed as if the offensive player is the main subject (the defenders head and arm are even cut off) yet the offensive player is soft and the defender is...Show more →
Billy: Not answering for Lio, of course, but I'll take a crack at your question. It's similar to football, or any other sport where you've got a "main" subject with the ball and a second/third/etc subject in close proximity to the main subject. My goal always is to have my focus point on the main subject. Ideally, DOF can be such that everyone I want to be sharply focused is thus, the background is sufficiently blurred to eliminate all potential distractions, and the action is stopped completely so that there isn't any motion blur. Unfortunately, it pretty much never works out that way, especially when shooting at night. I've never shot sports at f/5.6 (or higher), which is not to say it wouldn't work, just that I'm averse to stopping down that much. My goal would be to balance all of the factors by raising ISO as high as I think will work (I like to stay at or below 4000 with my 1DIV) while keeping shutter speed at a minimum of 1/800 (higher is preferred, of course) and, usually, the widest aperture available to me (f/4 when I'm using a teleconverter with my 300/2.8). There are plenty of uber-talented shooters on this site who promote f/4.0 or higher and they've proven again and again that aperture is less important than other factors where a "clean" background is concerned. So, yeah, stopping down could help if the other settings will allow it and those "other factors" are as they need to be. In my experience shooting soccer, it's those "other factors" that never quite fall into place, which is why I like to shoot at the widest aperture available to me.