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Archive 2012 · VB Quarterfinals
  
 
clarence3
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p.1 #1 · VB Quarterfinals


These two local schools always seem to battle for the State Championship in volleyball. County was the state champ in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007. Valley won in 2004, 2002, 2001.

Last night they met up in the Regional Quarterfinal. My neighbor's daughter is on the team, so I though I'd try VB one more time.

It's always a humbling experience. Still has to be my most challenging sport to capture... crowded court, fast action, tons of obstructions, limited shooting positions, the players always seem to be facing the wrong direction, AF always seems to lock onto the net, and of course, dim lighting.

This gym has an elevated platform in one corner. For giggles, I brought my 600/4L and tried a few shots, but it wasn't high enough to give a view of the opposite court over the net. I got a few shots, but did better switching to the 200/1.8L with 1.x4 TC. After the first set, I moved down to my usual spot... sitting on the floor next to the scorer's table with just a 85/1.8 (although I did try the 200/1.8 from the floor too).

1D Mk IV, M, 1/1000"

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Nov 07, 2012 at 06:38 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #2 · VB Quarterfinals


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Nov 07, 2012 at 06:38 PM
James Broome
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p.1 #3 · VB Quarterfinals


Probably the toughest sport to shoot, but you produced extremely nice images here. Great work.



Nov 07, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Aqualung
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p.1 #4 · VB Quarterfinals


Very nice, it is difficult...would straighten 6 & 7...

Chris



Nov 07, 2012 at 07:03 PM
drbob
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p.1 #5 · VB Quarterfinals


Very Solid! I like #3.

bb



Nov 07, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Ben Amato
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p.1 #6 · VB Quarterfinals


Nice job with all the digs. You've really got those dialed in. The setter shot is nice too! The problem with high school hitters is they don't get over the net. Even shooting it's hard to get a good face shot. All in all I would say it's a good day of shooting though. Thanks for posting.

Ben



Nov 07, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #7 · VB Quarterfinals


Some really great bumping shots here! Hitting is always a challenge... You have to have good positioning, that position has to be available, and then you have to have a good hitter, and she has to get set well... So many variables!

This is a fine set that you should be proud of, and I am sure parents will be happy too.

Paul



Nov 07, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Fish On
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p.1 #8 · VB Quarterfinals


You did good with this set of pics. Very nice capture of the action. Agree with shooting vb is one of the toughest to do. I take about 500 shots during a hs game and come out with about 90-100 usable ones.


Nov 07, 2012 at 09:33 PM
rolette
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p.1 #9 · VB Quarterfinals


.

Edited on Nov 08, 2012 at 12:22 PM · View previous versions



Nov 07, 2012 at 11:54 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #10 · VB Quarterfinals


Thanks guys.

Fish On wrote:
I take about 500 shots during a hs game and come out with about 90-100 usable ones.


Yep, keeper rate was pretty low. I took over 600 shots and ended up with 266 keepers for MP.


rolette wrote:
#1 - I'd probably ditch this one. Really need to be up higher for that shot. Too much tape across her face (well, chin/neck). Horizon is off.

#4 - Delete. Same reasons as #1


Thanks Jay. I agree. I was hoping to get an angle like these pictures of yours:

http://rolette.smugmug.com/Sports/Volleyball (#101)
or
http://rolette.smugmug.com/Sports/Volleyball (#130)

But the platform in the corner just wasn't high enough to see over the net. So I moved to the floor.




Here's a tighter crop of #7...

7c.









Nov 08, 2012 at 01:41 AM
 

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Jeff_Stapleton
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p.1 #11 · VB Quarterfinals


Clarence. This is a question that I have for all your posts, not just this one. How do you pp your images? The reason that I ask is that they are always consistent, but on my monitor, your images often look a bit washed out...like the richness is gone. When you export, do you do us sRGB?


Nov 08, 2012 at 02:36 AM
rolette
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p.1 #12 · VB Quarterfinals


.

Edited on Nov 08, 2012 at 12:22 PM · View previous versions



Nov 08, 2012 at 02:52 AM
clarence3
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p.1 #13 · VB Quarterfinals


Jeff_Stapleton wrote:
Clarence. This is a question that I have for all your posts, not just this one. How do you pp your images? The reason that I ask is that they are always consistent, but on my monitor, your images often look a bit washed out...like the richness is gone. When you export, do you do us sRGB?


Interesting. I shoot in RAW sRGB and import into LR4. Minimal processing... usually just cropping to the MP aspect... a little looser than most people like, but the intent is to provide a universal aspect that can be cropped to 4x6 to 8x10. Straighten horizons (although I probably miss 25%). Minimal sharpening. If ISO is above 3200, I use 25% NR.

No presets, no saturation boosts, no contrast, no tone curves.

Do they look over-exposed or just flat?



Nov 08, 2012 at 03:21 AM
rddayton
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p.1 #14 · VB Quarterfinals


Sorry I am late to the party.

Good stuff here Clarence. No doubt it is a challnge, but you managed to grab more than your fair share of winners here. Nice work.

Rick



Nov 08, 2012 at 12:18 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #15 · VB Quarterfinals


Jeff_Stapleton wrote:
How do you pp your images? The reason that I ask is that they are always consistent, but on my monitor, your images often look a bit washed out...like the richness is gone.


I think you might be onto something, Jeff.

I don't know LR well enough to know how to mitigate this yet (ideally I'd like to optimize the exposure settings in-camera too), but I went through the set and checked out the histograms.

They're consistently empty on the far right end.

Here's an example...






See where I scribbled in the far right side of the histograms? I see the spike for the white walls, but then the curve drops off and I have a quarter-inch of wasted dynamic range that isn't being used. If I drag the curve to match the histogram, I get more punch on the high-end.

But how do I do this in-camera? If I bump up the exposure, I'd clip the whites at the top of the histogram spike.

When I set manual exposure in a gym, I typically just set SS and aperture where I want them, then increase ISO until I start getting over-exposure blinkies on the viewfinder LCD.

Does anyone have any best-practices on their basic LR PP steps? Especially for histograms and curves.

My rule of thumb is not to spend more than a minute on a picture. After I culled, I had 266 pictures from this game. Even at a minute per picture, that's 4 hours of PP in LR... import, sync AR, sharpening and NR. Then eyeball each picture to crop tighter and straighten horizons. Then export. I don't want to add a manual step to each picture, but if I could improve something in-camera or in the batch sync, I'd love to hear some tips.



Nov 08, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Jeff_Stapleton
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p.1 #16 · VB Quarterfinals


And Clarence, I'm not trying to dog you or say you're doing anything wrong. I almost sent you this in a PM, but I thought others might have noticed as well. Your pictures are consistently well captured, well cropped, etc.

I notice this in both indoor and outdoor images from you. Day and night images. It just seems that the colors aren't as rich as I expect. I may be alone in seeing this. If so, please disregard .



Nov 08, 2012 at 05:50 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #17 · VB Quarterfinals


No problem, I can see what you're seeing. I wish I knew the "easy button" to get rich colors... either in-camera or in LR4.

I think AndyD always has nice rich colors...
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/recent/AndyD

Maybe it's Nikon magic... maybe just better skill with balancing exposures, but I'd love to know if it's something that I could improve in post-processing. Maybe it's just a mix of bodies and lenses... I know my 5D and 5D2 always had richer colors than my 1D3 and 1D4. And the 80-200/2.8L MDP seems much richer than my other lenses.

I've done a lot of LR4 tutorials...
http://www.macprovideo.com/hub/lightroom/tone-mapping-lightroom-4-histogram

And tried a lot of presets...
http://www.mattk.com/2012/09/17/lightroom-presets-desaturated-sports-photo-presets/

This Before/After shot of "Tumihay the Hunter", even though it's not sports, seems to be close to what I'd like to do with LR...
http://www.lightstalking.com/using-lightroom-4-to-recover-almost-unusable-photos




Nov 08, 2012 at 07:14 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #18 · VB Quarterfinals


Here's a redo using the "Tumihay the Hunter" LR4 settings...







I think I like the extra detail in the skin tones. My other attempts ended up too splotchy, feverish. Big difference between "rich" and over-saturated or artificially vibrant.

Better?



Nov 08, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Jeff_Stapleton
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p.1 #19 · VB Quarterfinals


Clarence, I'd like to hear some others weigh in before you commit to a redesign of your workflow. I'm actually a bit surprised nobody else has chimed in to the affirmative or the negative of this observation.


Nov 09, 2012 at 06:06 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #20 · VB Quarterfinals


Yeah, until I learn proper technique on how to improve richness in-camera or in post-processing, I'm not going to keep hacking in LR. After a while it gets too hard to tell if you're making improvements or just trying to polish a turd. Admittedly, I prefer a neutral image... I'm not one for hyper-saturation or over-the-top post-processing. And maybe it's just from being in a 58-year-old gym. But I'm concerned because you noted the same problems with all of my outdoor shots too.

The VB semifinals were last night, so I went back to the same gym and used a little lower exposure... still 1D Mk4, M, 85mm, ISO 3200, WB=3300, but this time I bumped the SS from 1/1000" to 1/1250" to see if they look less washed out.

These pictures aren't really noteworth for action. They certainly don't warrant a separate thread. So I'll just add them here. At this point I'm more interested in hearing tips for post-processing...

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B8.







Nov 09, 2012 at 08:09 PM
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