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Archive 2013 · Gymnastics.....My First Post

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gymnastics.....My First Post

Both my young daughters are aspiring gymnast. Through them I have learned to appreciate the skill and beauty of this sport. Now I am learning to capture that skill and beauty with my camera. C & C welcomed (gulp).






Feb 26, 2013 at 07:33 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gymnastics.....My First Post

I am no expert when it comes to gymnastics -- but a couple of universal things from a sports shooting perspective.

#1 Watch your crooked horizons. 1, 3 & 5 look like they could be straightened.

#2 Do everything you can to avoid chopping limbs like what happened to her left hand in number 2.

Let me commend you for taking the leap and posting in the sports corner. All of us have had a "first post." One thing I will promise is that by posting here and actively listening to what the pros tell you will make you images SOOOOOOOO much better -- and in quick order. Reach out to guys like Russ Isabella and ask them for help. Look at the images they post. Try to do the same thing when it comes to shooting angles. Look at the lenses and focal lengths they choose. Mimic that if you can.

Again welcome.


Feb 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gymnastics.....My First Post

#4 and 5 are the best to my eye. I think you white balance is off a bit and shows in the green hue to the skin tones. This is especially evident in #4 with the coaches green face. The lighting in gyms can be a nightmare to get correct color balance in especially if they use mixed lighting types.

Thank you for sharing you images and a welcome to you.


Feb 26, 2013 at 01:59 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gymnastics.....My First Post

Thank you Rick. taking the step to post can be a bit intimadating but worth it for shure. I see the corrections need in the horizon in the images you pointed out. thank you. photo number 2 was shot with a 135mm prime and I lost the part of the hand in the quick framing of the picture as the gymnast was moving toward me. however, point taken and I will keep that in mind for sure.

I appreciate your taking the time to share those observations with me and look forward to learning and inproving my shots.


Feb 26, 2013 at 03:05 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gymnastics.....My First Post


Thank you. this gym was definantly mixed lighting. While it had more light than most gyms I have been in, it was a challenge to get consistent color correct. In #4 I think I was focusing on the skin tone of the gymnast which was in a different light than the coach. I'll see what i can do and repost.

Thank you for the welcome and thank you for your comments.


Feb 26, 2013 at 03:16 PM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Gymnastics.....My First Post

Welcome to the Sports Corner. As Rick mentioned this is a great place to get honest critique and helpful suggestions, as there are many excellent photographers here willing to share their knowledge.

Checking your exif data, you have very low shutter speeds and you'll need to raise them to have any chance of stopping action. I don't have a 5d3, but from what I have seen and read here it is very good with high ISO. Try raising your ISO enough to get a SS of 1/640 or higher, a little noise can be fixed in post while a little motion blur cannot. I regularly have to shoot at ISO 8000 or 10000 to get the SS I need and if properly exposed in camera a little NR makes them look pretty good ( I use a 1d4).

Getting the WB adjusted is very important to having a photo that look "right", unfortunately with many lighting systems it can change from one image to the next. Setting a custom WB can help, but if the lights cycle (color varies) you still need to adjust in post.

I hope these comments help. Good luck and keep posting.


Feb 26, 2013 at 03:25 PM

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Gymnastics.....My First Post


Yes shutter speed. In the past I have not had great luck with correcting the noise in post when using the higher shutter speeds and ISO. I guess it just has me gun shy. I use Lightroom for post, which I am still learning as well. As you point out there is no correction for motion blur. A 1D4 is on my wish list for the additional reach of the crop and the speed in FPS. It seems to me that it would be a good combination and compliment to the 5D3.

Thanks for your comments and encouragement.


Feb 26, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Russ Isabella
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Gymnastics.....My First Post

Vince: Welcome to the sports corner and thanks for posting your images.

I like the idea of #1, but I'm not sure you've nailed the focus.

With #2, when in doubt, go high, meaning this would be a fine shot cropped at mid-thigh if you'd captured her hands, so if you have to choose between hands and feet, in this case, I'd go for the hands. Also, to my eye, WB on this one needs to be a bit warmer.

#3 definitely is the strongest, technically, of the bunch. Not a particularly interesting shot, though, which starts with the athlete.

#4 doesn't work for me. Either wait for her head/face to come down to where it is visible, or forget it. The full handstand on upper bar with full face is an easy grab, so this just doesn't cut it.

I like that #5 is different from the norm, but...

For posting, it would be helpful if you would reduce the size of your images to 800 pixels on the long side. Even with a decent sized monitor, I have to scroll to see all of one of these vertically oriented images.

Keep at it. I think #'s 1 and 2 show best your ability to see and capture interesting moments. Post more when you've got 'em.

Feb 26, 2013 at 04:49 PM

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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Gymnastics.....My First Post


Thank you for taking the time to view my images and share your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and taken to heart as were all the comments and suggestions thus far. I have a lot to digest and not very much of the gymnastics season left to apply the great comments I have recieved. However many of them apply to other sports other than this one. I shot my first baseball game over the weekend as well so perhaps I will share some of thoes as well.

I was lucky at the Maryland meet that I was able to move around with much more access than normal. I wolud appreciate any suggestions you or others might have about requesting permission to shoot at local colleges or high schools. Our girls are in middle school so access through them is a few years away.

Thanks for the welcome and your comments.


Feb 26, 2013 at 09:01 PM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Gymnastics.....My First Post

Welcome to FM Vince! Looking forward to seeing more of your gymnastics shots.

You've received lots of good advice so far so I will just try to add a few unique suggestions on the gymnastics side of things.

First, it looks like the girls you were shooting are at an advanced level but there is only one actual skill shown (a giant or handstand). I would suggest that you try very hard to capture some of the more advanced skills when you get these opportunities. You will always be able to capture poses at any skill level but advanced skills can only be captured from advanced gymnasts.........and it's hard to do that initially.

Second, frequently ask for the opinions of your daughters on any given photo. You can safely assume that they are right...............always.

Have fun and keep posting.


Feb 27, 2013 at 03:32 AM

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