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tmak400
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Soccer Time


Critiques and comments are appreciated!



Tom Makofski

  NIKON D50    200mm    f/6.3    1/500s    0.0 EV  




Jun 09, 2017 at 12:54 AM
glort
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Soccer Time



Sorry, I don't think it's a good photo in any way really.

To me it appears over cropped hence giving the grainy look and a lack of sharpness.
Seeing you were only using a 200mm lens, over cropping would be a likely cause to me as 200mm on a soccer field does not go very far in filling a frame. Other thing might be you had the ISO maxed out or near it which also doesn't help.

The cropping of the hair does not seem aesthetically pleasing and that the framing was too tight at the top.

The left hand of the player seems to be going up the nose of the player behind her but both of the non subject players in the BG are in distracting positions. I find myself looking at the main player then my eyes moving around to the others and my attention being drawn away.

The square crop gives me the impression of the pic trying to be " salvaged" from other things in the BG or due to tight cropping of a distant subject that has induced the grainy look.

The uniforms of the players behind blend into that of the subject and make her less defined and the picture again a little confusing.

This may be a shot of your daughter and capture elements and expressions you can relate to knowing her. If it's a pic you are looking to sell to another parent, I'd say it misses the mark and the wow factor one generally wants.

I shoot a lot of my own 20 yo daughters soccer games and it's not easy to get a good shot every game... for me at least. Based on my experience, there's a good chance the girl in this shot would look at it and freak because she doesn't like her expression, her hair isn't perfect, she's not wearing makeup , her uniform isn't sitting just right etc but then again I get that with near every pic I take. :0)

The light in this pic to me looks pretty Dull so I'd say you were up against it from the start.
I'm not going to say you should go back and do this or that because I think especially in this instance, thats a load of crap. You can only try to capture what's in front of you as it happens and for a large part, if you think too much you have lost the shot. Not to say you can't be aware of things but there is little in your control.

Over all I'd say this pic generally misses the mark and while OK for the family album or a slide show for her 21st, isn't anything to write home about as a sports photograph.

Only one way to get a real winner though and that's keep on shooting and developing your eye and reflexes for it and spend enough time with your eye in the viewfinder and the opportunities will come. :0)



Jun 09, 2017 at 01:57 AM
AceCo55
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Soccer Time


glort wrote:
I shoot a lot of my own 20 yo daughters soccer games and it's not easy to get a good shot every game... for me at least. Based on my experience, there's a good chance the girl in this shot would look at it and freak because she doesn't like her expression, her hair isn't perfect, she's not wearing makeup , her uniform isn't sitting just right etc but then again I get that with near every pic I take. :0)


Ain't that the truth - unless they look like a model, they are very citical.

For this photo I tend to agree with Glort's assessment - unless it is a relative or being used for a photo record then I would tend to reject it.
I can't see what the ISO was so I'm not sure if the noise is due to high ISO or heavy crop.

Great sports photos tend to have four elements: FACT
F - "face". Having a face and if possible an emotive face is more compelling that a back view
A - "action". Read up on peak action and try to anticipate that moment - knowing the sport and having experience helps here
C - "contest". Tension, effort, determination, competition between two/three players
T - "toy". Often a ball, bat, racquet

A great photo generally has all four elements
A good photo generally has three of the four
An average/OK? photo may only have two of the four
A photo with only one element is usually not compelling enough to keep

Keep at it. Action and emotion.
I throw away a LOT more photos than I keep but one of the things I LOVE about sports photography is that you never know what you are going to get!
Some days/photos are diamonds - other photos "meh"/delete



Jun 09, 2017 at 07:43 AM
glort
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Soccer Time


AceCo55 wrote:
Great sports photos tend to have four elements: FACT
F - "face". Having a face and if possible an emotive face is more compelling that a back view
A - "action". Read up on peak action and try to anticipate that moment - knowing the sport and having experience helps here
C - "contest". Tension, effort, determination, competition between two/three players
T - "toy". Often a ball, bat, racquet


That's an excellent rule of thumb to keep in mind.




Jun 09, 2017 at 08:21 AM
schlotz
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Soccer Time


Tom,

1/500 is too slow for soccer and f/6.3 is too closed. Tough part here could also be where the focal point was placed especially if it landed on solid black, and having additional surrounding AF points to help can actually make things worse in that what the camera decides to lock on is not the intended target/spot. These three things usually provide OOF results. Add a heavy crop and it only gets worse. BTW: shot is a tad under exposed which also doesn't help matters.

Next time out, put it in Manual mode, keep the speed above 1/1000. If your rig has it, use autoISO. F/4 is a good starting point. Use a single focal point and practice. The more you shoot to more you'll gain experience in keeping the focal point on the intended target.

As a general rule, I do not shoot below 1/1250 and if the light is good it's always 1/1600 or above. In addition to autoISO, my rig has the ability to also add EC so I have it set to +1/3EC to keep from underexposing.

Keep shooting, it gets better

Matt



Jun 09, 2017 at 12:14 PM
 

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tmak400
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Soccer Time


glort and AceCo55

Excellent critique. Thanks for taking the time. I'll try to put it to good use!

Here is a jpg of the original capture. As this is an old photo, I can not remember what the iso was but I suspect it was rather high. I do remember it being an overcast day.

Thanks again. Tom





Jpg Copy of Original Capture




Jun 09, 2017 at 12:34 PM
tmak400
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Soccer Time


Thanks Matt!


Jun 09, 2017 at 01:09 PM
PureMichigan
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Soccer Time


What Glort said about his daughter not liking photos due to her hair, expression, uniform , makeup etc... This is an important observation and something we don't talk about much. I throw out a lot of women's sports photos that I wouldn't if the subject were a man. I don't "think" I'm sexist . But except at the pro level, a grimacing action shot of a lady athlete is, in my experience, dead in the water. There are of course exceptions. When it comes to shooting HS sports, in my experience boys outsell girls by a wide margin.

My daughter is an accomplished volleyball player and typically hates photos of her on the field of battle for all the reasons cited above. And when I take action pictures of her teammates, she reserve the right to ask me to remove those that are less than flattering. And that's a fairly high percentage. So I do it to support my kid's school, the program and give some balance to my coverage. But there is zero financial incentive to do so.

I thought Title 9 was supposed to take care of all of this?



Jun 09, 2017 at 01:13 PM
glort
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Soccer Time



Can't begin to tell you how many arguments my daughter and I have had over this.
I think I have taken the best sports shot of her ever and she is demanding I delete it and threatening me with death if I put it on FB or anything else.

I used to shoot a LOT of horse events. There was a similar mind set that was ingrained with them too. Again, you think you had the winner of all shots ( or the failure) and the riders hated it or loved what you were cursing yourself for not being more careful in the culling.

A shot I would think was a winner and the rider as well as the action looked spot on, they would reject. The reason why?..... the horses ear's weren't in the right position or the tail wasn't right. Universal complaint no matter where I went, amateurs or pros, Kids to adults, same thing every time, forget about everything else, pay attention to the ears and tail.

And it followed right through. Forget about the shot being in sharp focus, or completely out of focus. If they can see those ears and tail is right ( and I never did find where the tail was supposed to be) they would not only buy it, they would love it. Didn't matter if the rider looked like she just sat on a cactus or got the fright of her life, long as those ears and tail were right it was a fantastic shot.

I did show jumping, dressage, hacking, eventing, you name it. All the same only the boring arse dressage events came with the extra proviso of the horse and riders feet being in the correct position.

I really think a lot of sports shooters have it wrong ( like many other shooters).
They spend far too much time trying to strive for their own goals of perfection but don't seem to pay any regard to what the clients are looking for in pictures.

I got thrown into the deep end with the horse stuff and it didn't help my equine knowledge was limited to which was the head and which was the other end.
It wasn't hard to shoot though for me. Before I shot a thing, I asked everyone I could, what made a good picture, what did they like to see, what was important to them, what would make them buy a picture? And i kept asking everyone I could the full 3.5 years I did it. Client feedback is VERY important to me.

Ear's, tail, right at the top of a jump ( ears HAD to be forward) and that was about it. Each discipline had another quirk or two such as the dressage with the feet or getting the splash as they went through a water obstacle in cross country but it was pretty obvious anyway.

What no one ever mentioned was the technical quality. Some of my shots were crap, no two ways about it and they got through culling and they sold. They sold so embarrassingly well. I'd look at the pic on the screen or the print, I'd look at the shot taken a split second before or after which may have even had better action but there was no way in Hell you could convince them to take the other pic.
Nope, the intangibles in that one were perfect and that was it.

I remember early on seeing one shot a girl ordered that was bad. I mean real bad. focus was like it had been shot through grease proof paper. Was basically a silhouette. I only saw it when I went back to the trailer and saw the teenage girl walking off with it. I did an about face and asked to see it and freaked. I apologised and went back to the trailer and quietly as I could ripped my kids a new one for not giving her something else. They like I, couldn't talk her out of it.

Late in the day I saw the girl with her mother and went over and spoke to the mother. I apologized for the terrible pic and insisted she come over and pick another couple. The girl and the mother were telling me it was fine, she loved the shot. I felt like I was ripping them off. An announcement was made and the girl had to go. As soon as she left the mother told me laughing that the focus of the pic didn't matter. Her daughter only had 15% eyesight and everything was out of focus to her.
She said she loved the pic because it was basically in her view a silhouette anyway and she could make out the ears and the tail which were perfect.

They were some of the best clients I had. The mother and I would always chat and she confided in me the girl was going blind and only had a couple of years sight left before the degenerative disease she had made her totally blind.
We quickly came to a standing arrangement with the pics. Whenever Shae was riding we'd all go to that arena and shoot. My son who ran the trailer would put all her pics in a seperate folder and at the end of the day would burn a disk. The mother would come over, hand us $100, we'd give her the disk with whatever we shot on it which was always everything we could get and often it was just a smile and a see you next time through the rest of the crowd and that was it.

At Christmas the mother ordered the biggest print I could do of a shot that was thankfully a very good pic. I did it 60x40 . The mother wanted it big so her daughter could make out as best detail as possible. It was a big hit and I also off my own back did a slide show for her with really rocking music which apparently the girl loved even more. She was a great kid and touched all of us so I figured it was the least I could do to show her as the hero she really was. I wouldn't have roade that mountain of a horse she had and I was twice her size and had no handicap. She had guts getting on the thing and 10X more for the handicap she had to deal with.
She was right up there with the best of them though.

After we stopped with the horse events a friend who had a daughter that rode told me Shae had an operation and got about 32% sight back which was very unexpected and cured the degeneration problem. She became a training rider and was doing very well with it.

Certainly a rare example but a very valid illustration that our customers have a different outlook on what we do. They look at SO many other things that never even occur to us and just because we think we may have nailed a shot does not mean they will. In my overall and wide experience, I'd say a lot of the time the better we like a pic the greater the chance they won't but will love the one we rejected as not being as good.

I always spoke to my clients as often as I could trying to get feedback from them and work out what THEY liked. Only logical to me. I'm there to make money not indulge my own self gratification so really, who cares what I like?
I could turn up to any event any time and take pictures that I liked but the bottom line was, I had no interest in horses anyway other than the income I could get shooting them.... with a camera of course! :0)

I do Glamour Photography and it's hard enough to get a shot a woman really likes when you do their hair and makeup perfect, they wear their favourite clothes and you pull out all the stops.
Trying to get a sports shot they like...... that's really shoving the proverbial uphill.



Jun 11, 2017 at 01:53 PM
tmak400
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Soccer Time


What a wonderful story!


Jun 11, 2017 at 02:29 PM







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