2012 Cheer season is finally going strong
/forum/topic/1166260/0



boomanbb
Registered: Dec 24, 2003
Total Posts: 268
Country: United States

This year my grand daughter is cheering for Fame Allstars out of Richmod Va. Their first comp was this past Sunday at the VCU Siegel Center and I am happy to say as the team Dad that they took 1st place in their division. Shooting from the stands with my 7D and 70-200 f2.8 non IS I was pretty happy with the shots I got.

Ben

My girl
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Some other shots from the evening
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10
Removed


Hammy
Registered: May 21, 2002
Total Posts: 2843
Country: temp

Great shots Ben!

I know some will complain about the noise, but that can easily be cleaned up, whereas motion blur cannot!

My only nit would be on the last photo, while a great shot, has a little more than bloomers showing. It's just underwear, but the alternate color draws attention and should either not be posted, or cleaned up before display.

Otherwise, good timing, composition and variety!



P Alesse
Registered: Dec 25, 2004
Total Posts: 11379
Country: United States

Good job going tight on those bases in #6.



boomanbb
Registered: Dec 24, 2003
Total Posts: 268
Country: United States

Thanks Guys, shooters like you have set the bar high when it comes to shooting cheer and I have been doing my best to learn from what you do. Being that I am usually limited to the spectator stands, I had to elevate the rest of my technique to make up.

If there is anyone else out there using a 7D and 70-200 f2.8 this is what works for me.


  1. Push ISO up enough to shoot at 1/800s
  2. Back button focus so focus does not change during stunts
  3. Tweaking the custom WB in the camera to minimize the orange cast on darker skin
  4. Shoot in servo mode
  5. Many more in focus shots with AF point expansion
  6. Set the next to top center focus point when landscape
  7. Set the next to top center focus point when in portrait
  8. Turn off automatic preview of images
  9. Use manual setting for ISO, aperture, shutterspeed, WB
  10. Save all settings as custom user C3


I learned that last one at the last comp. While getting my team together, I accidently bumped the mode dial. Walking back into the arena I saw a team already on the floor. Without checking I just started taking pictures. You can guess the rest. Now, by setting the dial to C3, all I have to do is click it off and then back and my settings are restored. It can be done in complete darkness and works 100% of the time.


Hammy
Registered: May 21, 2002
Total Posts: 2843
Country: temp

boomanbb wrote:
If there is anyone else out there using a 7D and 70-200 f2.8 this is what works for me.


  1. Push ISO up enough to shoot at 1/800s
  2. Back button focus so focus does not change during stunts
  3. Tweaking the custom WB in the camera to minimize the orange cast on darker skin
  4. Shoot in servo mode
  5. Many more in focus shots with AF point expansion
  6. Set the next to top center focus point when landscape
  7. Set the next to top center focus point when in portrait
  8. Turn off automatic preview of images
  9. Use manual setting for ISO, aperture, shutterspeed, WB
  10. Save all settings as custom user C3



Ben,
While I normally shoot with 1D bodies (mostly Mark2n), I do have a 7D that I setup center stage to shoot wide angle team shots with a remote trigger.

Personally, I'm ok with slower shutter speeds. 1/400th is usally as low as I'd like to go. Of course I'll push it higher, but it's a trade off between capturing the action of a few high speed shots vs the bulk of more static, cleaner images. Of course when you get to level 4+ tumbling, the faster speeds are nice, but we've found not required most of the time.

I'm not a fan of back button focus. To use it, requires more gripping of the camera with fingers and palm - and for 14+ hour days of shooting, it's much easier for me to use trigger fire for focus, and rear button for the rare times that I want (have time) to recompose but maintain static focus. But we also shoot very tight usually, so recomposition is not common for our purposes.

Tweaking WB - I commonly need this for 7D and older bodies, but newer bodies and most Nikon sensors seem to get the yellow/red (orange) cast much more accuratly balanced out.

AF Expansion - agreed, unless I'm shooting with a tighter lens: 200/1.8 with or without 1.4x. With that lens, I'm constantly drilling through the crowd to pick out the back row, or want to isolate certain bases. The shallow DOF at f/1.8 needs the point I select, rather than the algorithm guessing other points around.

AF points - yes! The only exception is when we get a dance team in unicolor outfits. Then I'll have to move higher or lower to find a contrast point on them. Sometimes, I'll even go full ring and have better luck when subjects just don't have a great point to pick.

Manual settings - yes! WIth a bright stage and dark sides, AV will drive you nuts on tumbling shots. For us, I usually get to work with the lighting crew to focus the stage evenly, but there are times I have had to roll my shutter 2-3 FULL stops going from front to back of the stage! Usually, it's just 1/3-2/3 for some hot spots or fall off on the edge.

Again, great stuff, keep it up!


luketrot
Registered: Mar 01, 2005
Total Posts: 1097
Country: United States

Best advise I could give you shooting your grand kids is to leave the camera home for at least one competition this season. These routines are best viewed without glass in the way.



Gymstar
Registered: Jan 04, 2010
Total Posts: 57
Country: United States

I've been waiting for the cheer threads... Luke, that advice is great for everyone.

Nice shots Ben, I think I get shot #4, but not completely. Keep posting in the future.

Lance.