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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #1
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Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Since tennis photography is often discussed in various threads and the valuable advice and info gets lost there I thought it was time to open a thread and share it where it could be found again

We have a wide range of photographers on here, from amateurs to absolute pros (like Rick) so I think there's lots of knowledge that can be shared!

I would also love to see the best shots from all you guys, doesn't matter if they`re recent or not, WTA or national level - Show them off
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 07:44 PM   #2
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

I'l start off by reposting the bit I posted in Hindrance's topic:

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melange View Post
Jimmie48 i took some http://www.flickr.com/photos/7429565...7632523273794/ Do you have any advice on how i can improve my photos
I'll try

Focus looks spot on in most so you have that covered. What kind of lens do you use? I see that most shots have been made with 5.6 aperture but some are f5..can you open the lens further?

I'll ask because the more open the lens is the more you can play with depth of field and blur the background, that will make the players "pop out" much more.

One thing I notice is that you have lots of shots where half of the feet are cut off. I know this may be a personal preference kind of thing but I'll always go for either upper body shots (cutting off somewhere around the knees or higher) or shots of the whole player where you can see the feet in action as well.

But cutting them of somewhere through the feet looks like it's neither that nor the other, just like a missed shot. Generally it's best to make up your mind before taking shots whether you want to have the full player in frame or go for more of a closeup, then you won't end up with so many in-betweens

Another thing is court positioning: I understand that on bigger courts you`re stuck with your seat so there's nothing you can do. But I think some of these have been made on the training courts and I assume you can position yourself freely on the sides there? If so, making shots of returns works best when you stay around the net, then it almost looks like the player is facing you and you can do shots like this:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BArKtRZCYAAraCV.jpg:large

You can capture both the ball and the player from that point, either when it hits the racket or before/after. It works from the opposite baseline as well, going over the net. You need quite a lot of focal length for that though.

Hope that helps you

FWIW, I still think TF needs some kind of tennis photography topic for discussions like these, sharing images etc
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 07:50 PM   #3
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Photography is my number 1 hobby, too bad I still suck I have a good camera with a good lens but have no idea how to make the most of it
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 08:23 PM   #4
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

What camera do you have?
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 10:42 PM   #5
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Last Indian Wells I took my D200 with 70-200 VR and 24-70 and learned that having two lenses is not a good idea. Long focal length is good when you sit in the stands, but then the situation changes quickly when yo go to the grounds and see a player walking by you. Then there is no time or conditions to change the lenses and you are screwed.

This year I decided to take superzoom 28-300 on D700. I don't need wide aperture as I can always lift ISO to even 6400, and it gives me comfort to be lightweight and always ready. Even the night games should not be a problem. They are very well lit and being on ISO 3200 gives you plenty of options.
And it's always nice to have your wife posing with Djokovic, Simon, Del Potro, Wozniacki and Kvitova.
This year I am going to hunt for Agnieszka and Jerzy Janowicz. Looking forward!

I will create a thread on GM just for the tournament photos. Actually it would be nice to have such thread pinned for others. The thread would be exclusively for current photos taken by us while being on games.

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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Some technical advice:
- make sure to sit with the sun behind you at some angle. Tennis game is not a portrait session where you use creative backlighting. The scene must be properly lit so that you can use short exposure times. Never sit against the sun.
- try to sit at at the corner of the court and focus on the player near you. If it's not your fave then wait for serve change so that she/he comes to you.
- on night session set ISO as high as your camera allows without dramatic loss of quality. On FX cameras it's usually 6400, on DX it's 3200. During sunny day set it on ISO 400. Anyway, set it so that you can use aperture smaller than f/2.8 and exposure faster than 1/128 sec. On f/2.8 or larger it's too easy miss focus.

So to put it together:

- Night or cloudy day: because the lighting condition don't change through the game set mode to M (manual mode), time to 1/128, aperture to f/3.3 (or the lowest your lens allows) and make light measurement of the court with players. See what ISO is necessary for correct light. If ISO has to be higher than 6400 then drop the aperture. If your lens doesn't allow it then make aperture as large as possible and drop time to 1/60 sec, but make sure to shoot only stationary situations and put your lens against some solid object, like your knees or back of the chair in front.

- Sunny day: lighting condition change quite often so set mode to S (speed priority), exposure time to 1/256 sec and ISO to 400 or 800. Sun must be behind you.

Set focus mode on C (continuous servo), and set focus point a bit on the side so that when you set it on the player he/she is facing into the picture, not the edge of frame.

All the above applies only to situation when you actually have some knowledge of aperture, light, ISO and camera controls.
However:
If you are a complete beginner then set the camera mode on green and don't worry about anything. Playing with the controls when you don't know what you are doing will screw up all the pictures. And remember to put the the sun behind you!
If you already have some basic experience set it on Action Mode and don't worry either.
If you are somewhat experienced with camera controls then use the advice above.
If you are very experienced then you don't need any advice, but then we will all appreciate your input


Did I miss something?


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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:21 AM   #7
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Some good stuff there! Feel free to share some of your IW photos!

Yeah, two lenses is always a compromise but there's little way around it. I have the 70-200 VR as well, it's a killer lens but it's too short for some shots, so I have a 300 as well. Unfortunately there really are no decent zooms covering this range with either 2.8 or 4.0 so there's no alternative to having two lenses. Shorter than 70mm is rarely required imo and can be disregarded.

I've gotten pretty quick with lens changes between games but yeah, you`re always bound to miss something. But I guess there's hardly a photographer on court who captures absolutely everything

A word on the ISO: Sometimes it's worth to use the second to last setting as on some cameras start noising excessively on the last setting. You are right, FX cameras are better when it comes to high iso but not all FX cameras are the same. On my D3s I can comfortably use 12.800 so it really depends on the camera.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:33 AM   #8
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Oh, definitely don't go to the last ISO settigs! Even next to last. My rule: 3200 on DX and 6400 on FX.

Try the newly released 28-300 VR. I just bought it and I love it! A bit pricey: approx $1100 but worth it. Perfect for all around reporting.


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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:43 AM   #9
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Thanks for the tips
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:53 AM   #10
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitou View Post

Try the newly released 28-300 VR. I just bought it and I love it! A bt pricey: approx $1100 but worth it. Perfect for all around reporting.
Thanks but too slow, 4.0 is the slowest I'm willing to go, I shoot way too much indoors.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 01:03 AM   #11
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitou View Post
Try the newly released 28-300 VR. I just bought it and I love it! A bt pricey: approx $1100 but worth it. Perfect for all around reporting.
Interesting. Back in the day I considered the 80-200/2.8 the mainstay.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 01:15 AM   #12
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

awesome thread! hopefully I can go to IW again this year and take some shots!

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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 01:18 AM   #13
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pov View Post
Interesting. Back in the day I considered the 80-200/2.8 the mainstay.
That's the 70-200 2.8 VR now pretty much. But 200mm is too short for some shots on FX cameras imo.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 01:26 AM   #14
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

I'm going to Miami this year so hopefully ill have some nice shots for y'all
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 02:21 AM   #15
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Re: Tennis Photography Thread (Galleries/Advice/etc.)

I don't need wide aperture as I can always lift ISO to even 6400, and it gives me comfort to be lightweight and always ready.
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