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  1. #1
    Member
    ZiN's Avatar

    Question Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    Hey Nikonites!

    So I'm back with yet another question or more discussion since this could get interesting based upon the various experience here. I've got a project coming up that could spiral into a full blown gig depending on the success I have. So let me lay out the setting before asking for members advice/tips on gear/settings to look into.

    Not sure if anyone here is into MMA/UFC but as of April 2011 it will be legal to host fighting events in Ontario, as such the local gyms are all in a buzz getting ready for it. I've got a buddy I've known since we were kids that's going PRO as a fighter that's putting me on a trial run to be his photographer, if all goes as planned he'd like to make me his exclusive photographer. So naturally I want to do this right, hah. Could lead to a full time gig and some awesome photo opportunities.

    So I've yet to make it out to the gym where he trains but will be doing so on Tuesday but I assume the lighting is varied in there yet from what I've seen it has lots of overhead tube lighting. Should make for enough lighting for pretty much anything I am trying to capture, I think. Which is why I am asking you, the nikonites for your feedback on what you'd bring to such a shoot.

    Trying to figure out if I am going to need to possibly rent another lens or a external flash.

    Bottom line, the purpose of the first shoot will be to capture training sessions.

    Here is my equipment that I have so far:

    D90
    Nikkor 18-55mm DX VR lens
    Nikkor 35mm DX Lens
    1 - ND Filter & 1 - Multi UV Filter
    Small and medium triopds

    Cheers and Happy New Year!


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    fotojack's Avatar

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    Well, so far, you're on the right track as far as lenses go. However, I would definitely add a fast glass lens, something with f2.8 or faster, such as your 35mm lens. You'll definitely need a flash. Get yourself an SB-600 to start with maybe. Add a difuser to it, lots of Eneloop batteries (they last forever). Get yourself a monopod. Easier to move around with and still keep the camera steady. These are my suggestions.
    Thanks/Like jdeg Thanks/liked this post
     
    Jack

    We guarantee quick answers....no matter how long it takes!

    The floggings will continue until morale improves!
    *************************************************
    D300
    D2Xs
    All Nikkor lenses except where stated otherwise:
    35 1.8/ 50 1.8/ 18-105/ 18-55/70-300/ Tokina AT-X Pro SD 11-16 F2.8 (IF) DX
    Tamron AF 28-75 2.8

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    Shoot in Raw - you can then adjust the white balance after the shoot if it is wrong. I tend to go for the white balance that is strongest if it is mixed lighting, and that sounds like fluorescent they way you have described it.

    The lens should be ok, but I can see you wanting a slightly longer focal length in time, if things go the way you hope they will (and I hope they will too for your sake).

    Maybe think about a monopod, although the VR will help a lot if the light is low.

    The on camera flash will not give you that much light, even if you over flash it, so an external would be a good idea. ALthough I have praised the SB900 and SBO800 in other articles, the Metz is also a great gun and gives you good off the camera position with ease of control.

    Try some large aperture shots too, to isolate the subject from the background, it often works well.

    You will get other really good advice from people more experienced in this type of photography, cricket is my love and it is a bit slower and done in a lot more light!

    Use the training session to practise to start with, as your friend improves, so will you. I am sure you will make a great team
    Thanks/Like jdeg Thanks/liked this post
     

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Joseph Bautsch's Avatar

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    You will be facing the same problems when trying to shoot basketball or volleyball in a gym, not enough light for good stop action. In a training gym you will have general lighting similar to what you will find in any gym. In a match you will have subdued lighting around the ring with most of the lighting overhead lighting up the ring. This type lighting will cause downcast shadows and you will have to compensate for that in your exposures. They probably won't allow flash at a match since a flash could cause a fighter to lose his concentration or momentarily distract him which would not be good. Use as fast a lens as you can afford. A lens with VR will be your best friend. Getting good exposures will be a matter of practice and experimentation for the best settings. The training gym will be your training gym as well. The D90 will take very good shots in the 1000-1250 ISO range which will help get the shutter speed up for stop action. White Balance will always be a problem. I would suggest using an 18% gray card, even a white sheet of copy paper will do, and do a WB preset before a match. The D90 will allow you to store up the five WB presets. Once you find a good WB for a particular gym or match ring store it for subsequent shooting sessions. And by all means have business cards printed up to give out to other fighters and fight promoters. They all want and need photos for promotion and advertising. Don't limit yourself to just your friend. He is the ticket to get into the game but there is more money to be made in volume. Hope this helps.
    Thanks/Like jdeg Thanks/liked this post
     
    Happy shooting,
    Joseph

    William Faulkner: "Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."
    Jonathan Swift: "You can't make a Silk Purse out of a Sow's Ear." (Especially if you think you can fix it in post processing.)

  5. #5
    Member
    ZiN's Avatar

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    fotojack: Glad to know I am on the right track here, still have much I need to save up for. Yet if I need things now I might rent them, was looking into flashes and they're quite affordable to rent. Same goes with lenses so if I feel I am not getting what I want from my current kit I can attempt to rent the items I need. Cheers.

    Naja: I love RAW, I shoot in nothing else. My graphic design side requires it since I normally play with my photos afterward anyway.

    It seems like many people are suggesting monopods now a days, have no experience with them but would be willing to give them a look see.

    Was also looking at the SB900, sure it's top of the line Nikon but if I get a external flash I'd like it to be top notch. Like I was mentioning to fotojack, worse case I can rent one locally if I need one.

    Joseph:
    Yeah the actual matches will require some better equipment I am sure but as far as I know he doesn't have any coming up soon, so now is the time to get that much needed experience. 1000-1025 ISO seems a bit high, if not insanely grainy? I don't know what it is but I find myself really disliking how grainy digital ISO is, like it stats to become noticeable to me at 800. I am not familiar with setting a WB preset but definitely something I will need to look into by the sounds of it, especially if it helps with getting better shots in this environment. And definitely, he actually mentioned that other fighters might be interested in hiring me for some work after the exposure this could bring. So I guess I will need to get some cards made up soon, heh. Thanks for the great advice.

    One other thing I think is worth mentioning is the fighter is very dark skinned, so I am sure this will present more challenges getting a complete range of depth to muscle tone, shadow, etc. Could result in needing extra external lighting, going to be quite the learning experience.

    Again, cheers for all the advice.

  6. #6
    Snow White
    ohkphoto's Avatar

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    Definitely a fast lens (at least f/2.8) You need to take the time to experiment with different combinations (shutter speed. f-stop and iso) to see what will give you the least amount of noise.

    I highly recommend the SB-900. If you're going to invest in equipment, you might as well go for something that will talk to your camera and other flashes (nikon's "creative lighting system"), and the off camera possibilities are endless. I have two and don't regret the added cost -- they have been real "image savers"!

    You might check some of the posts by Ranie and Anthony --they have several interesting "fighter" shots.

    Good luck and what a great opportunity for you (and for your friend)

    Best Regards
    Thanks/Like jdeg Thanks/liked this post
     
    Helene of OHK Photography and here's what I do with my images: Vivacini


    There are always possibilities.
    --Spock

  7. #7
    Member
    ZiN's Avatar

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    So for Tuesday I think I am going to rent a SB-900 flash and go in there armed with just my D90 and the 35mm, I don't think I am going to need anything else. I will bring the 18-55mm with me just in case but for the shots I'll be taking I think the 35mm will more than handle everything with the option of an external flash.

    I'm excited, is it Tuesday yet?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    fotojack's Avatar

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    Get back to us on the results, ZiN. I'm anxious to hear and see how they turn out.
    Jack

    We guarantee quick answers....no matter how long it takes!

    The floggings will continue until morale improves!
    *************************************************
    D300
    D2Xs
    All Nikkor lenses except where stated otherwise:
    35 1.8/ 50 1.8/ 18-105/ 18-55/70-300/ Tokina AT-X Pro SD 11-16 F2.8 (IF) DX
    Tamron AF 28-75 2.8

  9. #9
    Member
    ZiN's Avatar

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotojack View Post
    Get back to us on the results, ZiN. I'm anxious to hear and see how they turn out.
    Like I would be cruel like that and starve you guys after giving me some great advice.

  10. #10
    Snow White
    ohkphoto's Avatar

    Re: Upcoming project - Tips for possible low light, fast motion captures?

    I'm excited, is it Tuesday yet?
    I love your enthusiasm! Good luck and have fun!

    Best Regards
    Helene of OHK Photography and here's what I do with my images: Vivacini


    There are always possibilities.
    --Spock





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