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Old 03-06-2009, 12:17 PM
FluffyZooCrew
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Question Action Shots?

Can anyone help me with outdoor action shots?

I have a Fuji S6000fd, and I have to struggle to get good action shots. Yes, I know, I post a lot of action shots, but I miss ones that are even much better. I've missed some really priceless ones, because I can't figure out how to capture them without blurring! (Laurelin, you take the most amazing freaking outdoor action shots, got any advice?? )

First, I have the camera on sports mode. The problem is, I have to "focus" on one of the dogs and 99.9% of the time, it struggles to focus on them, and instead focuses on the grass, the fence behind them, a tree behind them...

And then, if they are already running or jumping in motion, it's even harder to follow them with the camera and get it to focus before I can take the shot.

Any advice on this? Or advice on how to get action shots easier? (Or better, for that matter )
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:51 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is online now
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I honestly just messed around until it worked out, LOL!

I have a DSLR. For action shots I usually shoot in aperture priority. I'm not sure if that's what you're supposed to use, but that's what I use. I up the shutter speed and toggle the ISO as needed (usually 200-800 depending on the day)

Also, since I have short dogs I either sit or lie down on the ground. they like to run in big circles so you can usually figure out where they're going to be before they get there. I still get a lot of headless dog pics. XD
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:52 PM
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Shutter speed UP, aperture down is my rule of thumb
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:01 PM
FluffyZooCrew
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Thanks guys! I've been messing around with my manual settings (because I have been shooting in automatic sports mode). We'll see what I can do later today!
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:11 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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I don't know anything about your camera but do you have any focusing options in your menu?
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:57 PM
FluffyZooCrew
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It has 3, but I found them useless and all the same! One is for "spot focus" on one particular object, one is for "multiple spot focus" on several objects, and the other is like an all focus, where nothing in blurred in the background. But when I put it on that setting, it was still focusing like it always did and still blurring out the background.

And I didn't get to test it out this evening, as my dad came in off the big rigs and I had to go with him somewhere. Now it's dark. But hopefully tomorrow will be a pretty day, and I'll get out there with the crew and test out some manual settings.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:21 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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Are you panning? And what are you wanting for action shots? Clear face but lots of motion blur around?
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:48 PM
FluffyZooCrew
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I want them to look like Laurelin's shots, LOL. Look inn her sig, see how she is getting action shots without blurring? Let me show you what I get 99.9% of the time because it focuses on the wrong thing:



I had it focused right on her as she was running, but instead it blurred her, and focused on everything on the background. That's what I am having problems with.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:14 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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Yeah Laurelin does get really good shots.

What are you parameters? And where are you focusing?

My best advice without knowing more is to aim the center focal spot (square usually) on the eye closest to you and hold your camera stead and 'pan' with him while he moves. Make sure that your focal spot is the one that is being used. Mine lights up when it focuses.

Hold your camera steady using your left hand as a brace under your lens liek this:


Set your camera so you can take continuous shots.

Use a shutter speed of at LEAST 1/125 but get it as high as you can with your lighting conditions.

Shoot in good light but not too bright. Don't use a flash. Unless you have an expensive class it will slow your camera down. And even then... So shoot in good light but don't shoot towards the sun.

Did we talk about your light meter before? That bar at the bottom of your viewfinder. What I'd like you to try is to put your camera on manual (not manual focus) and set your aperature at f8. This is always a good starting point. You can open it up later to get different effects. Once it's at f8 move your shutter speed around until you can get a pretty fast speed while keeping your light metering bar in the centre. Set it as high as you can without leaving your centre mark. take a test pic of anything and see how it looks. If it's over exposed up you shutter speed and/or aperture. If it's underexposed slow your shutter speed back down a couple times and try again.

Hopefully that helps.

Oh and I would use spot focusing and focus ont he eye and keep the shutter button halfway down. It should continue to focus while you are doing that and then shoot shoot shoot! You should get a few good ones. Just play from there.
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