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  1. #1
    Member frog4gators's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Lynchburg, Va

    taking rodeo night shots

    My brother is a bull rider and is at an event almost every weekend. I just started attempting to take photos of his rides. Majority of his events are at night outside or inside a low lit arena. I have an external flash, high ISO (1000), and a low aperature but the pics are still blurry and grainy. Any advice?
    The first step is BEING THERE to take it...

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Boynton Beach, FL

    Re: taking rodeo night shots

    you have to have at least a shutter speed of 1/640 to get somewhat sharp pics. more if you can. the grain is going to come from the high ISO OR underexposed images. the better the exposure the less the noise. EVEN at high ISO's. best advice i can think of is using something like a 70-200 2.8 lens. the extra stop of light over the f/4 lens is a lot!!

    hopefully others will chime in with some more info.

  3. #3
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Re: taking rodeo night shots

    1000 isn't high really ISO.
    3200 or 6400 is pretty high, but you need a fairly modern camera to get away with ISO that high. Old cameras like my 1DSmkII or 20D are noisy above 400 ISO, newer cameras like my E-P1 work up to 3200 ISO and still look OK.

    Current winner is Nikon in the low light stakes, but you can bet Canon is working on something to beat them - they leapfrog each other in technology.

    If you're using external flash, and the photos are still blurred, then either you flash isn't powerful enough, you aren't close enough, or your exposure settings aren't right.

    It's possible the camera is trying to use the flash as fill flash and so exposing for the background as well as using the flash.
    That would give you a slow shutter speed for a blurred image, and then a sharper flashed image as well.

    I'd like to see some sample images, and if possible leave the EXIF data intact (so don't use save for the web) with that data we can see the shutter speed/aperture the camera chose.

    If it's really dark, I switch to manual mode on the camera and use the highest shutter speed that syncs with flash (1/250 on mine) and adjust the aperture to get enough light.
    Because of the fall-off in light it usually ends up with a black background. Of course I can turn up the power on the flash, either +3 stops, or set the power manually to full.

    But what you can do depends on the reaction of the bull to a bright flash, it may not be a good thing!

    Faster lens definitely helps, all my lenses (except the 100-400 zoom) are f/2.8.
    If you can get close (and I think distance is part of your problem) then there are wide aperture 50mm lenses fairly cheap for most cameras (Canon f/1.8 is under $100).
    That and a really high ISO will help.

    But if it's as dark as it sounds, then you probably have to live with the noise of using a really high ISO.
    I find Lightroom 3 has improved noise reduction, and Noise Ninja is slightly better - but harder to use.

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

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