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Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

debnbill526
Contributor

Hi Everyone. I just purchased a Canon T6i and have a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens. I have to shoot my son's football game this Friday night, which will be under stadium lights.  I'm by no means a photographer, just a mom who likes to take lots of pictures. I try to learn as I go along. I would really appreciate any advice on settings I should be using to get some decent photos. I will be on field taking photos but I am not quite sure about what settings I should be using on this camera.  Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.  

38 REPLIES 38

"I really think you are going to be far better off going with the aperture set wide open and set your shutter speed to a minimum of 1/500 and given the lighting you can probably go to 1/640 or 1/800 ....  Let ISO float or restrict its range   ...."

 

OK this for instance, Rodger is accomplished and experienced, he knows how to make certain settings for his purpose but I still want you to avoid doing some of these or his settings.  At this point fix your ISO, don't use auto ISO.  Also let the camera select from the full range of shutter speeds.  When using Av this is the main most important part telling the camera to select the fastest SS it can for the conditions. Not letting the ISO float. You can see in his samples that the ISO went very high.

 

If you set your format to Raw as suggested, in LR you can export a jpg to any size you choose.  That will allow you to u/l to the forum easlily.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

If it is raining try this........

 

666.jpg

 

You do not need any fancy gear.  I used a similar set up during a photo shoot in a hurricane!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Actually, I used the plastic from the monopod and it worked great!

"...I used the plastic from the monopod and it worked great!"

 

??????Smiley Indifferent  for what?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

You are probably tiring of seeing samples and examples but here is a couple that demonstrate you do n't need anything but the simplest settings to get nighttime football shots.  However, my main most thing is the marching band.

 

 

 

222.jpg

 

The light here is not totally gone but the stadium lights were on as it was darker than the shot shows.

 

555.jpg

 

In the second shot I did have to slow the SS way down as far as I could to get the fireworks. Below is one much later in the season and it was very dark.

 

JW7X0308-Edit.jpg

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

If you have facebook, you can take a look at some of the shots i took: https://www.facebook.com/groups/573573310064321/

 

it may ask you to become a member, which I can approve-- 

Deborah,

 

I looked at your photos and you got some keepers out of the group.  When you process them in DPP (or whatever you are using) you can choose to reduce the resolution of the created file.  Irfanview is a really easy to use free image viewer that has a handy save function where you can set the output file size limit and I use this a lot when I want to reduce a photo file size quickly for non-critical purposes.

 

I really think you are going to be far better off going with the aperture set wide open and set your shutter speed to a minimum of 1/500 and given the lighting you can probably go to 1/640 or 1/800  with the field lighting conditions. Going faster is better because otherwise you are going to get too much motion blur.  Let ISO float or restrict its range if it is going higher than your comfort zone with the camera.  I would also restrict your focus points to avoid the camera grabbing focus on the background or something else that you don't want.

 

The lighting was horrible at the field Friday night but at least it wasn't raining.  I kept the shutter set at 1/800 except for a few non-action shots.  The boys got a nice 26-8 road win including running back the opening kickoff and they are having a great time.

 

Shooting in the rain is miserable and I have done it a few times.  I have the Canon raincoats for my long tele primes and for the 70-200 but it makes using two bodies at once a real pain.  Hopefully this will be your one rain game for the season.

 

And on edit, with the F2.8 and 1/800 combination depending upon the place on the field a proper exposure occurred between ISO 6400 and ISO 16,000.  I hadn't been to this field before and in looking at the photos in post I could have safely locked ISO to 8,000 and corrected in post for RAW.

 

RodgerAQ9I3065.JPG

 

AQ9I3173.JPG

 

B18T0076.JPG

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

ebiggs1
Legend

" I will be on field taking photos ... "

 

This is number one. Location you shoot from is the most important thing.  The second most important thing is to learn the game.  You may have thought I would send you to a lot of confusing instructions about photography but no. Knowledge of the game you are shooting is key. This goes hand in hand with location which we already established as the most important thing.  You will know where to be as to what is happening on the field.

 

"... but I am not quite sure about what settings"

 

Neither I nor anybody that is not there can be sure.  You can't tell a person what to use if you aren't there in person to see it.  I can give you a general starting point that you may, will, need to adjust as you shoot.

 

Set your Rebel T6i to Av mode. Use Raw file format, not jpg.  You will need a post editor but you got one free from Canon (DPP4). Set your Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens to AF. Fix the aperture to f4 in the T6i, maybe f5.6 if there is enough light.  The T6i will select the fastest SS possible to get  a proper exposure. The ISO needs to be quite high I will guess, so let's start with ISO 1600. If that works well try ISO 800, if not try 3200.  You can set the WB to average it doesn't matter with Raw as you will set it on post edit. Set the focus point in the T6i to just the center point.  Turn all the others off.  Use One Shot. If you don't know how to do all of this consult your manual or come back and ask.

 

Wait a minute did I hear you say, "I don't want to post edit my photos."? If you did say that then you don't want the best photos you can get so just shoot whatever and forget about it.  Post editing is mandatory for the best, greatest, photos.

 

So here is what we got from this........

1 Location.

2 Knowledge of the game.

3 Use Raw file format.

4 Av mode and adjust if necessary. Use higher ISO numbers.

5 Post edit the shots.

 

Simple Smiley Happy

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Thank you! I tried shooting a bit last night on the Manual mode with the following settings:  1/10, F4 ISO 1600 RAW+JPEG. I played around a lot with the settings to get the best images possible while knowing that on the field will be much different. The field is well lit as I can remember. The problem is, game starts at 7-it's not quite dark at 7 in New Jersey, so the lights will progressively go on as the game goes on-so it may be a bit tough and the first game pictures, I will assume, will not be all that great as I will have to play around a lot with the settings.  Question--if I keep it in RAW+JPEG mode and want to edit, I should be safe, correct? I watched a lot of videos yesterday-thanks to everyones advice on here, and it seems to be the way to go for a beginner such as myself.  I also just ordered a monopod to use while shooting to keep the pictures more steady as I shoot.  

These are the keys.  Don't do this and you will likely fail.

 

1 Location.

2 Knowledge of the game.

3 Use Raw file format.

4 Av mode and adjust if necessary. Use higher ISO numbers.

5 Post edit the shots.

 

"1/10, F4 ISO 1600 RAW+JPEG."

 

IMHO, this is not correct.  SS of 1/10 is stone age too slow for football.  There isn't any real need for Raw + jpg. Just shoot Raw.  You will never use the jpg and it just takes up space on the SD card.

 

"I tried shooting a bit last night on the Manual mode ..."

 

Another bad idea, IMHO. Use Av mode. Let the camera select the fastest SS it can for proper exposure. I don't want to sound harsh but this is what will work and get you as close as possible to good results with what you have.  You have got to get 1 and 2 of that list down first. If you are always out of position when the action starts no camera/lens combo will get good shots.

 

I like the monopod idea, do it.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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