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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎09-01-2019

Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

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.  

VIP
Posts: 8,355
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

Learnilng how to use the camera is not the same as learning photography.  For example, one can take a class in English grammar, and another on how to use a typewriter.  But that does not teach you how to write a screenplay.

 

https://community.usa.canon.com/t5/General-Camera-Discussion/Canon-YouTube-Video-Series/m-p/269237#M...

 

This link will teach you about photography, and how it applies to most Canon cameras.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 11,355
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

[ Edited ]

" 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

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎09-01-2019

Re: Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

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.  

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎09-01-2019

Re: Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

Thank you---I watched many of the videos and learned a lot about light metering, aperature and so on--things I didn't even knew existed. You were spot on when you stated I had to learn how to use my camera FIRST and I am sure that will take quite a while. I went out last night and started playing around with the settings. While, I have not even come clse to mastering them, I was able to get a few good shots by making the adjustsments I learned through the videos. Thanks so much.

VIP
Posts: 11,355
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

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.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
VIP
Posts: 8,355
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

[ Edited ]

@debnbill526 wrote:

Thank you---I watched many of the videos and learned a lot about light metering, aperature and so on--things I didn't even knew existed. You were spot on when you stated I had to learn how to use my camera FIRST and I am sure that will take quite a while. I went out last night and started playing around with the settings. While, I have not even come clse to mastering them, I was able to get a few good shots by making the adjustsments I learned through the videos. Thanks so much.


You are welcome.  But Canon made the videos, I just supplied the links.  I am glad to hear that the videos are clearing up the mysteries of photography.  KEEP SHOOTING, both day and night.  Experience is the best teacher. As ISO rises, so does noise.  Find out what is the highest ISO that you like.  I am guessing that it may be around ISO 800 to ISO 1600.

 

A monopod is good investment.  I use a Kirk MP-2 tilt head on mine.  Ball heads do not work as well on a monopod.  The tilt head allows me angle up or down without having to make significant movement with the monopod.  Another good investment might be Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens.  This lens has a wider f/1/8 aperture for low light shooting, but the shorter focal length will mean that you may need to move with the action up and down the field.

 

Shooting RAW and JPEG is good idea.  You can use the JPEGs now, and come back much later to edit the RAW files,  You will very glad to shoot everything as RAW.  Set your White Balance to Auto, and use Evaluative Metering, which is the default metering mode.

 

I think a shutter speed of 1/10 is a bit slow for action photography. Your moving subjects will be captured as blurs.  The minimum shutter speed that I like to use for action sports is 1/200 to 1/400, which is hard to achieve under most high school lights.  Depending upon your available light, you may not be able to get shutter speeds that fast shooting at night.

 

Using Av mode is good to use, so use that.  I prefer M mode.  Once the sun is fully down and they lights are on, the exposure setting is not going to change much, if at all.  The only times I have had to vary exposure is when a field has light and dark areas.  These fields always have one or more lights not working.

 

Use Av mode.  Dial in a minimum aperture, f/4.  Set your ISO at your highest preferred setting. Let’s say it was ISO 1600..  Unless you are in M mode, you will always want to dial in an ISO setting.  The camera is already controlling one leg of the exposure triangle, the shutter speed, so let’s keep it that way.

 

The hardest part is going to be tracking players.  The monopod should help make that easier as your arms may begin to fatigue.  For action photography, I prefer to use AI SERVO focusing over ONE SHOT because the distance between the camera and the subject is frequently changing, such as when players are running in your general direction.  Test out each focusing mode during daylight hours.  If you can attend a team practice session, GREAT.  

 

Remember, just keep shooting.  Learn how to read your exposure and camera settings of each photo.  Canon’s post processing software, Digital Photo Professional, can make this very easy to do.  You will learn a lot.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 11,355
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

[ Edited ]

" For action photography, I prefer to use AI SERVO focusing over ONE SHOT ..."

 

You do this because you know what you are doing. A beginner does not.  Keep it simple is the best way forward.  I know of no pro sports photographer that use manual mode.  It is a bad idea anymore with the super ability of DSLR's today. Plus it adds complication and gets away from KISS.  You learn with baby steps.

 

"Shooting RAW and JPEG is good idea."

 

This also a bad idea and a waste of SD card real estate.   Although beyond that I guess it deesn't hurt. Its just not necessary.  If you are in Raw shooting mode the jpg isn't going to be the best it could be and will be pretty worthless.  Raw file format is a mandatory selection if great is your goal

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎09-01-2019

Re: Night Football Shooting-Need some help please

Thanks so much. I was once afraid to fool around with it--but now I know that's exactly what I need to do in order to get the shots I want--thank you for helping me overcome that fear that I might break or screw something up.  I will let you know how it goes Friday.  

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