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General photography questions and answers: Discuss I'm new, and I'd love some advice....Hello. First of all I would like to thank the forum for letting me be a member, and I look ...
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Old 01-05-2007, 20:35   #1 (permalink)
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I'm new, and I'd love some advice.

Hello. First of all I would like to thank the forum for letting me be a member, and I look forward to doing lots of learning

I will get straight to the point. I am pretty new to the world of DSLR so I could use all the help I can get. The reason I bought a DSLR was to take pictures of weightlifting competitions (although since my purchase, my interest in other aspects of photography has increased as well). This weekend, our town will be hosting a weightlifting competition, and I would love to test out my new camera/lens. My camera is a Nikon D50 and my lens is a Sigma 70-200mm F2.8.

I am starting to believe that weightlifting could be one of the worst possible sports to photograph, I will explain what I have against me. First, I will be taking photos in a school gymnasium so the lighting will be far from perfect. Due to the nature of the sport (split second concentration) I can't use a flash. I won't be too close to the athlete either, so I will be close to full zoom. Finally, my subjects will be moving very fast. The movements of Olympic weightlifting are extremely fast at certain points (arguably the fastest sport in the world), and I would love to be able to capture those moments (think swinging a baseball bat, or the start of a sprint). The one good thing, is that my subjects will be in the same spot, so I don't have to worry about them moving away from me.

I know this is a LONG first post. I was just hoping some people would be able to help me out and give me some advice. Thanks a lot!

Walter
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Old 01-05-2007, 21:22   #2 (permalink)
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Re: I'm new, and I'd love some advice.

hm first thing i would recommend is to use a tripod, but knowing the nature of these comps you may well be better with a monopod, at least it will give you some stability although not as much as a tripod.
Shoot in Raw which will allow as much post processing as possible and allow you to alter the white balance and exposure if necessary. Fast as possible shutter spedd and a high ISO i guess.
and do let us see the results!

oh and welcome to the site !

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Old 01-05-2007, 21:44   #3 (permalink)
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Re: I'm new, and I'd love some advice.

Hi Waldo - welcome to Pixalo

You certainly have got some good kit there to start with. Is it possible to get into the hall before the event? I say this because if you can, you can try some test shots, preferably with an assistant (who does not need to lift weights!).

Doing this will give you an idea of the exposure settings you will need to suit the lighting, and to see if there is sufficient light/contrast for the autofocus to work OK.

You probably know that to capture movement you need a fast shutter speed, so you should use shutter priority mode. If you cannot get a correct exposure, start increasing the ISO. this will allow faster speeds to be used. Don't go too high or the images will suffer noise. Using RAW file format would be best, but you need specialist RAW converters to view the images. You will have more control in processing, but at a time cost.

If you can get a monopod, you will find it useful to steady the camera.

Take a variety of shots - at the start and end of the lift (and in some lifts, a moment halfway) there are moments of stillness, so even if the shots you might try to get during the lift are blurred you will still have something to look at.
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:37   #4 (permalink)
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Re: I'm new, and I'd love some advice.

Thanks for the responses, they're very helpful. I have both a monopod and tripod, so that won't be a problem, and I think I'll have some time before the comp to take some test shots. I would love to take the pictures in RAW format, but I don't have a program to edit them...I know I can view them with Windows Vista, but what are my choices to edit? Are there lots of programs out there (at an affordable cost) or am I pretty much stuck with Photoshop? Thanks again

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Old 02-05-2007, 07:47   #5 (permalink)
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Re: I'm new, and I'd love some advice.

Not much I can add, Walter, except and check out what others use:
http://www.pixalo.com/community/phot...use-10570.html
http://www.pixalo.com/community/phot...use-10571.html
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:36   #6 (permalink)
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Re: I'm new, and I'd love some advice.

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Originally Posted by Waldo View Post
Are there lots of programs out there (at an affordable cost) or am I pretty much stuck with Photoshop? Thanks again

Walter
There is a free download available in our downloads section of Rawshooter. This prog was very highly acclaimed when it was 'in production'. It was so good, Adobe bought the company and turned Rawshooter into Lightroom.

Although there is no support for it anymore, it is still an excellent app that many still use.

The Raw workflow takes a little getting used to, but it does give you the opportunity to change lots of stuff like white balance and exposure after you have taken the picture!
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