Thursday, November 24, 2011

What is a good type of filter to buy for shooting sporting events?

I want to shoot sporting events (mostly baseball) and I want to make everything pop more. I have a Canon Rebel XS and am shooting with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM lens.|||Get a few Neutral Density filters for conveying motion. Use slow shutter speeds and tripod mount your camera. ND filters can be used to create some really good photographs / abstracts.

(ND filters will make your work difficult in an already difficult situation so you'll have to work hard with them and master them.)|||just remember to take the lens cap off! i found that i take the best pictures when i put the timer on 10 seconds and throw the camera high into the air!!!|||None are required. The only one I would suggest having would be a UV filter. This will protect the front elements of your lens. Some will argue about this. Always buy the best quality filters you can. A crappy filter will degrade the image quality of you fine lens.|||Hi,

I agree with David M - you should always have a good quality UV filter to protect the front lens element. Good one would be Hoya Pro1 Digital - expensive c$40, but you do not want to degrade your super "L" glass.

Suggested shooting settings: -

RAW + Medium JPEG - you can than add your "pop" through DPP or Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture etc.

Focus AI Servo AF

Mode Tv (starting point) - set the slowest shutter speed which you can hand-hold and get a crisp image - if you do not have the IS lens version, then convention says slowest settings should be 1/200th at 200mm and 1/70th at 70mm - but convention is made to be broken, so do some test shots.

White balance - AWB, though if you can do a custom WB it would be better (does not matter of course if you shoot RAW files, as this can be adjusted later in DPP). If you use custom, watch out for changes in light as the game progresses - switch to AWB if you are uncertain.

ISO 200, 100 if there is enough daylight to give you a fast enough shutter speed, if not, again increase ISO to maintain your minimum shutter speed. With action shots, the keepers will most likely be shot with a fast shutter, with crisp focus on the sports-person's face. If the rest of the body is blurred, this just adds impact.

Focus with the centre AF point aimed on your subject and follow the action with the shutter half-pressed - the camera focus should also follow the action.

Also try refocusing on a particular spot - pitcher's mound (? - sorry I am a Brit so baseball is not my usual sport) - so the camera is nearly focused on the subject and wait for the shot.

Take a spare fully charged battery, as AI Servo burns up the juice (!) and enough memory cards.

Arrive early and, if possible pick your shooting position close to where you know the interesting action is going to be. If you have people standing in front this is going to be a challenge, and if you are popping up and down, people behind will be pretty pis..d!

You have good kit which is well able to give you some great shots.

You may already know all this, but you asked a basic question about filters, so I hope you do not mind the longer reply.

Good shooting


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