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Author Topic: Indoor cycling  (Read 3908 times)

thepancakeman

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Indoor cycling
« on: January 30, 2012, 11:30:31 AM »
Finally got a chance to take out my new 7D last night and play.  Lens was the 70-200 2.8 IS I, and for the record I think these were the worst lighting conditions I have ever seen.

Oh, and FWIW, the first and third images were shot at ISO 3200, with some Lightroom 3 noise reduction applied.

Anyhow, here's a few I liked:




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Indoor cycling
« on: January 30, 2012, 11:30:31 AM »

maxxevv

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 01:21:37 AM »
For #3, you could try to get closer the next time to get the facial expression. Note sure if its the compression ( it often happens ), but the picture seems a little out of focus ??

Sports in general is not very effectively conveyed from a distance unless there is a 'context' to what you want to portray.  This applies to pict #1.

For pict #2, you could try to increase the shutter a wee bit more so as to at least get the face into sharp focus.  Extreme low shutter speeds do not work if your panning cannot keep up with the subject. Again, not sure if the compression in the image affected the sharpness though ??

Hope the comments will be constructive for you.  ;)

An example:

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/OCBC%20Cycle%202010/_MG_0570.jpg

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/OCBC%20Cycle%202010/_MG_0170.jpg

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/OCBC%20Cycle%202010/_MG_0607.jpg


thepancakeman

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 02:47:09 AM »
For #3, you could try to get closer the next time to get the facial expression. Note sure if its the compression ( it often happens ), but the picture seems a little out of focus ??

Sports in general is not very effectively conveyed from a distance unless there is a 'context' to what you want to portray.  This applies to pict #1.

For pict #2, you could try to increase the shutter a wee bit more so as to at least get the face into sharp focus.  Extreme low shutter speeds do not work if your panning cannot keep up with the subject. Again, not sure if the compression in the image affected the sharpness though ??

Hope the comments will be constructive for you.  ;)

An example:

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/OCBC%20Cycle%202010/_MG_0570.jpg

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/OCBC%20Cycle%202010/_MG_0170.jpg

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/OCBC%20Cycle%202010/_MG_0607.jpg

Thanks for the feedback!  I'm fairly on my own here, so although they cyclists usually like my photos, having some constructive feedback from a photographer is much needed/appreciated.  Yeah, the jpg compression definitely softened these a bit, and I may have also been a little heavy handed in my noise reduction.  In #2 the face actually is fairly sharp in the RAW file, which is what I thought made it a cool pic--motion blur on everything except his face. 

Far and away the biggest struggle here was the lighting--even at f/2.8 and iso 3200 I was dealing with shutter speeds of maybe 1/160 which is pretty tough to stop a cyclist, and then I'm fighting with the small DOF.  I tried a few flash photos, but just hated how those looked.  But I'm not sure I have a clue how to effectively use a flash... :-[

Not quite sure what you're saying about context for #1.  It was supposed to be "orange guy off the front".  I found for this event I really struggled to find any way to capture "feel"--it was an indoor field about 150x100 yards and they raced a big "U" shape and there was never much of a pack.

As far as "getting closer" on #3, I've tried that, but I feel like if there isn't some part of the bike in the shot, it loses all context and just looks like a person in a funny looking helmet.  I actually do have some shots of individual cyclists that are much closer, but I picked this one as it was showing the two teammates working together.  Is there something else I could have done with this shot, or is it simply not that great of a shot?

They have one more indoor race in 2 weeks, so if there are specific things you would recommend I try/adjust, that would be awesome!  Thanks again!

maxxevv

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 03:20:11 AM »
The 'context' meaning that the picture must be able to tell a story ... like what aspect of the race are you depicting here ? Someone trying to breakaway, someone struggling ? Someone having a strong race ? Or just the pure pace of the event ?

Panning in sports is more often than not under-estimated by most people. It takes a pretty fair level of skill to snap good panning shots. In my example "_MG_0570.jpg" was shot at 1/160, on a slow lens. Would suggest using what's available for lighting and tweak your shooting to it. I've shot as low as 1/50 but only if I have the space to move freely.

Note though, learn the idiosyncrasies of your camera's AF. I used to own the 40D and now I shoot with the 5DII. (the shot examples were on a 5DII). They both behave somewhat differently given similar situations and same lenses used. I find its easier to shoot in manual at night as lighting is never even, and can result in erratic exposure readings.  But.. do that if you know what you're doing. Else, AV, TV is preferred by most.

If you can't get high shutter speeds, do more panning. Do more head-on shots.  Get up close. 

If you must use flash, please don't flash into their faces/eyes. A side fill flash from a distance is perfectly fine though. As its hazardous in tight criterium races for cyclists if they even lose concentration for a split second from a head-on flash.

Here's 'Tinker' Juarez with the setting sun in the background and dim, dim evening light. Flash was used for fill and this was shot using an ultrawide 12-24mm on the 5DII. ISO was 1600, at 1/125 shutter. Just to illustrate the 'slight flash fill' ...

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/Tinker%20Juarez/Tinker-Sunset-background.jpg?t=1242795211


87vr6

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 07:07:04 AM »
I have a few comments, but not really about the pictures...

What kind of cycling event is that? It looks like indoor cyclocross do to the tires looking quite big... But to me, that would defeat the purpose of cyclocross itself...

Enlighten me please  :)

thepancakeman

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 03:15:24 PM »
The 'context' meaning that the picture must be able to tell a story ... like what aspect of the race are you depicting here ? Someone trying to breakaway, someone struggling ? Someone having a strong race ? Or just the pure pace of the event ?

So how do I make "guy in orange off the front" or "two teammates working together against a third guy" into a better story?  I think I've been looking at it from the cyclists perspective (capture the moment that they already have a context for) than from a spectators standpoint.

Panning in sports is more often than not under-estimated by most people. It takes a pretty fair level of skill to snap good panning shots. In my example "_MG_0570.jpg" was shot at 1/160, on a slow lens. Would suggest using what's available for lighting and tweak your shooting to it. I've shot as low as 1/50 but only if I have the space to move freely.

Actually I think shot #2 was at 1/30, but I don't have the exif in front of me.  The problem was there wasn't enough environment to give any motion blur at high shutter speeds.  A solid blue wall just doesn't really blur much.   ;)

Here's 'Tinker' Juarez with the setting sun in the background and dim, dim evening light. Flash was used for fill and this was shot using an ultrawide 12-24mm on the 5DII. ISO was 1600, at 1/125 shutter. Just to illustrate the 'slight flash fill' ...

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/Tinker%20Juarez/Tinker-Sunset-background.jpg?t=1242795211

Beautiful!

thepancakeman

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 03:20:23 PM »
What kind of cycling event is that? It looks like indoor cyclocross do to the tires looking quite big... But to me, that would defeat the purpose of cyclocross itself...

Enlighten me please  :)

It's a laidback race on indoor soccerfields.  The field surface is artificial turf on top of shredded rubber.  Most of the riders find they get the best grip on this surface with their CX bikes/tires, but there are a few road bikes that show up as well as some mountain bikes.  The surface is squishy enough that speeds really don't get much over 20mph even for a 10 minute race (and it's not due to slow riders--one of the guys is a world champion track racer).

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 03:20:23 PM »

maxxevv

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 09:45:09 PM »

So how do I make "guy in orange off the front" or "two teammates working together against a third guy" into a better story?  I think I've been looking at it from the cyclists perspective (capture the moment that they already have a context for) than from a spectators standpoint.

That's kinda difficult really. There are no clear guidelines as to how you're gonna do that. It takes a fair bit of luck and a keen eye to read a race and catch such things as they occur. I was lucky to catch it in my example for "MG_0607" . I ride bicycles ( specifically roadbikes )myself for the past 18 years or so and would assess where and when such breaks might occur on the course. And would move to such areas to catch such shots IF possible. Usually, its easier to catch the emotion and facial expression on the riders faces with some of the action and form a story from it.

Same race different year, different conditions. Managed to catch the emotions of the two riders :

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/OCBC%20Cycle%20Feb%2009/IMG_0688.jpg

This is one key aspect of sports photography that's really hard to catch. And also why top sports photographers are highly regarded professionals. It takes a fair bit of luck too as in my examples above.  :P

Actually I think shot #2 was at 1/30, but I don't have the exif in front of me.  The problem was there wasn't enough environment to give any motion blur at high shutter speeds.  A solid blue wall just doesn't really blur much.   ;)

Oh, don't get me wrong, not saying you're can't do really slow pans. Just suggesting that you need to adjust your panning to the needs of your environment. Its possible to shoot as low as 1/30 but its rather impossible to do a good panning follow-through if you do not have sufficient space to move around and prime the AF.

On the other hand .. panning isn't just about the motion blur, nor about getting as much of a blur background either. Its about achieving the 'sensation' of motion while yet being able to give your subject the requisite attention it deserves. In this case, the overall effect is actually quite good but would be better if at least the rider's face was clear and sharp. It would have worked just as well if it was something like 1/50 or 1/60 and you got more of the rider in sharp focus.

And as cited previously, compression of images can be quite a pain for such shots sometimes. So you're good. Just don't be too obsessed about 'getting the background as blur as possible' ... it doesn't work that way.

Here's what I did with a really close up, 5~6 feet away, the riders were going pass me at about 40km/h, was a 1/125 shot.



Here's 'Tinker' Juarez with the setting sun in the background and dim, dim evening light. Flash was used for fill and this was shot using an ultrawide 12-24mm on the 5DII. ISO was 1600, at 1/125 shutter. Just to illustrate the 'slight flash fill' ...

[url=http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/Tinker%20Juarez/Tinker-Sunset-background.jpg?t=1242795211]http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee89/KangSw/Tinker%20Juarez/Tinker-Sunset-background.jpg?t=1242795211[/url]

Beautiful!
[/quote]

Thanks. Glad you like it.   :)
I waited about an hour for Tinker to come by for 2 rounds at the same spot as I was anticipating the sunset. There were maybe 5 or 6 shots taken over 2 passes and this was the best that came out of it.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 10:17:46 PM by maxxevv »

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Re: Indoor cycling
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 09:45:09 PM »