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  • in reply to: Critique my work please? #23671

    Fantastic stuff especially for a 16 year old.

    No one mentioned your sports yet (which is my favorite) so I’ll go there, specifically the football.

    With sports, it’s simple –  it’s about showing your subject, the players. This means you should be cropping the hell out of them. You need to fill the frame with your subject.

    In that light, I would crop something like this to just the player, as a portrait. The field is just dead space.

    This is good, but it just needs a better crop. As the photographer, I show people what I want them to see. I don’t want them to see the ref’s shirt.

    That also brings me to faces. You need to be able to see faces. You wouldn’t shoot someone’s senior photos without showing their faces. There’s really little value to something like this.

    Same thing. I also don’t care what actually happened here, whether it was a safety or a touchdown. The viewer can’t understand what’s going on.

    Football has this tendency to just become a large pile of guys, really after every play. Avoid shots like these. It’s impossible to understand what’s actually going on, who has the ball, and you can’t see faces. There’s really no one who wants these photos. Anticipating the next play and understanding the game is probably the most important part of getting the perfect shot. If you don’t anticipate it correctly, you’ll end up with a lot like these.

    I never liked the shooting for volume thing. Sometimes photogs like yourself may need to do that so parents looking to purchase their child’s photos can find the perfect one. As a photojournalist, that kills me. I hate duplicates and shots of the same play (usually). I ultimately will come up with an album of ten very different photos that tell the story of the whole game. Even for what you do, I would still show people my best shots, but that’s just me. If you want to make a sports portfolio, I would definitely consider cutting down on the similar or uninteresting images, which would including boring ones of people standing around and not showing emotion.

    Dutch angles are nauseating and should be used almost never. Not really necessary in HS sports..

    but definitely necessary for the Penn State BOT..

    I also saw a volleyball album. With volleyball, try to shoot from different angles, especially behind the ends. It will keep your backgrounds cleaner and you’ll get good action on the net.

    In closing for football, I would recommend shooting from the end zones whenever possible to keep the backgrounds clean and not miss touchdowns, and make sure your photos are in focus. I may have seen a few with unwanted motion blur or a missed focus here or there. 1/500 will stop action.

    Feel free to not take any of this advice too, I just like looking at sports albums!

    in reply to: Debating…. #22791

    1/80 is generally fine for me with a steady hand, but not ideal. Of course a mono or tripod helps.

    That’s important too – you will never get good bokeh if you think it’s only about the aperture.

    The low light performance would be the biggest reason to switch for me.

    in reply to: Debating…. #22785

    Let me be the first to say – IT DEPENDS.

    Money is an issue for me. I am a college student. I got a used f/4 non-IS for under $500. If money is not an issue for you, go for it – get the extra stop in the 2.8.

    You may want the 2.8 for the lower depth of field, but you can get fantastic depth of field with a 70-200 without paying a thousand more dollars by using a cropped sensor camera, shooting towards the 200mm end, and positioning you and your subject correctly.

    Image stabilization, in most cases, would be useless for me since I’m often shooting outdoors with a shutter speed of 1/80 or higher.


    Case in point: Brad Wing, Steelers punter, signing autographs


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