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Thread: Tips to take pictures of fast moving dancing like martial art-Capoeira

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    Member fadiya's Avatar
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    Tips to take pictures of fast moving dancing like martial art-Capoeira

    Hi all, Yesterday I saw a capoeira performance as part of Brazil film festival. Their movement mesmerized me. Hence, I am planning to look for another performance and try to take pictures. Someone told me that they will do another one at Glenelg beach next Sunday around 5pm. My camera is Canon 550D and I only have two lens kits and 50mm f/1.8. I will be around 10-20 m from the object or closer. So, I am thinking to use high shutter speed, small aperture and continuous shooting or sport mode as an easy way... Any other tips, please?
    Last edited by fadiya; 19-11-2011 at 12:23pm.

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    I'd use the 55-200 if that's what you have

    Shoot at iso400, wide open

    You should be aiming for 1/800s, if not bump the ISO up a bit

    Continuous af-c

    Centre weighted metering
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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    Shutter speed is the key, so you will want the largest aperture you can, which if using the 55-200 will be f5.6.
    As Kiwi said ISO 400 to start and up that if needs be
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    Thanks Kiwi and Mark and about the focus I should use the AF point with automatic selection and AI servo mode right?

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    Never use af auto. Hardly ever Picks the right focus point I'd think af centre point on a canon works best

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Never use af auto. Hardly ever Picks the right focus point I'd think af centre point on a canon works best
    I mainly only use centre point and recompose if need be
    Canon 7d efs 15-85mm, Sigma 150-500mm. Nicon coolpix 5400


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    Never use auto AF on a Canon, as it just picks the closest thing. AI servo is also no good, as they move you'll be focusing on the bg behind them etc. With the 550D you have no AF-On so I don't know what you could do tho. Tap focus ONLY when u have someone in your sights. You also won't have time to recompose. With the 550D you'll need to use center AF as it's the only cross point, and the only chance of catching focus since you say their action is fast, shoot wide and crop.

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    Huff... I know it won't be easy especially for a newbie like me ahahaha
    Lets see what I can get hopefully there will be one or two good shoot >_<

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Is flash allowed? What time of day? Indoor or outdoor.
    Do you want to freeze them or capture some motion?

    If its outdoors, day time and you want to freeze them, then maybe shutter priority and experiment with the shutter speed required. Lowest ISO possible to achieve correct exposure.

    If it's night time and you don't mind a little motion blur, try a technique called dragging the shutter. Flash on ttl, rear curtain sync. Shutter speed around 1/30th (yes it sounds low but it's for capturing ambient light,not freezing motion cos the flash will do that). ISO around 800, but it'll depend on how bright your background is. And aperture wide open.
    If you're indoor and can bounce the light, then bounce it for better results generally.
    Hope that doesn't sound too confusing.
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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Oops.. Jz read its 5pm. Plenty of light if outdoors. Disregard the shutter dragging unless it's indoors and poorly lit.

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    If the lighting of the scene does not change much, meter in whatever mode you'll want to and shoot in full manual mode with the settings kiwi suggested. If the subject is centralised on a focal plane, you can consider disabling AF as well and fix your focal plane. Based on a 55-250 x 1.6 crop and 20m distance with aperture at f5.6/250mm, it may be possible to lock the focal point if the demo is on a stage and you're facing almost dead on.

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    Follow Kiwi's advice. Try to shoot in manual mode if you are comfortable with the exposure triangle etc as the metering system will probably give you varying results IMHO.

    If it gets really dark consider swapping to your 50mm and shoot it at f2.8. It should be pretty sharp at that aperture but will give you an extra 2 stops over your kit lens. I recently shot an entire dance concert in low stage-light at f2.8 and ISO 800 (can't remember the s/s I managed to get, but it was enough to completely freeze the dancers in mid-air).

    I think the 550D and the 600D share a similar processor, and my 600D managed ISO 800 really well, so don't be afraid to bump it up if you need to. A grainy image is better than a completely blurred one (unless you're going for a specific look).

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    You know, this advice is good if you want to freeze the action, but don't be blind to the possibilities of slow shutter and motion blur. The artistic possibilities are great.

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    remember that while a big fstop gives you light, it also robs you of DOF. A perfect shot with focus just out is really painful!

    experiment with different things, do a few fast shutter, a few slow, a few flash, etc. at least one of those will give you 'keepers' you want, better than going in with a plan, sticking to it, and finding it was wrong!

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    ^ Yeah experiment is probably the best idea. Hopefully a few of these suggestions will help guide you on the different approaches.

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    WHOAAA!!!! thanks all a bit overwhelm but extremely happy . It seems experiment is the point. I will go with Kiwi's advice first and than I will try to play around. To be honest I read a lot about the exposure triangle but still unable to put it intro practice ahahaha

    anyway, about the slow shutter and motion blur. I tried it once, I think the setting was 1/30 to 1/80; f/5.6; ISO auto; manual focus point (centre) ; AI focus... and the lens was 18-55mm and the pictures were well blur.... sigh... here is the sample (w/o PP)

    IMG_4337.jpg
    (f/5.6; 1/80)

    here another one (f/5.6 1/50)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by fadiya; 24-11-2011 at 1:26pm.

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    ^ I don't think you really need much helping after all! That's a really nice shot (the first one), the people in the background are sharp, but the moving dancers/martial artists are nicely in motion, great job!

    Compositionally I would fully crop out the girl on the left, the crop on her leg is slightly awkward and it would move the guy in the red pants just onto one of the 'thirds'.
    Last edited by 98kellrs; 24-11-2011 at 1:39pm.

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    Really?? Thanks!! it was purely accidental... the focus was on the red pants guy but it shifted to the background when he moved...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fadiya View Post
    Hi all, Yesterday I saw a capoeira performance as part of Brazil film festival. Their movement mesmerized me. Hence, I am planning to look for another performance and try to take pictures. Someone told me that they will do another one at Glenelg beach next Sunday around 5pm. My camera is Canon 550D and I only have two lens kits and 50mm f/1.8. I will be around 10-20 m from the object or closer. So, I am thinking to use high shutter speed, small aperture and continuous shooting or sport mode as an easy way... Any other tips, please?
    Hey... I'm also planning to take pictures of capoeira. But my camera is olympus u TOUGH-3000. What are the settings I should set for my camera?

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