Favorite Shots from Last Night’s Football Match Between Ed White and Raines

Canon EOS 60D - Canon EF 200mm F/2.8L II USM, 1/500, F/2.8, ISO 5000.

Last nights game was wild and dark. It was an action pack game, I got a few good shots during the earlier part of the game, but in the second half I really struggled, shooting under the uneven stadium lights was really challenging. Even when using the 200mm F/2.8 prime I had to boost my ISO to 5000 to shoot at 1/400, I tried ISO 6400, but I didn't like, but I guess it's ok, at least I got the shots I needed for my job but it's really dissapointing and nothing I can be proud of.

Once the sunlight is gone, stadium lights becomes your primary source of lighting, and your ISO and fast lens becomes your best friend, but there's one problem, most stadium lights does not provide even lighting across the field, and it flickers to a point you get different color temperatures and lighting on your photos. Here are two sample scenarios that clearly shows how light changes affects the photos:

Canon EOS 60D - Canon EF 200mm F/2.8L II USM, 1/500, F/2.8, ISO 5000.

Canon EOS 60D - Canon EF 200mm F/2.8L II USM, 1/500, F/2.8, ISO 5000.

We can see on both sample photos above how the light dramatically changes on all three frames which was shot consecutively, first time I saw this I thought it was my camera, so being new to this, I asked one of the photographers that was there, that's when I learned that it is a common problem with stadium lights, and it's not my camera's. There's nothing I can do except to fix it in post.

What I've Learned?

  • I need to learned to observed and to be ready for something unexpected. I have to pay carefull attention to what's happening in and outside the field. I still get stuck trying to get the action shots, but I think I got some shots from the sidelines which is a good start.
  • I need to bring my wide angle lens next time.
  • Jpg is a photographers best friend, especially if your gear has a low frame rate and low buffer. I always shoot raw since I started photography, but now I know the advantage of shooting in JPG in sports photography. On my 60d, I always, ran out of buffer when using raw, the 60d is only capable of 15 shots a buffer at 5.3 frames per second in raw, but switch it to large jpg and it goes up to like 35 shots before you fill up the buffer, and at medium fine it gives you more. Using jpg will give you more buffer and more storage capacity compare to using raw, but like everything in photography it’s a compromise, with raw you’ll have more room to improve your images in posts, with jpg, there is little or not enough room to improve it.
  • Stadium lights can be a problem.


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One thought on “Favorite Shots from Last Night’s Football Match Between Ed White and Raines

  1. Ziggy Malone

    Interesting posts. I just got an f2.8 200 prime too but not planning on much sports photography. Just noticing your pics do seem to go from light to dark on each string of shots. are you sure it’s purely the stadium lighting? e.g. if you do the same framerate shooting in even light, do you get even results?

    btw the only thing better than the 200 f2.8 would be the 200 f2 which is crazy money!


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