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Photography Question 
Jim 
 

Shooting horses jumping


Im looking to get a camera for shooting my daughter jumping her horse. Ive tried the Fuji s5100, and can not get any shots not blurred or too late. I know little about cameras and setup. Im looking to buy the canon EOS digital, since Ive been told it will do the job. Can anyone tell me where to start once I get it for setting the camera?


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4/26/2005 5:42:00 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Please don't shoot your daughter, or the horse either for that matter! I have thought about shooting my son though. He is too much like me.

Once you get the EOS digital, all you should need is a telephoto lens. Set your shutter speed at about 1/250 (or faster, depending on the focal length of your lens) and focus on the spot where you expect the action to take place. Fire when ready. I am not very familiar with the EOS digital so I don't know how fast it focuses but you may be able to follow the action. I use manual focus so my recommendations are based on that.


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4/26/2005 6:35:47 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Just to get you started, you can set the Digital Rebel on the Sports Program (the picture of the running man).

This will set a fast shutter speed, set the drive mode to continuous, and turn on AI Servo Autofocus.

Then hold down the shutter button during her jump and you will get several shots (2.5 frames per second on the Rebel, faster on the 20D).


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4/26/2005 6:42:08 AM

 
Jim    thanks, picking it up today so I'll try it tonight.


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4/26/2005 6:42:54 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Thanks for the input Chris. We old dinosaurs who use cameras with only AP and manual modes and manual focus are not much help with the new gear.


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4/26/2005 6:46:34 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Chris is right on the money (as always--hes awesome!!)

This works out doors perfectly, my son races motocross and this setting is fast! I have captured him at pretty high speeds and they are crystal clear as long as I am out doors.

If you do this in an inside arena your results will not be as good. I am still struggling with this.


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4/26/2005 10:48:32 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Let me add one more thing to this discussion - Please remember that digital cameras have a pretty long delay between when you press the shutter, and when the picture actually takes. This means you will have to anticipate the horse jumping, and press the shutter before its in the air.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net


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4/27/2005 10:21:37 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Michael,
He stated that he was looking at the EOS DIGITAL. There is NO delay at all with this line. When I shoot my son going at high high speeds it takes it that instant. This might be an issue with a CHEAP digital but not an EOS.
You must shoot film Michael?????


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4/27/2005 9:00:18 PM

 
Jim    I bought the EOS and shot my first pics last night. The sport action setting gave me a big blur of horse jumping in arena. I then set it to fully auto and had better results but still some blur. More like double image?? I was on a tripod when shooting. On auto it was shooting with flash. Do I want to try setting it somehow with faster shutter??? Im lost.


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4/28/2005 4:50:05 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I left out one important part of the puzzle in my earlier post. The method I described of using the Sports Program to capture a burst of action images will only work in a well-lit scene. The Sports Program disables the flash.

If you are shooting in an arena that is not very brightly lit, you will have a harder time freezing the action.

On full auto (green square), the camera popped up the flash and set the shutter speed to 1/60. Did these images look kinda dark? I'm assuming that you were probably more than 20ft away. The built-in flash won't be too effective at this distance.

You can try this: Set the camera dial to Av, the Aperture Priority setting (read page 70 in your manual). Turn the main dial (little notched wheel right behind the shutter button) until the aperture is set at the lowest f-stop number available for your lens. (Look for the number on the LCD panel that is changing). Now when you shoot, the camera will set the matching shutter speed to get a good exposure. If this is still too slow to freeze the action, the next step is to adjust the ISO setting.

I'll post another message for that.


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4/28/2005 6:46:29 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  The next step to try is switching to a higher ISO setting (page 50 in your manual). This is the digital equivalent of switching to "faster" film.

While still in Av mode, press the up arrow button on the back of the camera. Now when you turn the main dial, you will see the ISO number changing in the LCD screen. It was probably at 100 to start. Since the Sports Mode already tried ISO 400, skip over that and set it to 800 or 1600.

Now when you shoot at the lowest f-stop as above, you will get a faster shutter speed. The tradeoff is that your pictures will probably look grainy, but the goal is to freeze the action, so you might have to live with that.

This is what you can do with your current equipment. Other ways to get a faster shot are to get a lens with a larger aperture (these get expensive), or get an external flash that is strong enough to light your subject from a distance (not too expensive).

I don't think it would be a good idea to get close enough for the built-in flash to be effective. Don't want a horse landing on you and your new camera.

P.S. After you finish shooting the horse . . . (let's see if PETA Googles that line)
You'll want to set your ISO back to 100 for everyday shooting. If you use Full Auto or any of the other Basic Zone settings, it will default to 100, but if you use any of the Creative Zone settings, it will keep the 800 or 1600 speed that you set above until you change it.

Good luck!


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4/28/2005 7:38:24 AM

 
Jim    Chris
Thank you for all the advice, I will continue to experiment with the info you are posting and let you know how it comes out. On the subject of the flash what would be a good unit to buy not to expensive? Since I live in Ohio a bunch of the year she is stuck in the arena riding so might as well prepare for shooting inside.
also thanks to everyone else that has responded.


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4/28/2005 8:09:51 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I have the Canon 420EX Speedlite, and I'm very pleased with it. You can get it from B&H right now for only $165. The two higher models are the 550EX for $310 and the 580EX for $370.

Based on the guide numbers, I think you could say the 550EX and the 580EX are about 30% and 38% stronger than the 420EX, respectively. They also have other added bells & whistles which may or may not be useful to you.

I think the 420 would work for you.


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4/28/2005 10:52:23 AM

 
Jim    Chris
pics are getting better have used a comination of setting you suggested it did make them a little more grainy but made it possible to get shots in arena from farther away. I have also moved closer to jumps and used flash with thses setting and got great results. the 420ex you mentioned how far will that let me be from jumps?


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4/30/2005 5:30:22 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Jim,
I don't remember how to do the math with guide numbers, maybe someone else here does.

Judging from some of the things I've done with this flash, I think it should be effective out to about 50 feet.


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4/30/2005 10:26:53 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  This might be off the subject a little but will the horses freak out over this flash of light? --something to consider if it is mid jump? Does anyone else use a large flash around these animals while performing?


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5/1/2005 10:51:38 AM

 
Jim    Havent had a problem with the flash and the horses.


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5/1/2005 1:58:01 PM

 
Abigail  K. Jones   horses are usually fine with the flash, especially show horses.
they are used to it, as the show photographers often need to use multiple flash set ups to get the desired shots.
:]].


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6/19/2007 11:51:25 AM

 
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