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Photography Question 
Trisha J. Sprekelmeyer

Sporting Lens


Has anyone out there shot pictures for the sport of trap shooting? I have been asked to shoot some action pictures for a mens trap shooting club and I'm not sure what the best type of lens would be for this. I have a Canon Xsi. I will be standing far behind them and have to try to get them and the target in the same shot, or shoot them and then the target exploding and photoshop it together. any suggestions as far as eqiupment, best time of day, etc...would be GREAT!



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3/24/2009 4:46:46 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Is that the thing with the clay disk and you yell "pull!" and shoot it? Obvious that I haven't shot pictures of it, and I've never even seen anybodies photos of it, but if it is what I'm thinking it is, I can see some general logistics of it that you'd need to be concerned about.
You said you'd be far behind them, so that tells me you're going to have to think about if these pictures can be the back of somebody's head, or are they wanting to see the recognizable side of somebody's face? Which is going to give you a one or the other but not both situation.
To be far behind, but not have a small image of the shooter, that means telephoto. With telephoto, and seeing a gun shooters face from behind them, that means they have to shoot at something off to the side. Now with narrow view angle of telephoto, profile angle of shooter, the target is not going to be in the frame. Are they willing to have a wider angle photo, with smaller people images?
Or, with telephoto and the target in the same frame as the shooter, that means shooter shoots closer in line with your photo angle, so you won't see much of their face. And the target will have to be launched with a low enough trajectory that's also in line with your shooting angle. Photoshop for that maybe?
Equipment? What do you have that will get you pictures that will over come the problems like some of the ones I described?
Time of day? I don't think that's a big issue. I mean any clear day is fine. You may may need some shutter speed for the target and depth of field. But since these sound like posed shots, since you can use photoshop, if they do something just for the pictures like shoot a slow launching target, like a beginners speed, and a short range, have them do it.
Other small stuff, like if they wear hats, is there too much shadow on their face. Don't do it with the sun so high. Does the target blend in with the color of the background.

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3/25/2009 8:17:02 PM

Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  I've noticed when I've seen them shoot that the target can go every which way, so I wonder if it's even practical to try to get them both in the same shot, since you will have no way of knowing which way the thing will go.

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3/26/2009 8:48:50 AM

Jeffrey R. Whitmoyer   I'd opt for a fairly long fast zoom lens on a tripod that isn't clamped tight on the horizontal axis of rotation. Keep enough distance from the shooters to allow a reasonable field of view with reasonable size of the image. There will be a bit of compromising with yourself to make it work.
You may not be able to actually get the clay pigeon in flight, but with luck should be able to catch them breaking up.
A lot of attention needs to be paid to the trajectory of the target and you should be behind the shooter at an angle of maybe 45 degrees or so. It will involve a lot of guessing at the initial set up and shifting around to make it all work. Auxiliary lighting won't be useable so good light is necessary. Time the shoot to avoid backlighting for most of the shoot, some backlit shots might prove interesting. Sounds like a tough project to set up, but once you have it figured out you may find yourself a niche market.
Compositing images may be necessary, I'd try to get some images both ways. Experiment before doing the official shoot.

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3/26/2009 9:05:21 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Trap Shooting
Trap Shooting

Nikkor 300 mm, Provia 100

© Bob Cammarata
Nikon FM2 Manual E...
Trap and skeet shooting are similar, but different.

In trap,...the target is ejected from in front of the shooter, who must anticipate its flight path and fire as it sails away.

Skeet is when the target passes from side to side and requires much quicker reflexes.

From a photographers standpoint, both must be attempted from a distance...generally 20 yards or so from the region that's roped off and designated..."Shooters Only Beyond this Point".

A fast medium-telephoto will compress the shooter and his (or her) target and allow both to be included in the frame. A shutter speed of at least 1/500 second will freeze the disc in flight.
A burst of multiple exposures will insure that at least one frame will score a hit. (...if the shooter is any good.)

You will need to be satisfied with getting the back of someone's head though, or you may end up like one of Dick Cheney's hunting buddies.

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3/28/2009 5:40:17 PM

Trisha J. Sprekelmeyer   Thank you for the response. All the tips are very helpful. I have a 70-300 F4-5.6 lens. Do you think that wouls be ok to use? If not a recomendation would be great.

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3/29/2009 11:53:10 AM

Jeffrey R. Whitmoyer   Boost your ISO to help increase your shutter speed, that is one of the great things about digital. You can shift ISO on the fly in order to capture(freeze or reduce)motion. The lens should work out for you, just remember to put your safety first. Picking shot out of your body isn't much fun, just ask Cheneys ex-hunting partner. BTW, I was going to get a T shirt printed that said "I Golf Like Dick Cheney Shoots".

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3/29/2009 1:24:03 PM

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