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Program mode - bicycle races (again...)

M38A1

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I really want to get this sports and action work down, so last night I went to The Driveway again for the Thursday night bicycle races. Having been at Precision Camera the day before and speaking with one of their guys, he gave me some pointers and I gave it a whirl.

In a nutshell, I tried the "P" or Program mode this time. In the past, I've been shooting shutter priority to either freeze or blur the images. After looking at a hundred or so shots of sports that also had the EXIF parameters listed, I came to the realization (doh!) that separation between the subject and surrounding area/background makes a tremendous difference. So I convinced myself to try "P" mode and limit myself to no greater than f/4 for the entire night.

When you use "P" mode, you actually get the best of both worlds as far as shutterspeed and aperture go. From the menus, you set your max ISO you are willing to have the camera use, and you set your lowest shutterspeed. The camera meters, gives a solution based on the aperture you dial in. Spin the wheel right or left and the aperture changes accordingly. I'll say - shooting f/2.8 leaves NO room for error on focus point.

Here's how I set the camera up:
Bright/cloudy bright and 97*F
D4s
Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8
Spot metering
Continuous focus mode w/single point instead of group or D9
AUTO-ISO settings of:
>Max ISO6400
>Shutterspeed min 1/320

Here's a sampler of the work. I'm quite pleased with how this function operates.
What I really like is, you don't have to fiddle with ISO during a shoot. Just set the parameters and go do your thing. These are all pretty much straight out of the camera except for crops. Very little post done on them. The full gallery can be seen HERE I look back at the first bicycle races I shot and I think I'm moving in the right direction. And I DID answer my question about isolation of the subject. It works.
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Last edited:
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Outstanding pictures!!! They really capture the action, color, and drama. Of course the one with the little girl is the best.
 

M38A1

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Outstanding pictures!!! They really capture the action, color, and drama. Of course the one with the little girl is the best.
Thank you, Robert.

I've got the full gallery pics up now HERE but I'll warn you - grab a cup of coffee and do it from a computer. It's a lot (like 724 images)


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Yeah, great shots. I just read an article on using P mode and it mentions alot of what you said. It said to think of it as ISO mode.
 

cdc

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Scott, I saw the all!
Very good shots.
 

M38A1

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Very cool.



I'd love to see some A/B comparisons of your earlier work compared to this shoot. I appreciate the passion you have for this.
Carl,
Here's a few threads on prior bicycle racing action I've shot at The Driveway here in town....

August 09 of 2013
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87677

August 16 of 2013
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87878

April of 2015 was the on-going thread content. My post here was in "Doing and Learning" as I was trying out some new functionality which seems to work.
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102265

.
 

M38A1

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Yeah, great shots. I just read an article on using P mode and it mentions alot of what you said. It said to think of it as ISO mode.
Thanks Chris.... Yeah, that's a good way to describe "P" as a floating ISO mode


Scott, I saw the all!
Very good shots.
Thanks! Glad you took time to cruise the whole gallery. A few gems in there for sure. What I wrestle with is just 'how much' to work and publish. My mindset is of an event shooter so I really want to get everyone covered if I can which means a TON more work on my part. I may have to rethink that approach and just imagine the shot in my head I want, then go see if I can capture/create that on the course and then only work/process the best of the best for publication to the site. :ponder:


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Holy crap you done good here Scott!

Some of your best work yet... Please tell me that you are getting positive feedback from the participants on these?
 

WhiskeySmith

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Carl,
Here's a few threads on prior bicycle racing action I've shot at The Driveway here in town....

August 09 of 2013
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87677

August 16 of 2013
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87878

April of 2015 was the on-going thread content. My post here was in "Doing and Learning" as I was trying out some new functionality which seems to work.
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102265

.
Thanks Scott. Making some coffee and getting ready to go through these. Then its off to cheer on the Texas Water Safari participants.
 
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These look really good, Scott. As you said, to me it's all about subject isolation. The shallower DOF really makes these pop. :clap:

As for P mode, there's a little too much variance left in there for me. I, and I think Duke has said this lately, am all about Auto ISO. Put her in M, select your aperture and shutter speed, and let the camera decide just that final piece. I set my max ISO to 6400 on both my D600 and X100T. ;-)
 
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These look really good, Scott. As you said, to me it's all about subject isolation. The shallower DOF really makes these pop. :clap:

As for P mode, there's a little too much variance left in there for me. I, and I think Duke has said this lately, am all about Auto ISO. Put her in M, select your aperture and shutter speed, and let the camera decide just that final piece. I set my max ISO to 6400 on both my D600 and X100T. ;-)
I spent probably all told an hour on the phone with Scott this past Saturday trying to get my head wrapped around P mode. I went out to 3 Palms and gave it a good try but I think I will be staying in the camp of Auto Iso & M mode. Wasn't for lack of trying though. Thanks for your help too Scott!
 

M38A1

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I spent probably all told an hour on the phone with Scott this past Saturday trying to get my head wrapped around P mode. I went out to 3 Palms and gave it a good try but I think I will be staying in the camp of Auto Iso & M mode. Wasn't for lack of trying though. Thanks for your help too Scott!
Regardless of the technical outcome, I always find pleasure in talking with you mi-amigo!


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M38A1

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Pans in the 724? Bib number 724? These are all I have. Last time out was panning practice.
 
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