shoot indoor arena/ extremely bright outside

skips-photographyskips-photography Big grinsPosts: 28Registered Users Big grins
edited December 30, 2012 in Technique
This new years day i have to tackle the task of shooting a indoor arena. I have some examples of last year in June same arena, the problem is obvious i shoot 3 shots at 9 fps that's what my customer like. i have strobes and sb900 but i don't want to resort to that.
Please any help will be appreciated greatly i am using d3s and sigma 70 200mm 2.8.

skp_2322_525.jpg

2nd barrel and you can see how bright it is outside the covered arena the barrel in the back is the 3rd barrel.

i.php?a=special-skips&i=skp_2330.jpg&s=525&q=85&wmk=!

here is the 3rd barrel closest to the outside

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 21,086Super Moderators moderator
    edited December 27, 2012
    I moved this to the Technique forum, where you'll find similar threads.

    You have properly identified the problem. You have a very bright background, and the subject is in a much darker environment. You say that you don't want to use flash, so your only real option is to use an exposure which is proper for the subject, which will completely blow out the background.

    You may wish to use manual exposure and shoot some test shots very tight to the subject, in order to properly evaluate exposure. Then choose a looser composition to best show the subject and important surroundings. Choose your shutter speed according to how you wish to control subject blur, then choose your f-stop according to how much DOF you need, and finally choose an appropriate ISO to allow proper exposure for the subject.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • Pyro1Pyro1 Big grins Posts: 49Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 27, 2012
    I shoot a lot of barrel races, I always use my Einsteins indoors. I use the action mode and shoot 1/200th. Stops the action and I have had no complaints about the strobes.

    i-69RQDN7-XL.jpg

    i-xZhsH9N-XL.jpg

    I set up on #2 barrel, usually 2 strobes on it at different angles, one strobe half way between #3 & home, I catch one shot on the turn & one on the run home.

    Some of my shots here.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,419Super Moderators moderator
    edited December 28, 2012
    Nice images of horse and rider!

    Fill flash is obviously the way to light up the foreground to match the much brighter outside lighting, but the OP did not want to use that technique. So??

    I find the reaction to flash interesting because some folks feel they will disturb the animals, and others, obviously do use strobes. You hear the same issue with folks shooting basketball and football as well. At pro arenas they offer special electronic lighting for their special shooters, but not for the general public - it is their playground and they get to make the rules - that I can understand,

    Did you have to get special permission to set up your Einsteins like you described?

    If one was allowed, could you set up your Einsteins behind a large kingsize white sheet in a frame to get a softer, more wraparound style of light, or I guess, use a parabolic umbrella like offered by Paul C Buff Inc?

    The other choice might be to shoot from the outside of the arena into an area with a wall blocking the more brightly lit background if that option exists.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • Pyro1Pyro1 Big grins Posts: 49Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 28, 2012
    I shoot all the events for this chapter of the NBHA, they let me do what I need to do to get them the shots. I would like to work on making it softer as you suggested, I may play with that idea in January when they start their next season. I may also shoot their practice rounds from a different angle and try to use available light.

    Thanks, Jeff
  • ZerodogZerodog Nikonowhore Posts: 1,480Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    Very nice Pyro1! Can you illuminate us with what modifier you are using for your strobes? I have been thinking of trying my Einsteins inside for arenacross. The problem is, I need to not focus on one zone and be able to shoot a large portion of the arena. I have 2 Einsteins now. I am thinking of at least 4 in the corners of the arena. Not sure what modifiers would be best for this. Retro lasers? Or just long throw reflectors?
  • skips-photographyskips-photography Big grins Posts: 28Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    thank you for your kind responses, I shoot 2 or 3 shots in a burst at 9 fps because mostly facial expressions and hair.[ women ] I know my strobes will reach the 2nd barrel but i'm not sure about the other 2 barrels. I also have sb900's but i just dont like the shadow and or the eye glow, i prefer a high iso in manual so i can control the shots, i will take all of your suggestions with me and test them. Thanks so much
  • ZerodogZerodog Nikonowhore Posts: 1,480Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    Skips, you are on the right track using manual and high ISO. How high depends on your body. For arenacross my setup is this. D3s with an SB900. I usually shoot at 6400-12,800 and try to keep shutter speed at least 1/800 if possible. I use highspeed sync for the flash to keep the power down. Otherwise weird things happen. I don't believe the speedlights have enough juice on their own to stop action using normal camera sync speeds of 1/250. SB900s have a HUGE reach when used as just a splash of light.

    Here are my ideas for you to try.

    #1 shoot tighter. Way tighter. Look at pyros shots. This will minimize your background. The blown background is not ideal, but if you fill the frame with your subject it will be much better.

    #2 White balance. Use an expodisk to manually set it from the position of your subject looking back at where you are shooting from. If you shoot from around the arena. Go to the center of the arena kneel down and shoot up at the ceiling with an expodisk. Or use a gray card in a few different areas to use as a WB reference for post processing.

    #3 If you do not shoot RAW now, shoot RAW from now on for indoor events. Yes it is slower, but for indoors, it is very important to have the leeway for adjustment.
  • Pyro1Pyro1 Big grins Posts: 49Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    Zerodog wrote: »
    Very nice Pyro1! Can you illuminate us with what modifier you are using for your strobes? I have been thinking of trying my Einsteins inside for arenacross. The problem is, I need to not focus on one zone and be able to shoot a large portion of the arena. I have 2 Einsteins now. I am thinking of at least 4 in the corners of the arena. Not sure what modifiers would be best for this. Retro lasers? Or just long throw reflectors?

    Thanks Zerodog, I currently have three Einsteins and have only used the 7" 80 degree reflectors. I use my cybercommander to control the lights as conditions from the outside lights changes. I have found that my best position for shooting is on the arena floor by the entrance to arena where the horses actually start and end their run, "the alley". I have found that my 70-200 f/2,8L II is my best lens to use and the AF of the 5DmkIII is awesome tracking the subject in the servo mode after some AF adjustments. I shoot at ISO 100, 1/200 in manual mode and have to change the aperture from around f/4 to f/2.8 depending on where I take the shot. The Einsteins stop the action pretty well in the "action mode" and I rarely need to make any temp adjustments to my photos in post.
  • ZerodogZerodog Nikonowhore Posts: 1,480Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    I think I may have to try this next time. I think I will call PCB and ask what they think for modifiers that would be best. Right now I only have beauty dishes for them and umbrellas. Found another set of Einsteins locally that I might jump on.

    Do people even notice the strobes?
  • skips-photographyskips-photography Big grins Posts: 28Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    sooo if i play with iso and try spot metering i can find a happy medium ?
  • skips-photographyskips-photography Big grins Posts: 28Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    Pyro1 wrote: »
    I shoot a lot of barrel races, I always use my Einsteins indoors. I use the action mode and shoot 1/200th. Stops the action and I have had no complaints about the strobes.

    i-69RQDN7-XL.jpg

    i-xZhsH9N-XL.jpg

    I set up on #2 barrel, usually 2 strobes on it at different angles, one strobe half way between #3 & home, I catch one shot on the turn & one on the run home.

    Some of my shots here.

    your images look good what do you do about the first barrel ? and do you take just one shot of each 123 and a run home ?
  • Pyro1Pyro1 Big grins Posts: 49Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    your images look good what do you do about the first barrel ? and do you take just one shot of each 123 and a run home ?

    Skip, thanks for the nice words! I usually don't shoot #1 if I'm indoors, usually just set up on #2 & take one shot there & catch them coming home. Usually have to adjust my aperture between shots, but for the most part I will get two keepers for each run.

    I usually set two strobes up firing at #2 and one mid-way down the arena for the run home. I have to adjust them as the sun changes angle coming into the arena from the outside, I had much rather shoot outdoors, but that's not really an option most of the time.

    If I'm outside I'll shoot a couple on #1, about 4-5 on #2, and get about 3-4 shots on the run home, but most of this depends on my position and the sun. I like to keep the ISO at 100 and crank up the shutter to about 1/1000th if I can, I had rather shoot at f/2.8 when I can to blur the background.
  • Pyro1Pyro1 Big grins Posts: 49Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 29, 2012
    Zerodog wrote: »
    I think I may have to try this next time. I think I will call PCB and ask what they think for modifiers that would be best. Right now I only have beauty dishes for them and umbrellas. Found another set of Einsteins locally that I might jump on.

    Do people even notice the strobes?

    I have talked to some of the barrel racers and the thing most of them said was if the horse was doing what they were supposed to do they will never even notice it. I try to judge each horse and if I see one that is acting like they are too wired or almost out of control, I wont take the shot, but so far, I haven't had any complaints.

    Here is one that I caught after the horse stumbled, I didn't shoot before he was going down. Both the horse & rider was ok.

    i-JjRVmQc-XL.jpg
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,419Super Moderators moderator
    edited December 30, 2012
    I remember the first time I used fill flash with a lion in Africa, from about 10 feet, thinking I doubt it will notice, but the thought did go through my mind for just a few seconds hesitation before I took the picture. One does really not want to be a major point of attention for a lion.

    Fantastic capture of the horse and rider malfunction.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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