Hi Gang: I get asked this question enough that I thought I’d do a quick blog post on it. Here goes:
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority
Note: I shoot wide open (using the lowest numbered f/stop) on whichever lens I’m using at the time, and I don’t change my f/stop the entire day.
Shutter Speed: 1/1000 of a second or faster
Note: For late afternoon or night games, I turn on Auto ISO and I set my MINIMUM shutter speed to 1/1000 of a second, so no matter what, I’ll also have at least 1/1000 of a second to freeze the action.
ISO: Bright Sunny Day Games: 100 ISO. Cloudy Days: 200 ISO. Night games: Auto ISO (see Shutter Speed above).
White Balance: Auto for day and night games, but I adjust it if it looks funky at night or if I’m shooting in a dome. A lot depends on the lighting in the stadium.
Focus Mode: AI Servo (Continuous Focus Mode on Canon bodies)
Auto Focus (AF) Area Selection Mode: AF point expansion (up, down, left, and right)
Focus Control: Back Button Focus
Shooting Mode: High-Speed Continuous (burst mode)
File Mode: JPEG high (here’s why)
Auto Focus Configuration Tool Preset: Case 4 (on Canon cameras), but sometimes I switch back to Case 1 if I feel like I’m having a bad focus day and I want to blame it on the equipment instead of the real problem.
Highlight Warning: On
Main camera: Day game: 200-400mm f/4
Main camera: Night game: 400mm f/2.8 (to keep ISO lower)
2nd Body: 70-200mm f/2.8 and/or 24-70mm f/2.8
IS (Image Stabilization): Off
Note: If you’re shooting at fast shutter speeds, this should be turned off.
Main body: Canon EOS 1Dx
2nd Body: Canon EOS 1Dx
Note: I don’t have the Canon 1Dx Mark II yet. Canon gave me a loaner for a weekend to review, but I haven’t bought one yet. I don’t have a 7D Mark II either – again, another weekend loaner.
Memory Cards: Lexar Professional 1066x Compact Flash Cards
Note: I generally use a 64GB or 128GB, but both are overkill because I shoot in JPEG, so I only use about 12GB on my main camera, and 6 or 7GB on my 2nd body.
I hope you found that helpful. :)
If you’re into sports photography (or even just getting into it)…
…we have a bunch of full-length online classes at KelbyOne, but I’d maybe start with these:
- I teach a class on “Beginner Sports Photography” (link) Catch it if you’re brand new to sports.
- I co-host a class featuring sports photography legend, Peter Read Miller, called “What Makes a Great Sports Photo” (it’s a really eye-opening class – he’s amazing!). Heres the link.
- Another great class is from renowned sports photographer, Dave Black, and it’s on “Shooting High School Football.” Such a great class! (link)
OK, I’m off to Iceland today with my buddy Terry White – my first time ever and I’m really excited. :)
Have a great Monday, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow when I’ve got a cool tip for what to do when you have a damaged JPEG image.
P.S. A big thanks to everybody who came out to my seminar in Indianapolis last Thursday. Such a great group of photographers (and thanks for the awesome turnout). Next step: Minneapolis on September 21, 2016. Tickets here.