Today saw me heading back to the Pemberton Centre and an attempt to capture some high speed action on the club’s tumble run. Hopefully, the better lighting in the main hall will prove adequate and we’ll get some flying gymnasts for the clubs website.
Following the refurbishment at the Pemberton Centre, the lighting is a lot better in the main hall, but even so, it still proved a pretty big challenge to keep the gymnasts in focus and stop the action to get some reasonable shots.
So, 70-200mm 2.8 lens mounted onto my Canon 5D MkIII and with AV priority mode dialled in with 500th second and ISO set to Auto (Uhh Ohh), we’ll see what we get.
The session included a mix of Acro and Tumble shots because there were a few new groupings trying new things on the Acro floor and a few images caught my eye whilst moving around the hall. Those have been dropped into two different galleries for ease of browsing. However it was the tumble run that too most of my time and attention.
During the shoot I switched between AV priority and manual mode and experimented with both auto and manual focus. The camera speed and high ISO appeared to be working out fine, even ISO values into the 10,000 mark looked OK and the images would later be cleaned up a little in post processing – another reason why onsite printing is not always going to work and why many professional event photographers stick to the safe stationary or slow moving shots in good light. That said, the remit for today was to get the kids off the ground and the images for use on the club’s website. These images would therefore be smaller in size and noise (graining) would be less of an issue.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the results form this shoot. My only disappointment was focusing. For posed images you always focus on the eye and let the rest flow. However, when you have someone running at you and then flipping and twisting through the air at speed, you don’t have time to frame the image, let alone pick put the person’s eye. Manual fixed point focusing was also not working because not all of the gymnasts took off and landed in the same place, so it was out with the rule book and back to pot luck – all too often the case with this sort of photography.
Inevitably, the cutting room floor soon became littered with deleted images, but we still managed to secure a nice number of reasonable (and some very nice) shots given the nature of the shoot, lighting conditions, etc.