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Old 12-04-2012, 02:18 PM   #16
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So I want aperture priority rather than Shutter priority? Even if my goal is to get a specific shutter speed, like 1/250?

Thank you to all for all the help!! I really appreciate it!

Turns out when I was shooting in sports mode the ISO was 1600, don't see too much noise in this photo.


DSC_0352_edited-3.jpg by hillekm, on Flickr
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:24 PM   #17
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So I want aperture priority rather than Shutter priority? Even if my goal is to get a specific shutter speed, like 1/250?

Thank you to all for all the help!! I really appreciate it!

Turns out when I was shooting in sports mode the ISO was 1600, don't see too much noise in this photo.


DSC_0352_edited-3.jpg by hillekm, on Flickr
Cute photo. So thats the other option, just use sports mode.

I typically use A-priority, but I agree with your thought -- I would go with shutter priority where you are less concerned with depth of field. Just boost your ISO manually, as the camera might force you to compromise your shutter speed otherwise. So boost your ISO, and then manually set the fastest shutter speed you seem to be able to get away with.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #18
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I would use shutter priority, personally. You're most concerned about stopping motion, so you want to select the shutter speed--not leave it up to the camera.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #19
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I use to shoot with a D5100 and also had the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 which is a great combo. Don't be scared to buy a second hand lens from somewhere like Fredmiranda.com. Just read the seller's feedback.

I would shoot in Shutter Priority and just bump your ISO until you get a proper exposure. I know noise is scary but id rather have the shot than not. I have no problem shooting at 6400 if needed.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:51 PM   #20
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Aperture priority is one way to control for light as well as depth of field but for what you are looking for I'd personally go with what you originally chose - shutter priority.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:51 PM   #21
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The rule of thumb is that when you are shooting action and want to freeze it, then use shutter speed priority (on my camera its Tv (time value) with a higher shutter speed. There are exceptions to that as when you are shooting pan shots. That is when you are trying to show motion but freezing the target. That is accomplished by focusing on the target and moving the camera at the same speed as the target as it passes in front of you. An example is below where I shot a 1/125 because I wanted show the speed of the drag bike but I still wanted the bike in focus. This was taken at the NHRA Nationals at the Route 66 Raceway this past summer.


NHRA NAT 1361 v2 by Terry McGraw Photography, on Flickr

There are times, like above, when you want to show motion. The goal is to achieve the look you are looking for.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #22
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So I want aperture priority rather than Shutter priority? Even if my goal is to get a specific shutter speed, like 1/250?
Based on what you told me and being familiar with Nikon. I would use aperture priority. Again, you want as much light as possible to get into your lens. By forcing it wide open you ensure this.

The camera will give you the fastest shutterspeed it can based on the amount of light and you ISO settings. if you are getting good fast shutter speeds 1/250 or better, you can then bring down the ISO which will eliminate noise untill you reach your desired shutter. Doing it this way gives you the lowest iso possible for the conditions.

Being in an indoor gym. I assume you will be several feet away from your subject. Depth of field will not matter as much at that point. Plus, depending on the background, a solid focus on your subject with a slight bokah on the background will look good in the final product.

Think of it as the holy trinity. Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO. You can adjust all 3 in various amounts in order to get your desired outcome..
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:32 PM   #23
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a solid focus on your subject with a slight bokah on the background
That is the goal I'm trying to achieve!

So, I would shoot in aperture priority, and increase my ISO until I am getting close to the shutter speed 1/250 that I think that I need to freeze the action. Is that correct?

If my pictures where then coming out with too much noise, I could either back off the ISO and aim for lower shutter speeds around 1/125 or purchase a lens with f/2.8 in order to get a wider aperture that would then give me faster shutter speeds. Right?

I guess am still a little unsure when I would shoot in shutter priority? And what difference shooting shutter priority vs aperture priority really makes.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:36 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa View Post
The rule of thumb is that when you are shooting action and want to freeze it, then use shutter speed priority (on my camera its Tv (time value) with a higher shutter speed. There are exceptions to that as when you are shooting pan shots. That is when you are trying to show motion but freezing the target. That is accomplished by focusing on the target and moving the camera at the same speed as the target as it passes in front of you. An example is below where I shot a 1/125 because I wanted show the speed of the drag bike but I still wanted the bike in focus. This was taken at the NHRA Nationals at the Route 66 Raceway this past summer.


NHRA NAT 1361 v2 by Terry McGraw Photography, on Flickr

There are times, like above, when you want to show motion. The goal is to achieve the look you are looking for.
Very cool shot. So, this is 1/125 f/9 and ISO 100, and you could get those levels because it was outside in good light?
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:44 PM   #25
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You could also look at older Nikons, 80-200 f/2.8, and buy one of those used. That or third-party is the only way to get it in the $1000 or under range.

Even with a 2.8 lens, though, you will have to increase your ISO. Just no way around it, gym lighting is horrible. You will probably need something like ISO 3200, shutter speed 1/250, and then the widest aperature (smallest f#) you can get. On the 55-200 lens you have, it's not very wide.... especially if you are zoomed in at all... so that's where the recommendation to buy a lens with a wider aperture (constant 2.8) comes into play.
So I would set this in shutter priority or aperture priority?

Sorry everyone, I must be a really slow learner! For some reason this is hard for me to wrap my brain around!!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:45 PM   #26
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I guess am still a little unsure when I would shoot in shutter priority? And what difference shooting shutter priority vs aperture priority really makes.
Very little difference. Just 2 paths to the same result.

Let's assume that you lock in your ISO at 1600, and assume the "correct" exposure can be found at f4, shutter speed of 1/125.

Well... If you shoot in A priority mode, and set the aperture at 4--- the camera will automatically set the shutter speed at 1/125.
If you shoot in shutter priority mode, and set the shutter speed at 1/125, then the camera will automatically set the aperture at 4.
Since you are controlling 2 out of 3 prongs of the triangle -- ISO Plus A or S, the remaining 1/3rd is really pre-determined.

So you'll get the same results either way. But as shutter speed if really your goal here, I'd use S priority for this. I use A priority where depth of field is the priority.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:03 PM   #27
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Hello, I recently bought a Nikon D5100, I posted a thread a few weeks ago and got a lot of help deciding what camera to buy! I really love the camera so thanks for your help!

I also checked out a few books from the library including "understanding exposure" which I have read twice. I must be a slow learner because I still have questions!

Here is my current problem. My kids are all in sports so I am trying to figure out how to "freeze action." I tried shooting my 7 year old daughters dance performance tonight. It was in a school gym with bright lighting. I was trying to shoot in shutter priority mode. However, I couldn't get a very high shutter speed. Is this due to the fact the f/4 was the lowest I could get the aperture? Really the best I could get for shutter speed was 1/50 or so. I did try to increase the ISO but was a little scared that I would get too much noise in the photo. What would be an OK level to increase to? And would that have solved my problem?

I did get some cute photos, mostly because at 7 they aren't "fast" movers! I know that when I try to get some pictures of my 15 year old and her color guard team I am going to struggle. (also indoors, gym with bright lights).

I am guessing I need a better lens. I was using a basic zoom lens Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G. Any suggestions for a better lens, this one was borrowed from a friend. I would like to stay under $1000.

Thanks for any help, suggestions!!

It really sounds like you were on the right path shooting wise to freeze action. Sometimes you do have to bump that ISO up, specially in less than ideal gym lighitng. Noise is better than motion blur. And noise is a part of the medium just like grain is with film. The soner you embrace it and learn to process with it rather than fighitng it the happier you'll be. Certainly less noise is more desireable, but don't be so afraid of noise that you miss out on a lot of wonderful shots.

I shoot shutter priority when I shoot my daughters dance. Bottom line is that I know I need a minimum shutter speed to stop the motion and i set the camera there, then I change the ISO as necessary to get the exposure. Or in some cases to get the aperture I want. I find that for me, if I use aperture priority I sometimes forget to double check and make sure that the camera is choosing sufficient shutter speed for stopping the action. But we all shoot differently adn what works for me may not work for you.

It sounds like you already have a pretty good handle on what you should look for in a lens if you want faster shutter speeds. but for what it's worth I think what you have could probably get the job done, at least on the wide end, in a well lit gym.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:16 PM   #28
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That is the goal I'm trying to achieve!

So, I would shoot in aperture priority, and increase my ISO until I am getting close to the shutter speed 1/250 that I think that I need to freeze the action. Is that correct?
.
Exactly...practice in you living room tonight.

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I guess am still a little unsure when I would shoot in shutter priority? And what difference shooting shutter priority vs aperture priority really makes.
For me, the only time i use shutter priority is when in good light, but i want a specific shutter speed to show motion. like panning and a car drives by and i want to motion blur the background but keep the car tac sharp.

Aperture priority when in good light is used to controll the deth of field.

thats whats so great about phtography. you can achieve the same picture in so many different ways. It's what sets an average phtographer apart from a great one.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #29
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finally, when you fully understand how shutter speed, ISO, and aperture work together....then you are ready to graduate to full manual. which opens a hole nother bunch of options.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:20 PM   #30
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Very cool shot. So, this is 1/125 f/9 and ISO 100, and you could get those levels because it was outside in good light?
You can get that look almost anytime you have some light. Obviously not in total darkness. I have taken pan shots with night racing. Panning does not work as well when the target is moving away or towards you. Think of standing outside your home and watching the cars drive by your house. You match the movement of your camera to the speed of the car, using continuous focus, and shoot. We use this a lot when shooting autoracing. Another way we show motion or speed in motorsports is shooting with a fast enough shutter to freeze the car but not the tires so we have tire blur. Here is an example of Brad Keselowski's car at the Chicagoland Speedway on his way to the win and the Sprint Cup Championship.


keselowsk 9876 by Terry McGraw Photography, on Flickr

If you haven't figured it out yet, I am a staff photographer at a major motorsports facility and shoot a lot of motorsports.

DSLRuser and Photo Chick are both right about different ways to get to the same goal. The difference as Photo Chick has pointed out, your apt to make fewer mistakes if you shoot in shutter priority. While using aperture priority if there is any change in light from any source and you don't catch it, you could end up with motion blur. After I have been focusing on the target for awhile, I tend to not look at the settings. I know I will get stop action and if the exposure is off, in most cases, I can fix in PP. Blur is much harder to fix.

Last edited by Gianna'sPapa; 12-04-2012 at 05:38 PM.
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