Taking Action Shots with the D3100
I want to take action shots with my D3100. The shots will be of a horse events, specifically Cowboy Mounted Shooting. I will be using the 55 to 200 mm lens.
Should I leave it on auto? Or would it be better in manual setting?
#1. "RE: Taking Action Shots with the D3100" | In response to Reply # 0
MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sun 13-Feb-11 11:49 PM
Welcome to Nikonians!
Will you be shooting outdoors in good light or indoors?
How much experience do you have? Please fill in your User Profile including experience and the equipment tab. It will help us provide better answers to your questions. Thanks in advance.
If you are a beginner, using Sports exposure mode might be your best bet. If you are shooting outdoors in good light, you might try using Shutter priority mode with the shutter speed set at 1/500th sec. or faster if there is enough light.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#2. "RE: Taking Action Shots with the D3100" | In response to Reply # 1
Mon 14-Feb-11 04:27 PM
Most of the action shots will be indoors. I do have a Nikon FE2 film camera that I have had for years, so I am used to SLR type cameras.
My digital experience is mostly with point and shoot cameras.
#3. "RE: Taking Action Shots with the D3100" | In response to Reply # 2
JosephK Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Mon 14-Feb-11 08:10 PM
Treat the D3100 like the FE2. All the same principles apply.
Indoors suggests poor lighting. Thus max out the lens aperture, and up the ISO to get the shutter speeds you desire to freeze the action. "Mounted" suggests moving, thus you will want to be in continuous focus mode (AF-C).
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D200, 17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, 50mm f/1.4 D
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#4. "RE: Taking Action Shots with the D3100" | In response to Reply # 2
MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Mon 14-Feb-11 09:51 PM
Unless the venue has good lighting it may be impossible to get a shutter speed of 1/500th sec.
If I was shooting the event, I would use Manual exposure mode.
Set the AF system to Continuous (AF-C) AF mode.
Set the Aperture wide open, and turn up the ISO to get the fastest shutter speed possible for the given ambient lighting.
I would use the Spot meter on a subjects face and take a few test shots verifying the exposure using the Histogram. Verify that the lighting is consistent around the arena. If it isn't consistent make a mental note of the difference and be ready to adjust the settings on the fly.
Since you are using a variable aperture zoom keep in mind that you will gain a full stop if you shoot with the zoom set at 55mm (f/4) compared to 200mm (f/5.6). The one stop difference will allow you to double the shutter speed.
You might find it easier to use AF-C mode. (make sure you track your subject with the shutter release button pressed half way until you locked focus on your subject before you release the shutter (press it all the way down.)
Use Aperture priority exposure mode with the Aperture wide open (initially set the zoom ring to 55mm) and use Matrix or Center Weighted metering depending on the background and turn the ISO up high. Check the shutter speed the camera chooses in the viewfinder and adjust the ISO up or down accordingly to get a shutter speed of 1/250th sec. Minimum (1/500th sec. preferred) or faster. Don't forget to allow 1-stop of head room if you plan on zooming in to 200mm.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#5. "RE: Taking Action Shots with the D3100" | In response to Reply # 4
clayolmstead Registered since 21st Jul 2010Tue 15-Feb-11 03:14 AM
I shot a similar event, the lighting was terrible. The place was a huge barn, a giant peaked roof with open sides and mercury vapor lights attached to the roof. The sunlight poured in the open sides, turning shots in that direction into silhouettes. The mixture of lighting freaked out the Automatic White Balance, so depending on where I was, the sand came out either green or purple. Not enough leeway in the JPEGs to fix later - the best thing about it was that it made me a confirmed RAW shooter.
My advice: all of the above, plus:
1. Arrive early enough to pick a strategic spot and take a few test shots. (You probably already know that.)
2. If the light's tough, consider shooting RAW.
3. If you don't have a good RAW converter, consider Adobe Lightroom. It does all the post-processing you really need, and it's a whole lot easier to use than Capture NX.
#7. "RE: Taking Action Shots with the D3100" | In response to Reply # 6
jero_21 Registered since 25th Feb 2011Thu 03-Mar-11 06:31 AM
Recently I purchased D3100 kit with 18/55mm & 55/200 mm VR lens.
1) I shot a picture on a bright sunny afternoon, I could not see people and the back ground was very very bright.
2) Is there a software to edit the picture.
3) then I shot the same picture on Auto mode and effect was good.
4) Well I am intending to use this camera for professinalism, how do I get to know aqbout the camera settings. Request your advize on the above.
#8. "RE: Taking Action Shots with the D3100" | In response to Reply # 7
dkfyu Registered since 31st Jan 2011Fri 04-Mar-11 02:51 AM
Congrats on the purchase.
1) What were you shooting in? Aperature/ Shutter/ Manual? What were the settings? As it is, my limited experience says the shot was overexposed (aperature to open (lower number = larger aperature), shutter open too long).
2) There's quite a few, there's Nikon's software. Then there's Photoshop, I believe Lightroom is pretty good. I'm using CS5, but there's just soo much to learn that I'm not putting much effort into this part of it.
3) I guess this relates to 1).
4) I would suggest reading Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. That'll get you on the right foot. As for the professional bit, I don't have a clue.
#9. "RE: Taking Action Shots with the D3100" | In response to Reply # 2
> I do have a Nikon FE2 film camera that I have had for years, so I am used to SLR type cameras.
100% agree with "treat it like an FE2." If you can get the shot with the FE2, you will have NO trouble getting the same shot with the D3100. Everything is the same, except that now you have AF, the matrix metering system (or you can go back to centerweighted if you prefer) and the motor drive is built in - and you can change the film speed on every frame if you like. And you don't run out of film nearly as often.
If you are comfortable with the FE2, you will likely find that the various scene modes just get in the way.
You would want to check carefully into the white balance. This is essentially like changing film type, ie from daylight to tungsten or reverse. In difficult lighting as mentioned above, auto white balance can be a bit weird, although it usually works very well. In tough circumstances you may just want to set it to daylight or incandescent and take it from there. Just don't forget to set it back later!
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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