Thought I’d share something a little different for me. I don’t often shoot stuff like this but just happened upon it at Dundas Square two weekends back. The thing is, I happened on it right as it was occurring and didn’t have time to play with my camera settings.
The first shot (the bottoms of the three above) was done in aperture priority at f8 and the camera selected ISO 100 and a 1/200th of a second shutter. That’s too slow of a shutter speed for something moving this fast, which is why you can see a bit of blur in the cyclist as he zooms through the air.
Same story with the middle shot. Still in aperture but got lucky that the camera selected 1/320th of a second shutter, so the subject is much sharper. But it was only luck.
With the top (first) shot I managed to stop down to f5.6 in aperture priority, which forced a faster shutter speed – 1/500th of a second, but this still isn’t the ideal settings for this sort of shooting.
Ideally, I should have slipped the camera out of aperture and into shutter priority and set the shutter speed to 1/500th of a second. Then I should have flipped the ISO to auto with a ceiling of maybe 1600. With a forced shutter of 1/500th of a second, the camera would have opened the aperture to f4 (the widest on my lens) and then started dialing up the ISO until it achieved what it thought was proper exposure.
Oh, one thing I did make time to do was to pre-focus on where that bike would be in the air and then turn of my auto-focus, so my camera wouldn’t accidentally miss the bike and focus on the building in the distance. I also put the camera into high speed shooting and fired off 7 frames a second each time the bike flew by.
Had I wanted to ensure a deeper depth of field (more stuff in focus between the foreground and background) I would have left the camera in aperture priority at f8, but then turned my ISO up to 800 or even 1600 until the camera had no choice but to give me a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second or faster. Locking the aperture and the ISO (at a higher setting) forces the camera to play with faster shutter speeds to achieve proper exposure.
Anyway, there’s a little lesson for you about shooting sports type events with fast moving subjects. Good to keep in mind for auto racing, too. One thing though, if you decide to start moving around at all, you must remember to refocus your camera again to where your subject will be and then turn off the auto-focus. Every time you move your focus distance will change, so keep that one min mind.