Fading light...what to do?

April 17, 2015

It happened to me again...shooting sports under fading light conditions.  I like my aperture to be wide open (f 2.8) to get that awesome shallow depth of field we all look for.  And with sports one must have shutter speeds >1/1000 sec or you will get action blur.  So what to do?  Under total stadium lights, it is easy.  Go full manual mode and adjust the ISO to match stadium lighting conditions.  But, when one transitions from late afternoon to dusk lighting, it becomes a ever changing nightmare to manage.  And, with fast paced games, I don't want to have to focus every two minutes on modifying my exposure to match the degrading ambient light.  Here's a trick.  Go full manual mode, say f2.8, shutter speed 1/1250 sec.  But switch ISO mode to automatic.  Its a technique my buddy taught me last year and it works great.  Actually had to pull that one out the bag at the SPS semi final rugby match the other day.  Between rain clouds and fading light the second half, I was struggling to keep my shutter speed high enough.  I remembered that option and for the rest of the game I focussed on the action, and not so much on my exposure.  Hope this works for you!

 

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