Catching rain drops in sports pictures (Football)

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#1
Hi All.

I know this is football (sports-related) but I assumed its more a settings/general thing.

I shoot local football and i do not shoot in the rain for kit reasons, but im thinking of venturing out once to get a few rainy day shots from the match.

As this is or prob will be a one time deal, can anyone advise setting to capture the raindrops in the pictures?

I'm guessing this will be down to shutter speed and F stop, but am I prioritising shutter to get those little drops crisp ?? or do i need slightly more DOF to get it all in focus?
(d500+70-200 2.8)

@KIPAX maybe ?
 
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#2
Any raindrops in the area of focus will appear in the photo (if the background is darker) and it's just a case of how long they are in the image. Streaks with a slower shutter speed. I'd imagine you are using quite a fast shutter speed, at 1/500 the streaks are quite long.
Aug 09 2019 P8090187.jpg
 
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#3
Any raindrops in the area of focus will appear in the photo (if the background is darker) and it's just a case of how long they are in the image. Streaks with a slower shutter speed. I'd imagine you are using quite a fast shutter speed, at 1/500 the streaks are quite long.
View attachment 252689
thank you sir, yes id like to almost 'freeze' them if possible but im not sure if i can actually achieve this, unless i get a real sunny day with rain :thinking:

But in essence we're saying i need to be quite a long way north of 1/500's
 

Nod

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#4
Unless you're after an action shot behind the rain, maybe use the on board flash to freeze the rain. You'd have to shoot below the sync speed that your camera manages, hence the no action background!
 
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#5
I would never consider an onboard (on camera) flash they tend not to have enough range for sports plus sportsmen would not be very happy with flashes going off on the sidelines, I would imagine.

I personally would increase the ISO to obtain a faster shutter speed at the aperture you usually use.

Just my take on it

Les :)
 
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#6
hi mate, preferable want action/players in the shot.

but that has given me an idea to take my flash and try some arty type stuff (y)
 
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#7
hi mate, preferable want action/players in the shot.

but that has given me an idea to take my flash and try some arty type stuff (y)
That would be interesting to see the results. Using a larger separate flash would give you a lot more power than the on camera built in flash. Plus you could always use it off camera with a radio trigger.

Look forward to seeing how you get on

Les
 
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#8
It's a simple premise as Pound Coin pointed out, you simply can't see rain against a brighter BG (sky), you can help the rain stand out more by having it backlit, that's not so easy on an overcast afternoon, but any floodlighting, sun through the clouds or indeed your own flash could achieve that.

Note; whilst you can sometimes be lucky and get enough light bouncing back off rain when it's front lit* - backlighting it is guaranteed to work every time and is foolproof.

*someone is bound to post an image to prove it can be done.
 
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#9
It's a simple premise as Pound Coin pointed out, you simply can't see rain against a brighter BG (sky), you can help the rain stand out more by having it backlit, that's not so easy on an overcast afternoon, but any floodlighting, sun through the clouds or indeed your own flash could achieve that.

Note; whilst you can sometimes be lucky and get enough light bouncing back off rain when it's front lit* - backlighting it is guaranteed to work every time and is foolproof.

*someone is bound to post an image to prove it can be done.
thank you, i understand what I'm looking for now.

still awaiting that image, i know someone has some
 
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#10
hi mate, preferable want action/players in the shot.

but that has given me an idea to take my flash and try some arty type stuff (y)
I’d be wary of using flash - as stated previously sportsmen and women tend not to like flash if it’s powerful enough to be any use. Also you’ve said you don’t take photos in the rain due to ‘kit reasons’ having worked for several seasons as a club photographer I was always very cautious about half time pr stuff with flash, on one occasion I actually had steam coming off my flash! There is also the consideration that if you’ve used your camera without flash you need to make sure the hot shoe is dried thoroughly before putting the flash gun on!
 
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#11
I have taken pictures in the past where it has been raining at a wedding
The pictures looked terrible on screen, but amazingly the printed pictures were void of the annoying rain.
Not sure if you intend printing your images.
 
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#12
If you're wary of your gear - a simple op tech cover is cheap and fairly useful.

the other point re flash is to stage some photo's to make them more interesting without upsetting anyone - but again this depends on whether you're there to 'report' what happened or to provide something illustrative.
 
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#13
It was tipping it down at the whippet racing a couple of weeks ago. This was taken just before they called it off. You can see the rain as grey blobs. The image is quite noisy and doesn't look particularly sharp but the focus point was right on the head so the non-sharpness is just due to the amount of rain (I think).
F6.3; ISO 1800; 1/2000s; 38mm

test-1-sm.jpg
 

simon ess

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#15
It was tipping it down at the whippet racing a couple of weeks ago. This was taken just before they called it off. You can see the rain as grey blobs. The image is quite noisy and doesn't look particularly sharp but the focus point was right on the head so the non-sharpness is just due to the amount of rain (I think).
F6.3; ISO 1800; 1/2000s; 38mm

View attachment 252752
Where can I find whippet racing. I'd love to see that.
 
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#16
Shooting in the rain shouldn’t be a worry to you, your kit list includes the D500 and 70-200 f2.8. There are sports photographers around the country shooting in bad weather with that kind of camera gear several times a year, so I don’t see why it should be a one time thing. Get yourself a rain cover and get out there! Limiting yourself to good weather only means you can miss out on some nice atmospheric images, something better than you can get in good weather.

For rain covers there is the optech rain sleeve that around £6 for two (they are supposed to be disposable one use but with some care they can be reused a few times. Thinktank do a few rain covers. They do the all singing one that’s around £100+ but also a smaller ‘emergency’ cover for around £35. A few months back I bought the Thinktank medium emergency rain cover because I was buying a pack of optechs once or twice a year so in the long run it should work out cheaper. The medium fits a 70-200 or in my case also a 100-400. I’ve seen sports photographers use a chamois leather over the camera and lens at football matches.

Have a look at them all here:

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/camera-rain-covers

Generally I photograph as I normally would but use a longer shutter speed to capture streaks of rain falling. It does mean I have to choose more static subjects. The general point is whether you want to freeze the rain or have streaks of rain. Generally the faster the shutter speed the more is will be frozen whereas the slower the shutter speed the longer the streaks. There is also some trial and error here as it depends on how hard it’s raining. The heavier the rain the more it will show up and I guess the higher the shutter speed can be. Choose a dark background as it helps to bring out the rain.

For sports photography the photos I’ve seen the raindrops are frozen so I would guess a high shutter speed is used. I would guess as the action is moving you cant drop the shutter speed too much otherwise all you will get is blurred players. I personally wouldn’t use flash as the light from the flash will likely reflect off the rain drops giving you discs of reflected light across the frame.

I haven’t photographed sport in the rain but I photograph wildlife in the rain:

My aim is usually to get streaks of rain rather than freeze the raindrops.

1/25sec long streaks


Red Squirrel in the Rain by -Rob'81-


1/100 but lighter rain (I got caught out here as I didn’t expect rain, I ended up using the backpacks rain cover over the camera instead of the bag!)


It's definitely raining. by -Rob'81-
 
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#17
Hi rob

Thanks for that, yes technically all my gear is listed as “weatherproof” but being my first “proper” gear I’m nervous about damaging it, hence not had the guts to shoot in bad weather yet.
I do have the optech covers (bought just in case I get caught out)

Ideally id like to freeze the drops, so they show up as static drops in the shot.

Thanks for the info all much appreciated, it’s all being taken in
 
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