Need advice for cheerleading photoshoot


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tenglw86

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Dec 27, 2006
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#1
hi all, what would be the best lens and focal lengths to use for shooting cheerleading competition? i'm to be an official photographer for my school's event and can't figure what lens to use. will my kit lens be good enough? i use D80 with 18-135mm. or should i rent a better lens? even then, which do i use? wide angle (17-55) or tele (70-200)? any advice?
 

flipfreak

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Nov 26, 2007
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#2
with cheerleading being such a fast action activity, i think you need a pretty fast lens in order to freeze action. wide or tele will be tough cos u gonna need wide to capture the whole team yet have the focal length to zoom in a particular member performing some stunts. and i think u need to know the drills so you know when is the act coming to a climax.
 

tenglw86

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Dec 27, 2006
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#3
with cheerleading being such a fast action activity, i think you need a pretty fast lens in order to freeze action. wide or tele will be tough cos u gonna need wide to capture the whole team yet have the focal length to zoom in a particular member performing some stunts. and i think u need to know the drills so you know when is the act coming to a climax.
problem is that it's gonna be a competition. they're not gonna be performing their drills before hand for all to see
 

Michael

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#4
so what is going to happen in this cheerleeding competing? how big is the squad? what will they perform? you want to take the group or individuals? Where will you stand and where are they?
Think about these questions and the answer on the lens will come to you by itself....
you might find that your current lens is fine
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#5
In any group sports, you have to figure out in advance exactly what kind of shots you need to get if you're the official tog. All general wide shots, or lots of crystal clear close-ups, or both (usually the case in group sports)?

Where will the competition be held? What time? What will the lighting conditions be? Will be be allowed free access, or are there space/security restrictions? Will you have a high vantge point to shoot from, and from a further distance? Will you have multiple opportunities to shoot the same routine? Will you be allowed to use multiple remote strobes if you set them up further away? Will you be able to shoot full-dress reharsals at the actual venue? Will you have an opportunity to get intimately familiar with the team's routines? What kind of budgets are you looking at if rentals/assistance is needed?

Once you get the answers to those questions, especially lighting and shooting limitations, choosing suitable lenses and equipment set-ups will be a much easier task.

We can't tell you off-hand because we don't know the actual shooting conditions, or arrangements. If you want a Maggie Mee answer, it would be a super fast Ultra Wide 15 or 17 to something f/2.8 zoom, and a super fast 2.8 telezoom, as well as a body that focuses super fast super accurately in bad lighting conditions, but that won't guarantee good results.

Additionally, you could Google 'Photographing Cheerleading competitions'. If the competition is going to be held indoors/in questionable light, search topics covering shooting sports in auditoriums.

Planning in advance and preparations is crucial to predictable and good results in these situations.

All the bset.
 

flipfreak

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#7
problem is that it's gonna be a competition. they're not gonna be performing their drills before hand for all to see
of cos. but u still need to know the basics of the sport so u won't miss out any good shots. like when they are abt to flip or throw someone into the air, u gotta be spot on.
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#8
Flip is absolutely spot on!

One of the 'secrets' to great sports photography is being intimately familiar with the sport, and the participants. Next are the venues and logistics.

The guy that shoots for Singapore's overseas sporting events etc told me that he knew the exact moment a ball would be in front of so-and-so's face, and even the direction of her hand in relation to the ball as compared to this or that other player because he studies them intensely.

These kind of things cannot siam lah ... die die have to do tons of homework and wear out the soles of one's shoes attending reharsals and performances and recce locations/venues.
 

blurry80

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Jul 23, 2007
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#9
If you know where exactly its being held go there and try your lens and measure your distance from the stage.Also you can go to one of their practices to see since its a school event. Also is it indoors or outdoors. Cheerleading is group performance with formation changes. you'll definately require wide end of the lens.
 

#12
i'd have 2 camera bodies with me. one with a wide to mid zoom like your kit lens, and another with a tele-zoom for close-ups.

cheerleading routines are typically fast and action-packed, crammed into a space of 2-3 minutes. you're not going to have time to change lenses! best is to have someone else with you, so you cover the wide to mid, your friend covers the close-ups and faces.

its digital! shoot more, delete more.
((=
 

rOnGrEn

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Jan 8, 2005
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#13
problem is that it's gonna be a competition. they're not gonna be performing their drills before hand for all to see
what competition is it? Nationals? Inter-hall? Inter-faculty?

In what capacity of "official photographer" will you be shooting as? Official photographer for the organisers covering the whole event? or official photographer for a particular team? In any case, do go down to the team's practices and dry runs if there are any like Michael said.... And i think all the advices from the bros here have all been great.
 

FilterFunk

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Apr 1, 2006
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#14
i'd have 2 camera bodies with me. one with a wide to mid zoom like your kit lens, and another with a tele-zoom for close-ups.

cheerleading routines are typically fast and action-packed, crammed into a space of 2-3 minutes. you're not going to have time to change lenses! best is to have someone else with you, so you cover the wide to mid, your friend covers the close-ups and faces.
2nd this, 2 bodies, 1 wide 1 tele is a great choice for cheerleading events..
 

waileong

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Feb 5, 2003
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#17
with cheerleading being such a fast action activity, i think you need a pretty fast lens in order to freeze action. wide or tele will be tough cos u gonna need wide to capture the whole team yet have the focal length to zoom in a particular member performing some stunts. and i think u need to know the drills so you know when is the act coming to a climax.
It's a myth that you need to freeze action in sports. In fact, if every shot is frozen-- if every shot shows the mouth half open, the skirts in mid-air or the pom pom perfectly still-- it would look pretty darn boring.
 

blurry80

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#18
Actually if you see most comercial adds they have minimal motion blurr. Also some pro photographer also mention frozen better than not frozen.
 

conquer500

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Nov 14, 2007
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#19
wide angle (17-55) or tele (70-200)? any advice?
this combo is the best.

both camera set at 5fps or faster. ISO1250~1600.

only this you can capture a lot of facial expression.

be prepare to shoot at least 2000 photo or more. stating this cause i attend a couple of cheerobics as the offical before.
 

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