Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Extreme Stop-Action

Click image to view at 1000 pixels wide

I finally had a chance to try out the 'sport' mode on the camera, this being a shutter-priority system which optimises for the fastest possible shutter speed, stopping violent action such as on the sports field. I'm not a big sports watcher, so the Medieval Fair at Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills, in May 2009, was a perfect opportunity: a sunny day and violent action! Teams of armoured medieval warriors did battle for the audience in true 14th-century style, and I was quite surprised by how well the shutter priority system worked. The subjects were moving rapidly but are stopped as crystal-clear as the background. Obviously, as light levels fall the effectiveness of this sytem wll be lost if exposure is to be maintained, so overcast days and other low-light situations do not lend themselves to this system (though you can compensate with rated filmspeed up to the 'virtual grain' threshold, and that's a matter of taste). Enhancements were 5% sharpening and a few points of extra clour saturation. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic exposure, telephoto, sport mode. Image by Mike.

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