Photo Comparison

So part of why I am doing this blog is to chronicle my growth as a photographer. I am not so sure that it is such a good idea to do it so publicly but I don’t have much to lose so what why not. To that end, I thought I would compare a photograph I took to a photograph taken by another photographer of the same subject. The two photographs are below.

The photos were taken at the Evanston Township High School Gym on January 11, 2019, at almost exactly the same time from different angles. This provides an opportunity I have not previously had to compare one of my photographs against one taken by another photographer of the same subject at the same time.

My photograph is the one on the right. It was taken from underneath the west basket slightly north of the rim. The photograph on the left was taken by Nic Summers of Sports Star Photos (sports-star-photos.com). I didn’t have a chance to speak to Nic that night and I have never meet him. I briefly looked at his camera. It appeared to be a Sony mirrorless. I did not see which model. Frankly, all those Sony’s look the same. I can’t be sure which lens but it was the color of the G Series Sony lenses. I obviously don’t know any setting information.

So how are they different? Color for one. Color temperature or white balance is so much to taste I don’t know what to say. I don’t like yellow light so I try to correct for it as much as I can even if the color of the light in the gym is yellow.

The principal difference I can see is the graininess of my photo. I took the photo with an original verson Canon 7D. I bought this used 7D about five years. It was originally released in 2009. It uses an APC sensor. It has many of the features of the advanced full frame Canon line up, just not a full frame sensor. I have gotten good results with it over the years but its image quality is far surpassed by my 5D Mark IV.

The ISO was set at 4000—hence the graininess. I don’t get that level of graininess with my 5D at 4000 ISO. So I presume this is the limitation of the smaller megapixel smaller sensor. A modern full frame Sony sensor is vastly superior to the old 7D without a small sensor.

Both photos are good mostly because of the Jalien Gibson and the New Trier player whose name escapes me. It was an exciting play that we both captured. Nic Summers got more out of his camera that I did.

I have to find a way to overcome the graininess issues with my photographs. I plan to save money to purchase Canon’s mirrorless replacement for the 1Dx Mark II whenever that comes out. Canon must surely be planning such a camera. It is going to be pricey!

UPDATE: Nic Summers informed me that he used a Sony A9, 8000 ISO, 1/800 shutter speed at f3.2.

Wow, this really shows the advance during the last ten years of photographic technology. The performance of the A9 at 8000 ISO is remarkable. The exposure is pretty close to perfect. Only slightly grainy. I can see why the A9 is said to be the best sports camera there is.

My Canon 5D Mark IV has much better ISO performance than my 7D but I wasn’t shooting it at 8000 ISO at the Evanston game, mostly because I didn’t need to.

I am going back to ETHS on Saturday for the War on the Shore so I will be able to do some more testing. This exercise has been very interesting and productive—for me at least.

One more thing. A comment points out that Nic Summers photo shows the basket. I didn’t write at all about composition but I think she makes a good point. Nic’s Photo has that advantage. I usually try to show some of the rim and/or net if possible. I don’t remember why I didn’t in my photo.

Best of 2018

Over the years I published my favorite photos of the year in “best of” posts on the Welles Park Bulldog and Chicago Bulldog Media. I always enjoyed doing this. I could really see improvement in my work.

Now, it’s a lot of work just to pick out photos. I took about 60,000 photos this year at about 90 events. So that’s like games, family events, political events, parades, stuff like that. 60,000 pictures is a lot but it is very skewed because sporting events require something like 500 to 1,000 photos just for one game. But I still covered a lot of stuff.

I am not so sure I have gotten any better at it being a photographer this year. I spent a lot of time just experimenting around with the Canon 5D Mark IV trying to make the most out of it. There is a lot of technical stuff to master in that thing. I probably worried more about that than thinking about the subjects.

I study the photos of the pro sports photographers. My photos aren’t as good—not really even close. Brian O’Mahoney’s photos are always so crystal clear and tight. Worsom Robinson’s are always so well composed and so well sell lit. Allen Cunningham’s are always so action packed. Mine are always so grainy and far away. I have to make the leap to a 300mm/f2.8. Anybody got $6K they are not using?

So I picked out these photos as my best of the 2018. I will cull through them a little more and remove the not so good ones. I may add some more from the Christmas tournaments.

Let me know what you think.