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Super Secret Project Photography Critique

Jared Polin December 3, 2010 22

My SKYPE line rang one afternoon (jaredpolin) and on the other end was a new photographer who had only been shooting for two weeks. He was asking questions in regards to getting better pictures inside an old gym. Ryan was shooting with a Canon T1I and Canon 50mm F/1.4 USM lens. I thought this would make for a great Super Secret Project video, Skype Call and Photo Critique.

What was great to hear was that Ryan was trying out the settings that I had recommended in past Super Secret Project videos. Based on our conversation it sounded like he was not far off from getting killer pictures. I thought it would be best if I had Ryan send me over some of his RAW files so I could give him some added direction.

I definitely liked the direction he was going based off the RAW files. He had the starts of good composition which is one of the most important aspects of photography. Once you have the ground work laid for composition your proper settings will follow.

This is another long form video but I think there are a lot of nuggets in here to help you out.


  1. Stuartyboy December 3, 2010 at 10:26 am -

    Another great vid.

    This is what makes this site the best on the net. It has content that is squarely aimed at users of all levels and is delivered in a fashion that everyone can understand. I bet Ryan went away better inspired and informed with the down to earth tips and help from Jared.

    Even though Im confident with a camera I still like to watch these and listen as there is always something new that can be learned. Superb.

  2. Trinka Lumley December 3, 2010 at 11:17 am -

    What a great video. I sure could have used it a couple of months ago. LOL. I was shooting my daughters basketball game and just couldn’t get that “frozen” shot. Now I know what too do. Thanks so much Jared for your wisdom.

  3. Aaron Sarauer December 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm -

    Hey Jared, I was wondering if you can shoot a bit faster even if it makes your photo a bit dark and then recover it a bit in lightroom after. I know this isn’t ideal, but is it a decent solution if you are already maxed out on ISO (1600 on my cam)?

  4. Wallace Barron December 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm -


  5. Vanja December 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm -

    What an informative video. I am so glad I found this site. Thanks Jared!

  6. Vijayakumar December 3, 2010 at 1:07 pm -

    I took pics of a dance concert at apperturer priority mode. It was 1/160 on D3000. I used the lighting of the stage.I thought the pics came out well and is in JPEG. Can I send them for your critique? Youer comments are good but tell also why of the things.

  7. Judy December 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm -

    Thanks Jared! Videos like these are so perfect! You provided so much useful information that others will be able to immediately apply.

  8. JV December 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm -

    “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission”

    Maybe, but maybe not with minors. I got hassled for testing a telephoto lens NEAR a school around the time school got out. I don’t think I could shoot a girl’s basketball game without like, three kinds of permission first. But that’s just me.

  9. Jared Polin December 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm -

    @jv that is true also. Funny thing is for the past two time i photographed sports once at a youth soccer game and once inside the school during a 7th grade basketball game no one said a word.

  10. NikonCoupleSoFlo December 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm -

    JV how ironic a buddy at work said that very same quote yesterday when I was scared to tell my wife I bought a Nikkor 70-200 2.8. Turns out she is now anxious to try out the lens herself.

    Again another great “long form” video with something for everyone.

  11. arnold December 3, 2010 at 6:45 pm -

    Hey Jared. You have mentioned that he can shoot at 2.8 at ISO 1600 at 250th or 320th of a second will under expose the shots by two stops. Your recommendation is you took away two stops of light by increasing your fstop to 2.8 and increasing the light by increasing the ISO two stops to 1600. So you are basically back to 100th of a second to have the same exposure. So if you need to get the 250th or 320th you need to increase your ISO two stops to ISO 6400 to get those shutter speeds that you recommended. By looking at the photos they are already underexposed so you would probably need to shoot even at higher ISO than 6400 in that auditorium. Just my observation that I wanted to point out to you and the viewers that are reading this. (f1.4 to f2.0 is a stop not 1.8 :) )

  12. Ryan Collins December 3, 2010 at 6:53 pm -

    Awesome! You Rock Jared 😉

  13. Jared Polin December 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm -

    I will be able to cheat the system and get a good exposure around 1/125 to 320th of a second but there are a lot of variables to content with. Are certain areas of the gym brighter than the other, can you freeze the action and bring the exposure back later. So on so forth.

    thanks for your comment.

  14. Jake December 4, 2010 at 2:35 am -

    You rock.. I love all the information that gets packed into these videos.

  15. Francis Quigley December 4, 2010 at 6:03 am -

    Excellent video Jared, keep it up, hope you don’t that i have shared this on our camera club website for all of the members to learn from it. (better to ask for forgivness than permission ehh ;-)…
    by the way the website is http://www.carrickcameraclub.com thanks again

  16. Jay December 4, 2010 at 6:23 am -

    Great Video, great information and inspirational. Sometimes it’s hard to be critical yet motivational, and you do terrific job.
    Keep these vids coming

  17. Keith December 4, 2010 at 7:05 am -

    Hi Jared, I love this site….you’re an absolute legend.

  18. Malik December 4, 2010 at 11:38 am -

    Hey Jared I shoot with a Canon T2i. I noticed you kept saying to try bumping the iso to avoid under exposing in low light conditions. The T2i shoots up to 6400 but I’ve noticed around 1600 the shots become a bit noisy. Any advice on that ? Thanks.

    Btw great video. Helped out a lot.

  19. Barilla December 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm -

    Don’t be worried so much about the noise. Most of the time noisy picture > blurred picture. What You should know about the noise is that it’s more visible in the dark parts of the image, meaning that sometimes shooting at ISO 3200 and exposing the image properly will be less noisy than shooting at 1600 and underexposing it. And remember You can reduce the noise a lot in lightroom or any other raw editing software. Cheers.

  20. Tom Orello December 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm -

    Hey, Jared! I like that kinda video. It gives lot’s of important information for shooting sports in a gym. I’ve taken a lot of indoor-basketball pictures before I started to learn more about photography. Now I can’t wait to try it out again, being more experienced. It’s nice learn from someone who knows – like the FRO!

  21. Craig December 15, 2010 at 10:37 am -

    JP! I noticed that the RAW images were _MG meaning Adobe RGB. The more recent Canon manuals are saying stay away from Adobe RGB unless you intend to send them off to publish. Canon says they are flatter and less colorful. So stay with RGB. What say ye, or should I ask Fro-Vader?

  22. Jeremy R January 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm -

    Hi Fro,

    Thx for your great work. BTW it is a myth that the porn industry had anything to do with the demise of BETA (BETA had an extensive porn library with all the players). Fro-Vader must have given you that idea. It was price,options and recording time that was the factor. It is an intersting story and porn had nothing to do with it. I am glad that I could provide you with some info for a change.