Sports Photography Tips


Sports Photography Tips

For a beginner in this specialized field, it can really be a daunting task before one can learn the ropes. In truth, there is no shortcut about it. Nothing can replace hours of practice and years of experience in sports photography. However, here are a few things that the beginner can bear in mind.

1. Have the Right Equipment

Of course, the first step is to acquire the gear. Choose the right gear with respect to the sport that you expect to be focusing on (indoors or outdoors). Cameras should ideally have fast shutter speeds and lenses should have wide apertures (see earlier sections for details). Telephoto lenses are essential as the photographer will never be anywhere near most of the action. If you get past this first step, then you can convince yourself that you possess the necessary motivation to become a sports photographer since the equipment is quite expensive!

2. Access

One can only photograph things that one can see! Access in the business is a critical success factor. Your location with respect to the action is what will determine the quality of your shots. You can have the most sophisticated equipment, but without the proper access to the action, it is all worthless.

3. Pay attention to the faces

Shooting fantastic action is great, but what makes sports photographs so captivating is the look on the players’ faces. The strain of monumental effort, the emotions of the game, the grimaces, the expressions of joy and excitement are what renders the shot extraordinary.

4. Timing

In many sports, key action occurs at specific moments in the game; for example, when the player kicks a ball towards the net in soccer. Catching these specific moments is what sports photography is all about. Of course, the photographer is never warned that these moments are going to happen. He therefore has to be alert and pay attention to the game at all times.

5. Propose something different

The viewer sees shots that resemble each other every other day when he opens his sports magazine. Get his attention with a novel viewpoint or a new angle that will make his favourite sport exciting again.

6. Pay attention to backgrounds

Backgrounds can ruin an otherwise wonderful shoot. Most beginners do not realize the effect of backgrounds until they view their shots on the computer. Good sports photographs usually involve less emphasis on the background.

7. Focus on players with the greatest chance of great action

Star players are often a sure bet. Try to follow them and opportunities for great shots will appear on their own. This of course involves a knowledge of the game.

8. Alertness

Sports are in perpetual motion. Anything can happen within a fraction of a second. Being prepared for it, leads to fewer missed opportunities. This means readying the equipment (lens covers off, camera settings are set, batteries charged and lenses clean). This also means being mentally ready (focusing on the game at all times).

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