What makes a good sport photographer?


What makes a good sport photographer?

If you thought that all that was needed to make a good pic was a nice camera and good lighting, you probably should leave right now! The technicalities of a photo shoot are simple enough to understand. You need adequate lighting, good exposure, great zooming to make a photo clear and sharp for the viewer. But after the viewer has seen that “clear and sharp” pic, he will just shift to another unless, of course, the object of that shot is captivating enough to have a lasting effect on his mind. In other words, is the pic “cool” enough? 90% of the sports photographer’s job is to find that “cool” moment. The rest, clicking the apparatus and taking the shot, is straightforward. A great shot speaks to the viewer. The camera can only take a shot; only you can take a GREAT shot!

Thus, the essential qualities of a sports photographer are:

1. Talent

Unfortunately, nobody can teach you the talent of taking good shots. Either you have it or you don’t! However, even untalented photographers can go a long way through hard work and perseverance.

2. Knowledge

For a sports photographer, knowledge of the sport is a crucial element. It is important to know what is meaningful and what is useless. With this knowledge, the photographer is better prepared to click the camera as the events unfold.

3. Patience

Getting the right shot may ask for long hours of waiting, even in sports! The sports photographer has to be on alert waiting for that really cool shot.

4. Editing

Like any other photographer, the sports photographer will take dozens of pictures in every game. Most of them will be useless! The sports photographer must be sensible enough to differentiate the useless ones from the good ones. Throw away the awful pics and conserve only the best ones for your viewers.

5. Familiarity with the Equipment

Knowing how your camera will interpret reality is essential. Cameras do not reproduce reality exactly. All shots are distorted with respect to what has happened in the real world. Each camera will produce different results. It is therefore essential to know what the expected results when clicking the camera are. This can only be achieved through lengthy practice sessions with your equipment.

6. Location

Choice of the location with respect to the action is very important. For a horse race, for example, the beginning and the finishing line are the most important. Being near to these is crucial for a photographer to cover the event successfully. Location determines your opportunities for taking good photos. Near the action means more opportunity. Thus, gaining access to the game compounds is crucial. This means having connections, or at least, the ability to negotiate. You must remember that there will be a horde of photographers vying for the best spots. If you work for a good newspaper, it is easier to negotiate for the best spots. Otherwise, pure luck or your own ingenuity may get you the best shots.

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