Posted on January 9th, 2010
Today we are going to talk about sports photography and offer a few tips that may help you out. Sports photography can be challenging if you do not have the right equipment. This is also probably one of the purest forums of photography. Most sports are very quick paced events and usually there are quite a few players and plays happening at once. These few tips ensure great action shots on the field, court or wherever play is taking place.
Snapshot digital cameras are difficult to use for sports photography due to the time lag while the camera focuses and the shutter opens. These cameras are not very good under low light conditions due to the very small pixels. They also have built in zoom lenses which may be good to shoot a sport like basketball, but not good enough for sports like baseball and football.
DSLR cameras like the Canon 40D and Nikon D300 are more suitable for sports photography. These cameras usually include a decent kit lens like an 18mm to 50mm zoom. The one issue with these lenses is that ther are usually slow in terms of focal ratio. For a sport like football you will need a lense that is at least 200mm to 300mm.
Get in the Game
Timing is of the essence for a sports photographer. Make sure you are paying attention to whats happening on the field/court as well as whats happening on the sidelines or dugout. Record the reactions of teammates and coaches to great plays and disastrous errors by their team or the opposing team. They just as effective in capturing the memory of a great play as the play itself. Be sure and also take photos as fast as possible. The action can move pretty fast in a game like football. Try to get as close to your subject as possible for the best resolution.
Understand the game you are shooting. If you understand that game and teams playing it will make it easier to capture those great moments.
Pay attention and expect the unexpected. In all sports anything can and will happen. The one time you put your camera down could be the one time a great play happens. You need to have the camera focused a second ahead or you’ll miss your shot.
Sport photography takes practice, so take as many photos as possible. You will get better as time goes with each shot. Good luck.