sports photography tips
15 Oct

How To Master Sports Photography

Posted by Will Nienke 15-Oct-2015

Sports photography offers you the opportunity to capture action-packed photos which are full of dramatic and exciting imageries. To achieve this, there are a number of things which you will need to understand, from mastering shutter speed to ensuring that you’re in the ideal location to capture the most action. Here are some tips that will help you produce images which will be the envy of everyone who sees them.

Select the Right Lens

The essence of capturing a great shot comes down to the type of lens you use. Sports photography often requires high end equipment, and the reason for this is because having a good lens allows you to shoot from anywhere in the stadium, which includes those end zones which will appear during football games. When you get ready to buy a lens, the most ideal for sports photography is a long lens like 300mm and 400mm. However, these may be too expensive for some, and if this is the case, purchase 70-200mm lens instead.

Go with Slower Shutter Speed

There are times when a slower shutter speed is most ideal. Examples of this are a baseball game where you need to shoot the player swinging the bat with a picturesque silhouette. In a situation like this, it is unwise to shoot the photo near 1/60 per second, unless you want a background which is blurry. Otherwise, its best to make sure the shutter speed is low so that both the player and the background are clear.

Don’t Use Flash

For most professional or college level sports events which take place outdoors, flash photography is not allowed. The reason for this is because the flash can distract players and irritate their coaches. If you’re taking photos at a small or local sports event, flash may be allowed, but it is best to check with the coaches to be sure this is permitted.

Keep All Your Equipment Nearby

When you’re on the sidelines of an event taking pictures, and the action is heating up, the last thing you want to do is go back to your bag to switch your equipment. This is why shrewd sports photographers carry three things on their person at all times and these are a photo vest, belt system and fanny pack.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

A photographer who pays attention to his or her surroundings is an individual who will be presented with excellent opportunities for shooting some amazing images, which will capture the essence of the event. Tailgating before the game can allow you to shoot some great pictures of fans before the event, and if you’re taking photos at a basketball game, watch the courtside before the event begins. A wide lens such as 10.5 and 14mm are excellent for capturing cheering fans in the stadium.

Avoid Chimping

Chimping is a common problem among amateur photographers. This basically occurs when, after every shot you take, you stop to review every photo in the LCD. The problem with this is that you’re taking your attention off the action and focusing on the camera, which means you’ll miss opportunities to capture great images. Wait until after the event to review the photos, and focus instead on taking a high volume of shots. Taking better sports photographs allows them to be published on your website to attract more online followers to your team.