Sports photography is perhaps the most exciting and engaging form of photography. It gives you an opportunity to freeze the action, capture the enthusiasm, team spirit and reactions of the players on the field fighting till the end to win a game. Sports photography engages you in the sport though not as a player but still you need to dive in action to capture the action. Being ready with the camera, anticipating the action and not missing the drama, is what sports photography is all about.
Even as a beginner, sports photography offers amazing opportunities to spice up your collection of images. Though it is difficult to capture all the action with accuracy, you are at par to sizzle with your experience as a sports photographer even for the first time. The dramatic moves and the strategic goals make the photographs even more interesting. Photographing the players fighting on the field, cheering at the victory and making their way to the goal is amazing and astonishing. Sports photography is full of fun and surprises. So, what are you waiting for. Just follow this basic guide and give sports photography a try.
Know The Game & The Rules
Is it an indoor game or an outdoor game? Team game or a solo game? Fast game or a slow game? Knowing the basics about the game gives you an opportunity to photograph the action, drama, excitement and thrill with accuracy. Photographing the sports requires you to react quickly to the nuances, moves and exciting turn offs and on of the game, which is quite not possible if you don’t know about the rules of the game. Getting ready to photograph the free throw or anticipating a goal and capturing the reaction of the entire team once the goal is hit is momentous. It thus helps you in grabbing the opportunities by placing yourself at the right place at the right time (and with accurate camera-settings). Knowing the game also comes in handy for carrying appropriate equipment.
Carry The Right Equipment
The periphery, lights, area of coverage, number of players, etc help in determining the appropriate lens and camera (and need to carry external flash for low-lighting) to capture the action. Even though they say the camera doesn’t matter in taking good photographs, having a DSLR and an appropriate lens is an advantage for sports photography. Long and speedy fast lenses are probably the best option for sports photographer. Unless you are a press photographer, you are not allowed to enter the sidelines or the periphery of the playing ground. You have to click the photographs from your seat itself, which means a greater distance from your subject which thus requires you to choose from the long lenses offered by the lens manufacturers. For any sport a long zoom-lens 80-200 f/2.8 or 70-300 f4.5-5.6 lens is good enough for covering a wide area.
- Sports Mode: In the sports mode the camera detects the motion, i.e. selects the focus point and tunes the camera settings to capture the action. The camera automatically sets the shutter speed to maximum, boosts the ISO (light sensitivity) to compensate for low light and turns the flash off to capture the shots faster.
- Shutter Priority Mode: Sports photography requires you to freeze the motion and therefore tuning the camera to high shutter speed makes it a good option for photographing the action and movement. Choose to tune in the camera to shutter priority mode to capture the motion blurs to heighten the sense of motion. In other case, for taking the sharp images choose to dial the control to sports mode.
- Continuous Focus Mode: Normally the camera focus mode sets the focus only once, i.e., when you press the shutter halfway. With continuous focus mode on, the camera will continuously keep the moving subject in focus, thus making it easier for you to capture the performer in action.
- Continuous Shooting Mode: The camera when set to shoot in continuous mode allows you to take the photograph one after another at the rated fps (frame per second), thus allowing as high as 10-12 frames per second depending on the camera model and make. Tuning the camera to continuous shooting mode or the burst mode helps you in not missing the shot of the day.
Add Drama With Composition
- Feature Sports Conflicts
- Capture Expressions (& Emotions)
- Fight For The Ball
- Go For Panning
- Shoot The Ultimate
Expect the unexpected and always be ready with the camera to capture the ultimate shot. You need to react instantly to make the ultimate shot happen. Knowing the game and predicting the behavior of players comes in handy for capturing stunning action in sports photography.
Pick up your camera and get ready to shoot the sports tournament your friend (or kid) is participating in.