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!
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
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
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
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.
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).