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
Thus, the essential qualities of a sports photographer are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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