Of all the kinds and styles of photography being practiced today, sports (and action) photography is probably the most exciting – not to mention the most difficult – of all. Since this kind of photography involves so much speed and action, photographing your subjects requires much more than the usual knack for good angles. You’ll also need the strength to endure a few physical limitations during the shoot.
Sports photography usually include shots that are taken during a game or while the subjects are in their respective field. Aiming to “freeze” moments during the actual event, action photographers need to be equipped with the right photography equipment, trained with enduring tenacity, and fueled with an overwhelming desire to capture each moment and emotion at their best.
Photographing Different Kinds Of Sports
The best thing about sports photography is that the photographer can freeze a single moment that contains pure and raw emotion and share it with the public in print or online. If you’re into photography and interested in taking adrenaline-pumping shots, try to familiarize yourself with different kinds of sports first. Since each sport varies, the styles and techniques used in capturing and freezing each moment also vary.
If you are already out there taking photos, it is a must that you have a brief background about the sport you are covering (identify your safety beforehand). Knowledge in the basic fundamentals of coaching style, sport rules, and players will help you identify their most interesting angles.
Sports Photography Guidelines
Here are some basic sports photography guidelines fit for common sports:
1. Baseball. Most seasoned sports photographers would agree that baseball is one sport that is hardest to shoot because of its unpredictability. Make sure that you get your safety first before getting experimental shots.
2. Basketball. Unlike baseball, this is an easier sport to shoot because you only have to focus on two subjects: the player who handles the ball and the net. But its simplicity limits you to different angles, so make sure you get plenty of shots to choose from.
3. Football. This is another relatively easy sport to shoot – but it is considered as the most equipment intense sports because it requires waiting for the perfect shot. Although it’s easy to maintain your safety, it’s still up to you to produce action shots that stand out.
4. Soccer and Hockey. Because of the speed and sudden movements involved in these sports, auto focus cameras are recommended.
5. Volleyball. My personal favourite. Although it is one of the rarely covered sports events, volleyball is also one of favorites because dramatic shots can be derived all throughout. Since moves in the sports are quite tricky, make sure that you turn your camera’s autofocus on.
6. Golf. It’s hard to shoot photos during the game due to the nature of the game itself. What you can do is camp at one location and take shots as players pass by or use a cart to follow the individual players.
7. Track and Field. Though access can be limited, this is one sport that is fun to shoot because movements are somewhat predictable and easy to shoot. All you need is good timing.
8. Gymnastics and Figure Skating. One basic rule in these sports: NO FLASH. Since they involve individuals performing, the use of flash is restricted because it may distract the players. Therefore, major problem you’ll encounter is lighting – but this can be solved once the venue is lit up for the event.
9. Motorsports and Racing Events. Another personal favourite. These are fairly easy to photograph because you can get away with slower lenses. But since you’re far from the track, you need longer lenses for the shoot.
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