11 Important tips to be followed when shooting sports photography

Sports photography is one of the most difficult types of photography, as it depends greatly on speed, and it includes photographing sporting events such as matches, car races and water games. A sports photographer has a difficult test before he gets a professional sports photograph.

Shooting fast-moving subjects are much more difficult than shooting stationary subjects. Whether you are photographing sporting events for your children or covering an amateur or professional sporting event.
The tips in this article will help you become more confident in sports photography.

Important tips that must be followed when photographing sports

Take many photos:

sport photography

You must capture a large number of pictures per second and from different angles in order to be able to capture many pictures and not lose any important shot during the match or sporting event, and this requires a very high shutter speed.

Choosing the right moment:

You must wait for the right moment to grab a perfect picture, for example you must wait for the player to kick the ball in order to score a goal, or when the player is injured, for example, or photographing the team’s facial expressions after winning or losing.

sport photography
The fire jump in the Spartan Obstacle Race

Use a telephoto lens:

The sports photographer needs a telephoto lens, because he needs to get very close to the target to be photographed, and most of the most common zoom lenses often reach 200 mm or 300 mm, so it is preferable for the staff to be close and full, and in addition to that, it is preferable to use wide lenses.

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As we mentioned previously, sports photography depends on capturing the appropriate moment in the sporting event, and the most important thing in this type of photography is to place the faces of the players to show their expressions, and the most used rule is the space rule, so a distance should be left in front of the moving target.

sport photography

Camera settings:

The sports photographer may not have enough time to adjust the camera settings from time to time, and he does not know from what angle and when the right moment will come, so it is preferable that the priority in adjusting the speed of the shutter, in order to fix the goal appropriately, in football matches the shutter speed is 1 / 500, as for faster targets such as racing cars or airplanes, the shutter speed is 1/1000.

Focus is preferred over automatic mode, as you may not have enough time to move your Fox from one target to another, so you can find targets more easily.

Set the mode to Continues Shutter to capture images faster, preferably using storage mode over Jpeg mode because it is faster in storage.

Marcel Hirscher performs during a video shoot at Reiteralm in Austria on 24th of March, 2015.

Learn sports to be able to understand and anticipate the movement of the target

You have to learn the sport you want to photograph in order to understand its movements and be able to anticipate the next. A large part of sports photography is action-packed. You’ll never get that great shot of a short-range diving sprint by simply reflexing. You have to be prepared for that game just like the player himself.

sport photography

You need a strong and instinctive understanding of sports to portray it well. In baseball shooting? Watch the defense and see where they turn. They know the poll report on the mixture and move accordingly. Pay attention to whether the club is left-handed or right-handed, the same for the shooter. Know the situation and plan accordingly.

In football the same thing, watch how the teams line up, know where they are on the field, and position yourself to take advantage of it. Basketball can be very fun because it is more restrictive and somewhat predictable. Pay attention to the tendencies players display throughout the game. Observe people who appear emotional or play a certain way.

Football, hockey, tennis, golf, fighting, racing: they’re all the same. Doing some research and knowing the sport will provide a huge boost to your photos. The sporty feel also allows you to highlight your shot with one frame instead of splashing and praying (that’s okay, but it’s fun to have a frame at exactly the moment you want it). Both shots below were by timing one exposure versus holding down the shutter release.

You have to learn the sport you want to photograph in order to understand its movements and be able to anticipate the next. A large part of sports photography is action-packed. You’ll never get that great shot of a short-range diving sprint by simply reflexing. You have to be prepared for that game just like the player himself.

Take a position opposite the sun

This topic comes to you through Profilm for filming and filmmaking website. When shooting outdoors, the best light is the kind you get on a slightly cloudy day – without direct sunlight. However, you cannot control the weather – so it is important to know how to operate in any conditions.

Always try to photograph your subjects and the sun behind you. This ensures good lighting for your subjects. If you shoot in the sun, you will likely end up with subjects shaded.

However, photographing in the sun can work in your favor – giving you the opportunity to capture subjects in silhouette – as shown below.

Direct sunlight creates solid, dark shadows and bright highlights. Digital cameras cannot capture detail at both ends – near black and near white.

Therefore, try to ensure that the most important part of your topic is well exposed. If the person’s face is visible, expose the face to reveal the facial features. Do this even if it means that the other bright areas of the scene are too bright or the darker areas are a little dark.

Take a location that will show a distinct background in your photos

Most sports websites offer multiple backgrounds for photography. On the sports field, you can frame some shots to include the spectators as a background, or use the field, by finding a position a little higher to shoot from, and shoot a little lower.

In the equestrian competitions, there will be a mixture of natural backgrounds (rows of trees and distant hills) or acceptable aesthetic backgrounds that add touches, such as fences, spectators or stables. However, there will also be food vending carts, moderators in flare vests, and banners. From a purely aesthetic point of view, these are not desirable at all as wallpapers.

If you want the best results, or are hoping to sell your photos to competitors, you will have more luck with cleaner, less distorted backgrounds.

Use the Telephoto or Zoom lens for fast moving targets

Sports photography usually dictates that you are at a safe distance from fast-moving objects. This means you will need your longest lens. Large subjects (such as cars and horses) can often be photographed at the longest focal length of a 70-200mm lens.

Smaller targets – such as runners, cyclists, motorcyclists, snowboarders, skiers and snowboards – may require slightly longer lenses – 300 mm and above. You can use shorter lenses, but that forces you to be closer to the action to get good shots. This topic comes to you through Profilm.com for filming and filmmaking.

If your lens or camera has image stabilization, enable it as this will help reduce noise caused by unsteady hands. However, it is important to understand that image stabilization cannot compensate for moving objects.

In sports photography, since you are shooting fast-moving subjects, choose shutter priority (TV on Canon cameras or Nikon S on the camera’s shooting mode dial). This allows you to control the shutter speed and tell the camera to choose a suitable aperture and ISO to complete the exposure triangle.

To capture your subject with little or no motion blur, you’ll need to use a sufficient shutter speed. The rule of thumb is to make sure you select a shutter speed that is faster than 1 / focal length. Therefore, if the lens is set at a focal length of 200 mm, you need a shutter speed of at least 1/200 s.

Increase the sharpness of the target using Panning

As you found out above, the image stabilization feature cannot compensate for your subject’s movement. To compensate for target movement, you need to try to keep the subject still in the binoculars.

The most effective way to do this is to use a technique known as “panning”. Once you decide where to hit the shutter, choose your subject well before it gets there. Follow his movement with the camera, trying to keep a small space in front of him. Keep tracking your target smoothly. And when you reach your chosen point, press the shutter button, without stopping the smooth movement of the camera. Continue even after pressing the shutter. This will result in better, sharper shots, with more blurry backgrounds, which helps accentuate your subject better.

Leave space for your subject to move in

A common mistake that all photographers make from time to time is to hit the target in the middle of the scene. This is bad enough with a static subject, but the problem is compounded with a moving subject. Without room to turn the subject into, the image can feel cramped by a very narrow crop.

By leaving enough space in front of the subject (in the direction of his movement), the viewer is able to see where the subject is heading, even if it is just several feet from space. This emphasizes the sense of movement and results in more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing sporty images.

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