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Secrets to Incredible Sports Photography

Secrets to Incredible Sports Photography

Would you like to be able to take quality images of your kid’s sports events? Or maybe you’ve been hired to shoot the area high school sporting events for the local newspaper. Whatever your reason, capturing fast paced action of any sport is tough. Capturing that action in a dimly lit gymnasium with no flash allowed, or from the opposite side of the field from where the big play is happening is even tougher. Sports photography is challenging, but there’s nothing quite like the thrill of capturing that touchdown catch in midair or that slide into home plate. Here are some sports photography tips to help you create quality sporting photos like the ones you see in professional magazines.

Secrets to Incredible Sports Photography

Know the sport

A big part of sports photography is anticipating action. You need to have a strong and instinctive understanding of a sport to really shoot it well. You won’t get the best shots by simply reacting. Be just as ready for the play as the players themselves. Know the situation and plan accordingly. Pay attention to the tendencies that players display throughout the game. Watch for people that seem to be emotional or play a certain way. Soccer, hockey, tennis, golf, fighting, racing, it's all the same. Doing some research and knowing the sport will provide a big lift for your images. Getting a feel for a sport also allows you to nail a shot with a single shot grabbing a frame at the exact moment you wanted.

Be Active

If you can move, move. When shooting soccer or basketball, for example, if you stick to one end of the field or court, you’ll only be capturing either offense or defense for that team. Also, consider which direction the athletes will be facing, you want to capture the expressions on the athletes’ faces whenever possible. A monopod comes in handy for staying mobile, while still offering a bit of stabilization and more importantly, keeping the weight of the camera from off your neck when you’re shooting for a few hours straight.

Secrets to Incredible Sports Photography

Keep shooting after the whistle

Keep shooting until the whistle blows and then some. That's how you get moments of celebration and failure, coaches and players losing their minds, the moments that oftentimes define the game more than any individual play. Don't stop shooting once the catch is made, and don't ever assume that a whistle means the play is over. Sometimes the most compelling shots of runners are almost always after they have crossed the finish line. Always keep your camera ready, and you will catch some of your best photos.

Secrets to Incredible Sports Photography

Freeze Action Shots- People want to see people suspended in midair, or in mid shot. So most of the time you want to freeze the action by using a fast shutter speed. The faster the shutter speed, the better the freeze, and the more light you’ll need. Set your Olympus Digital Camera from to the fastest shutter speed possible.

Catch the emotion

In most cases, emotion is what makes the shot. The thrill of victory or the agony of defeat are both fantastic emotions to capture. But don’t forget to capture the emotion of a high jumper preparing for the highest jump of his career. Or a softball batter positioning to hit a ball between two fielders. Even a youth soccer player getting the hair out of her eyes makes for a compelling photo. Don’t forget to turn your Olympus Digital Camera around every now and again and look at the crowd because their reactions also make for incredible shots. Taking memorable sports images takes practice, but with patience and a little knowledge, you can produce sports magazine quality images.

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