10 tips to up your sports photography game26th June 2018 // Bronya Bouchia
Sports season is truly upon us with the world cup in full swing and Wimbledon just around the corner. For any photography enthusiasts, sporting events are a great opportunity to put your skills to the test and capture the fast-paced action in all its glory.
If you’re heading out to photograph some sports this summer, take a look at our best sports photography tips and techniques below, that will have you taking jaw-dropping images in no time at all.
1. Use a fast shutter speed
Manually adjusting your shutter speed to a faster setting will ensure that you capture crisp and clear images instead rather than blurry snapshots. Use tutorials online to learn sports photography settings, and make sure you understand shutter speed and how it affects your images. You’ll soon get used to judging the most appropriate shutter speed for your situation.
2. Take more photos than you think you need
It’s always a good idea to take more images than you think you’ll need. This will make sure you have as wide a choice as possible when narrowing down your album from the event. It will also help you to make sure you don’t miss the all-important ‘money shot’.
3. Opt for a long lens
Even if you get your hands on the best seats money can buy, it’s likely you’ll still be a fair way from the players, meaning it’s a good idea to invest in a long lens. This will help your images to feel up close and part of the action, even if they weren’t quite so close in reality.
4. Know the sport
When photographing sport, it’s important to have at least a vague idea of how it works before setting out with your camera. If you’ve never watched the sport before, do some research on Youtube or try to catch a recorded game. This will give you a better idea of what to expect, including where to look to spot the action, and how long you’ll be photographing for.
5. Don’t use automatic camera modes
Most modern DSLRs or professional cameras will come with a number of preset modes, such as sports photography settings. Although these preset modes can certainly be helpful for absolute beginners, by learning more about your camera and choosing your own settings you can elevate the quality of the images you take.
6. Make the most of burst settings
Burst settings allow you to take a number of photos at a time with just one press of the capture button. This can help to make sure that you capture the ‘money shot’, or a great mid-action shot that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Many cameras will have a built in burst mode, so it’s worth making yourself familiar with it before heading out to a sports event.
7. Find an interesting angle
We’ve all seen the typical classic sports photos, so why not try breaking the mould by taking your pictures from an unusual angle? Think about taking pictures from directly above the action, or the point of view of one of the athletes, so your audience feel like they’re at the heart of the action.
8. Avoid ‘chimping’
‘Chimping’ is a bad habit that even the most experienced of photographers can fall foul of. It is a term used to describe checking your images as soon as you’ve taken them, which means you often miss out on great shots as you’re busy evaluating the images you’ve just taken. Try to only check your images after the event, or during breaks, to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action.
9. Carry on after the action stops
Some of the best and most iconic sports photography doesn’t just focus on the sport itself - it captures the emotions and reactions of the fans and teams after the action stops too. Look for celebrations, sad reactions to losses and interactions between players to help you tell the story of the game and bring emotion into your images.
10. Don’t forget to edit
Even the best photographers in the world don’t put their raw images out into the public view; they take time to carefully edit their photos so they look the absolute best that they can. Spend some time editing your favourite pictures before posting them, so they look as impressive as possible.
These easy tips will help you to capture your best images yet during this sports season. Whilst you’re out and about though, it’s important that you protect your kit from any bumps and knocks from the sport and crowd. Find out more about our crushproof and waterproof camera cases or explore the range here to find the perfect case for your needs.