One of the challenges I find the most enjoyable is shooting a sporting event. However let me start this off by setting the record strait, I am no sportsman. In fact I was only a marginal sports player in high school, college and as an adult. I have to admit I do not follow any sport, unless I personally know the players. In order to get me up at 7AM on a game day you have to have one of two things, either a bribe of a good dinner after the game or you have to be someone I want to see play. Having said that over the last year I have found myself at a lot of sporting events and I have become pretty adept at getting the shot. In the last year I have shoot soccer, football, cheerleading and basketball. I’d like to try my hand at some auto sports or motocross soon!
I learned a lot from the different venues:
1 - Always dress yourself and your equipment for the weather. Here is a classic example of that.
This was a nasty day for soccer, notice that two of the players have their jackets on and that the same two players have long hair. The kids were drenched from the rain. I was soaked as was my camera. After this event I looked into ways to waterproof my gear in an emergency. And lo and behold what did I find among all the recommendations for this brand or another, a simple recommendation that made a lot of sense. Carry Ziploc bags or hotel shower caps. make a whole for the lens to look through and shot away. It actually spit snow some that day.
2 - It’s not the camera, its the lens, that matters. The shot below was taken with a Sigma 50-500mm lens. I love my bigma, it may be a bit heavy but it always brings in good results.
3 - Sometimes the action is not on the field. Pay attention to the crowd, or the players after the play is over. It is emotion that you are trying to elicit in your photos, not just hte action.
4 - Shot close crop closer. I use my big zoom for most sports so I can get the faces of the action. One of my favorite shots is of the player below. I loved the shot and I was close in, but not close enough so I cropped it closer. The first is the original shot, the second is after cropping.
I didn’t notice the finger until I cropped it, then I started looking at other shots I had of our player, he always runs like this.
5 - Don’t forget to white balance your camera if you are shooting inside. Particularly in a gym under sodium lights.
All in all it has been a great year of learning, and I look forward to learning more.
Hope you are enjoying the thread, leave comments if there is any topic you would like to see me explore more in depth.