Technique tips 1 (sport/action)


I quite often get asked for tips on how to take photo’s, I do lots of action/sports photography, so i get asked how do i get the images i do.

One of my biggest tips is have an interest in what you are photographing, its easier to get good images if you are interested in the sport you are trying to photograph. I say it is easier because if you have the interest, you can pick moments to capture amongst all the action.

Camera settings are important, if you are photographing a sport such as football or hockey then you want to use the highest shutter speed possible to freeze the action. I try to use a minimum of 1/1000th of a second  to stop the action cold.

If you are capturing a sport such as football or hockey, having heaps of people competing for the same space does not always work. Sometimes focusing on one or two players with the ball visible in the shot tells just as dramatic a story. Image

As you can see in the above pic, the goal keeper is moving and the attacking player is also on the move and the ball is clearly moving, this shot shows action but also leaves you wondering what happens next?

Another great pic opportunity is when something major happens, the pic below shows the celebration of a go ahead goal in a championship game, the joy of the goal scorer and team mate, and the dejection of the defending team is evident by the player lying on the ground and his team mate to the left can not believe it either.Image

Sports such as Surfing offer the photographer such a range of options that you can get some stunning images and be creative at the same time. A big telephoto lens is a big requirement for shooting surfing as unless you are at Dunedin’s St Clair beach and the tide is in, you are generally not close to the action.  When I shoot surfing, i generally use around 1/500th – 1/1000th of a second as this creates some motion in the waves but still stops the actionImage

Motorsport is another good one for wanting to freeze action, but retain some movement elements.  I tend to use between 1/250th and 1/500th of a second exposure, and panning. This combo of panning and exposure speed give backgrounds the motion blur, and wheels still look like they are turning, yet the car is sharp and in focus.Image

Airplanes are a tough subject to photograph well from the ground, they are faster than a lot of race cars, and if they are propeller driven, the spinning prop adds another dimension, I photograph Airplanes using the Shutter Priority and set the Shutter speed to 1/250th of a second, this gives the sharpness of the airplane, but keeps the propeller spinning like the image below


The next image shows what happens with a faster shutter speed, the shutter speed was 1/800th of a second and look at the propeller i looks like it is stopped


The big thing as always is to take pics and develop your own personal style to shooting action and sports


One Response to “Technique tips 1 (sport/action)”

  1. 1 awayfarday

    Reblogged this on awayfarday.

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