Practicing sports photography requires skill, experience, and a few tricks to know. If you took your camera to your kid’s game and tried to shoot a story, the results may have nothing to do with professional sports photography you can find in the media. You’d like to know why ? If you follow our tips for getting started in sports photography, you will surely improve your results the next time you organize a shoot in this discipline.
As we have said, sports photography is a discipline that requires a lot of practice. Obviously you will not achieve spectacular photos from day one. The idea is to gradually improve and eventually specialize. Here are our tips for sports photography, tips for all those who want to experiment with this discipline.
Know the sport you are going to photograph
It sounds like a simple tip, but not that much. It is imperative that you understand the rules of the sport you plan to photograph. In principle, in sports photography, we can anticipate events and imagine what will happen or how an athlete will react. Then you’ll be ready to trigger your camera at the exact moment for snapshots that capture all the splendor and grandeur of the sport being photographed. Mastering the sport in question will not only allow you to anticipate any action but will also help you choose the best position at each moment.
Use high shutter speeds
This is one of the tips for sports photography that you will hear from all professionals. When you photograph a sport, everything happens at a very high speed. You cannot ask the athlete to stop to give you time to take the photo of your choice. To freeze the movement, you will need to use high shutter speeds. This is essential to avoid blurry images. You will thus capture the precise moment when the swimmer will leave the head of the water, the footballer will make a header with the ball to try to score a goal. All of these moments will appear blurry in the image if you search at low speeds.
Use a telephoto lens for sports photography
If you are really interested in sports photography, then sooner or later you will need to attach a telephoto lens to your gear. A telephoto lens with a focal length of at least 200 mm.
When you shoot sports, you obviously aren’t going to be able to get as close as you want. To go a little further while staying at a fairly large distance, you will need to use a telephoto lens. With a lens with these characteristics, you will be able to capture situations which will take place on the playing field or which will be very far away, which you would not be able to observe otherwise. Check for more here.
Don’t forget to check the ISO in sports photography
To calculate the amount of light that will enter your device, there are three main factors to consider. One of them is the shutter speed, which has already been discussed. Another is the iris aperture and the third is the camera’s ISO value. To photograph a sporting activity, we have seen that it is necessary to use a high shutter speed. To compensate, we will configure a wider diaphragm opening and depending on the light, an ISO rather than another. If you find yourself shooting outdoors on a very sunny day, an ISO of 400 will be perfect. If, on the other hand, on a foggy day where light is scarce, you will need to raise the ISO to around 800-1200.
Use fast autofocus and burst mode
Considering the speed at which the actions take place in any sport, of course, you’re not going to resort to manual focus. Although it is advisable to use it in many other disciplines, autofocus is absolutely essential in sports photography. Indeed, the subjects move very quickly but they must remain very sharp in the image. The burst mode or burst mode is also just as essential.Find it on your camera and set it to the maximum number of photos per second you can take. You will be able to take several bursts of photos by capturing the entire course of an action, such as the arrival of a race or a goal scored during a football match. This will ensure that you get the snapshot that freezes the action at the exact moment you want.