Of all the kinds and styles of photography being practiced today, sports photography is probably the most exciting—not to mention the most difficult—of all. Since this kind of photography involves so much speed and action, photographing the subjects or players would require more than the usual knack for good angles but also the strength to endure physical limitations during the shoot.
Sports photography usually include shots that are taken during the game or while the subjects are in their respective field. Aiming to “freeze” moments during the actual event, sports photographers should be equipped with the right photography equipment, trained with enduring tenacity, and fueled with an overwhelming desire to capture each moment and emotion at their best.
Photographing Different Kinds of Sports
The best thing about sports photography is that the photographer can freeze a single moment that contains pure and raw emotion and share it with the public in print. If you’re into photography and quite interested in taking adrenaline-pumping shots, you should familiarize yourself with different kinds of sports first. Since each sport varies, the styles and techniques used in capturing and freezing each moment also vary.
If you are already in the field taking photos, it is a must that you have a brief background about the sport you are covering. Knowledge in the fundamentals of coaching style, sport rules, and players will help you identify their most interesting angles. It is also a must to identify your “safety” (a shot that is easy to shoot and can be published if you don’t get good photos all throughout).
Here are some basic sports photography guidelines fit for common sports:
1. Baseball. Most seasoned sports photographers would agree that baseball is one sport that is hardest to shoot because of its unpredictability. Make sure that you get your safety first before getting experimental shots.
2. Basketball. Unlike baseball, this is the easiest sport to shoot because you only have to focus on two subjects: the player who handles the ball and the net. But its simplicity limits you to different angles, so make sure you get plenty of shots to choose from.
3. Football. This is another easy sport to shoot but it is considered as the most equipment intense sports because it would require waiting for the perfect shot. Although it’s easy to get safeties, it’s still up to you to produce action shots that would be a stand up.
4. Soccer and Hockey. Because of the speed and sudden movements involved in these sports, auto focus cameras are recommended.
5. Volleyball. Although it is one of the rarely covered sports events, volleyball is also one of favorites because dramatic shots can be derived all throughout. Since moves in the sports are quite tricky, make sure that you turn your camera’s auto focus on.
6. Golf. It’s hard to shoot photos during the game due to the nature of the game itself. What you can do is to camp at one location and take shots as players pass by or use a cart to follow the individual players.
7. Track and Field. Though access can be limited, this is one sport that is fun to shoot because movements are predictable and easy to shoot. All you need is good timing.
8. Gymnastics and Figure Skating. One basic rule in these sports: NO FLASH. Since they involve individuals performing, the use of flash is restricted because it distracts the players. The major problem you’ll encounter is lighting but this can be solved once the venue is lit up.
9. Motorsports and Racing Events. These are fairly easy to photograph because you can get away with slower lenses. But since you’re far from the track, you need longer lenses for the shoot.
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