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Sports photography strategies

Grumpy John

Here a lot
Having had a try at sports photography recently I have come to the realisation that there are many factors to consider. Not only regarding camera settings and lens choice, but where to position yourself in relation to the action. As sports by nature are a very dynamic activity finding the best position can be very difficult. Generally, it is not a viable option to keep changing position in pursuit of the "ultimate" shot, position of the sun, distance from the action, obstructions such as barriers all come in to play.
I'm just wondering how other members approach their sports photography.
 

oldgeezer

Always on
Premium Member
I always approach everything I shoot as "Photography" no matter the subject.
You just shoot what is there and, if required, research it.

With sport it is always best to know the sport you are shooting that's why now I shoot only what I enjoy. I don't enjoy sport but it doesn't mean you can't get good shots, just means I can't anticipate the action.
It is being able to know the limitations and understanding your gear.
Just get the best shots you can if you don't have access to where you would like to be.
 

Grumpy John

Here a lot
Thanks for your thoughts Pete, I agree that you need to know about the sport you are shooting, but there is much more to sports photography than that. You only get one chance at that great catch, great goal, you can't ask the players to do it again when you look at the histogram and find you got the exposure wrong , or the sun cast shadows on the players faces. It's not wedding photography, you don't have any control over your subject, or the light.
 

Pteranadon

Always on
Premium Member
For example, if I am watching American football, I see multiple people near the field with cameras.
And recalling years ago, the TV announcers commenting on them....
One had made the comment that there were multiple people out there and only one shot was going to be picked for the headlines the next day depicting "the moment."
That kind of stuck with me.
It can be a certain play...after game celebration..but what I have taken from what they had said and from what I have seen, it's the best photo capturing the essence.
I have seen photos put out that didn't have the greatest light, the winning goal..shadows..

But, that may be just what I have taken from it...
I guess also what else matters is what you are looking to do with what was taken.
My guess is that players and family may enjoy the moment captured what they remember most a bit more than the perfect light, etc capture depicting a play.
 

oldgeezer

Always on
Premium Member
Thanks for your thoughts Pete, I agree that you need to know about the sport you are shooting, but there is much more to sports photography than that. You only get one chance at that great catch, great goal, you can't ask the players to do it again when you look at the histogram and find you got the exposure wrong , or the sun cast shadows on the players faces. It's not wedding photography, you don't have any control over your subject, or the light.
I have shot Super bikes, football and cricket, but weddings, well if you think you are in control of the subjects, :rolleyes:.
With weddings, you are shooting for what others expect of you, but sport is for enjoyment isn't it. Or are you being paid ?
i never go out expecting a great shot as you never know conditions till you arrive so you should know how to get the best with what you are presented with. I shot along side a sports only photographer under floor lights and he couldn't believe how well exposed my shots were and he was getting paid. Pro doesn't mean excellence, it is how you react to the scene. As I said it's all photography, just do your best.
 

oldgeezer

Always on
Premium Member
That is a good philosophy for photography in general Pete, treat every great shot as a bonus.
I haven't taken one yet John.:grin:
When I started i never went anywhere without a camera then I found i was always looking at life through an eye piece.
I shot video for 20 years before I found Stills. After 12 years of learning that and wasting 1000's on building a studio, I've never stopped learning and when I do I'll give up.
Since retirement I hardly ever shoot anymore. Caring commitments and family problems seem to keep me at home now so I've made a woodworking shop out of the studio. Learning ,to me is better than an end result. I am rubbish at it but give it a year !!!!!!!!:grin:
I'm sure you will nail it, it's only light after all.
 

Grumpy John

Here a lot
It's good to take a break from the eyepiece now and then and to stop thinking of everything you see as a picture.
Funny that you have reduced your picture taking and taken up woodworking, I gave up woodturning and started pursuing photography after injuries prevented me from turning. I'll post some of my work in new thread elsewhere.
 
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