Taking Sports Pictures

I love taking pictures of our students when they play ball. I also try to take pictures of other teammates and then give them to them and the parents. It is a great way to get to know people. If you ever try taking pictures of sports it can be challenging so here are some things I have learned that may help you too.

1. Get close to the action. Go to the sideline, court level, basically as close as you can. 99% of the time there is no need to ask permission just go down there. If you are nervous go to the visitors sideline.

2. Find out how to manually set your camera’s white balance. This is huge in gyms. This is usually a simple process that will take you about 30 seconds. But this will help the color be true and not some orange, yellowish, aqua color.

3. Take you digital SRL and shoot in A mode or aperture priority. Get the number as small as possible (f2.8, f4 or however low your lens can go).

4. Look and see what your shutter speed is now. You may have to do this through your view finder. You hope you will be shooting at 1/1000 of a second or higher. If it is lower you may need to adjust your ISO. Go up one level and try again.

5. If you don’t know the ISO is how sensitive your camera will respond to light. The higher the number the more pixellated your picture will look. If possible stay at 800 or lower. Some newer cameras you can go up to 1600ISO.

6. Set your lens to continuous focusing (AF-C on Nikon).  This makes the lens keep focusing as you hold the shutter button half way.

7. Football – Stay 5-10 yards in front of the action. If inside the 20 go to the back of the end zone.

8. Basketball get to the corners for the best pictures. Take pictures with ball at the top of the action closest to their hand. Basically you want the ball in their hand not after it has been shot or dribbled.

9. Softball and Baseball stand at the bases. Always have a filter and lens hood to help protect your camera. To take pictures of pitcher be between first/third and home. Shoot into the sun if focusing on base running.

10. Soccer – I like shooting from behind the goal but sometimes you got to move and find the right spot

11. Volleyball – This is the hardest for me to shoot. Players shift and often block shooting lanes, the net gets in the away, they face inside so get pictures of their backs, etc.You basically need to move a lot. I like the corners to get pictures of people serving and on the net also at the center of a teams side to get people bumping and setting.

12. Get there early and take pictures of warm ups. You can get closer and pictures of less involved players fielding, kicking, etc.

13. Talk to other guys shooting. I will go over to the guy at the paper and ask him what he is shooting on (settings wise). I will ask anyone who seems to know what they are doing about things.


One response to “Taking Sports Pictures”

  1. Matt says :

    keep an eye on your shutter speed when as the sun goes down and adjust ISO accordingly

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