Sports Photography: Lessons from #PhotoWeekLive

September 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sports photographer with multiple cameras and ...

Of all the people who love sports, why not photograph it. After all ESPN, CNN, and all other sports informers need images to go along with their articles and commentaries correct? Photographer Kevin Jairaj too us into the life a sports photographer and gave us great insight in this niche.

One question everyone often has is “how do you prevent yourself from getting his?” the truth? You don’t. Sports, like everything else in life have unpredictable moments. The key to minimizing the occurrence of being trampled by a man more than doubled your size is to remain within the parameters of your designated area. Every sport, whether it is basketball, baseball, or hockey has specific locations where photographers are allowed to be. Along with the specific locations are specific rules such as no flash, no getting on the playing field or court, and most importantly, no picking of team sides or wearing team specific clothing.

As a sports photographer you must remain neutral and respectful of the game. Unsportsmanlike conduct doesn’t apply to just the team players in this case, it applies to the photographers as well. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in a position where you credentials are being revoked. Another tip, learn the game. By learn the game, I not only mean the actual game but also the players, coaches, and common gestures. If there were ever a time for anticipation, sports photography is it. All it takes is one good shot, however, getting that one good shot is sometimes nearly impossible. You always want to keep note of where the players are so that you do not find yourself in a position where you are shooting their backs. No one likes the backs of sports players; they want faces, jersey numbers, and lots of emotion.

What equipment do you use? At the bare minimum you want to have a 70-22mm lens. Kevin suggests you buy a simple camera with quick shot speed and spend your money on acquiring great lenses. Also, make sure you buy yourself some knee pads, which you can get right from your local Home Depot. When it comes to your images, be sure you keep them tight. You want your images to focus on the subject rather than be distracted by the backgrounds. If you are shooting on an indoor court, always make sure your image captures the scoreboard when possible. Another great tip was to always shoot at low angles. In sports photography the goal is to make the athletes appear as large as possible. They are the world’s superheroes.

Any shot where you can two people and the ball will be your money shots. These situations are very hard to get. Kevin added that if he could obtain one of these images every shoot he would be happy, that is how difficult it is. When shooting outdoors, you want to make sure you shoot backlit. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when you are shooting towards the sun. On field games you end up with a nice reflection on the ground that really highlights the players face and express the emotion on their face.

Is sports photography something you are looking to get in to? Begin at your local park, learn to really tell the sports story. Kevin had no credentials and stated this very way. Everything is possible, if need be, find an unconventional way. That is always fun!


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