With the World Cup now just weeks away and Wimbledon fast approaching, sport is uppermost in many people’s minds and there’s never been a better time to get into sports photography.
While you may not be snapping the likes of Wayne Rooney or Andy Murray in action, there’s no reason why with a bit of work and a decent camera you can’t take sports photographs worthy of the pros – even if they’re just at your local hockey club or daughter’s football match.
Sports photography is a challenging art to master as the moment has passed as soon as you’ve captured it. More than any other genre of photography, timing is everything.
A few important elements to consider before you start shooting are:
1 Lighting. You will want your subject to be well-lit – especially the face. Choose a spot where the sportspeople are side or front lit so you get good lighting on the face. This is particularly important for events where headgear is worn – equestrian on cycling events, for example.
2 Background and frame. This is tricky with sports photography because your subject will be moving. Pick a simple background where your athlete will stand out – sky, sea or trees, for example. Objects such as signs or race officials in fluorescent jackets will mess up your composition and distract the eye from your subject. Take a few shots and if there’s a distracting object or person in the background, change your position. As for the frame, be wary of messing up the composition by chopping off your subject’s feet.
3 Perspective. Try to show perspective in your shot with a road line, kerb or fence that runs from the foreground to the background.
If you have a decent compact such as the Panasonic Lumix G1, it will have a Sport mode. With the G1 you have four different Sport modes – Normal Sports (the easiest mode, controlling ISO sensitivity while freezing movement and using a high shutter speed); Outdoor Sports (for football etc outdoors in good weather; fast shutter speed); Indoor Sports (badminton etc; increases the ISO sensitivity and shutter speed to stop blurring); and Creative Sports (advanced; giving you control of the shutter speed).
4 Shoot loads. Take lots of shots – with such a fast-moving subject, you’re sure to have a lot of wasted shots. Professional photographers have exactly the same problem. The more shots you take, the more decent ones you’ll get.
Visit the online store or telephone 01202 526 606 for full details, and good luck with your sports photography!