Taking pictures of your favorite sports event can be exciting yet challenging especially if you are being paid to do it. You are expected to deliver pictures that depict the thrill and drama that had happened in that particular game. These pictures are often printed in sports magazines and newspapers thus making it important that the images are sharp.
If you are new to sports photography, it is best for you to consider listening to tips and advice from more experienced sports photographer. To get you started, here are some of the best practices you can follow when shooting sports event.
Check your gear before going to the venue
Like in other types of photography, it is vital for you to check your gear and prepare them at least a day before the actual game. You need to have your batteries fully charged and your camera in tip-top shape. You also need to bring several memory cards so you don’t run out of storage. Consider bringing a tripod as well if the game involves shooting for a long period.
Some games require a permit before you can be allowed to take pictures. Make sure to secure the permit days before the event so you don’t get disappointed if they suddenly stop you from taking pictures during the game.
Arriving at least an hour before the game will help you strategize on where to position yourself. If you can get near the expected place of action, then that would be great. But if cannot get near the field or action area, you can look for the nearest, best spot to position your camera.
Set your camera to continuous shooting mode
Most actions in a game happen very quickly thus it is vital for you to be able to make fast shots. One way to do it is by setting your camera to continuous shooting mode. With this, you get plenty of pictures in on click and you can later sort them and find the best ones.
Have a telephoto zoom lens as well as a 200 or 300 mm lens
Owning a telephoto lens as well as lenses that have longer focal length can help you capture images even at long distance. Make sure to practice using your camera with these lenses before shooting the actual game.
It is also wise to choose a lens that offers Image Stabilization.
Shoot in jpg
Most professional sports photographers prefer shooting in jpg since they usually set their camera to continuous or burst shooting mode. When in burst mode, more pictures are produces thus taking space in your memory card. The jpg files are smaller than the raw files so you won’t encounter a problem with storage as well as buffering.
But then, if most pictures are to be printed in large sizes later then you will have to shoot in RAW. Just be choosier in what you shoot.
Take as many pictures as you can
As long as you bring extra memory cards, you must take plenty of pictures so you can have many options to choose from. Just make sure that you strategize your shots before clicking the button. This is also done even in event photography.
Learn the game
You can be a more efficient sports photographer if you know the sport/s you are covering. By learning the game, you can anticipate more on what will happen and when you should click your camera.
You can make your job fun and exciting through carefully planning and learning. Enjoy what you are doing and in the long run you can get reap the benefits of your hard work.