Essential Tips in Sports Photography

Sports photography is one of the most challenging fields in the craft. It has to capture the pure essence of victory and defeat among the athletes chosen as a subject. The image should be able to reflect the time spent in practice to the actual performance and the glory of winning and the bitterness of losing. The events in sports photography are not random occurrences and a sports photographer is always at the right place, at the right time and ready to capture a rare moment that can happen in an instant. It takes more than just being present with a camera at any major sports event. You’ll need cunning and a practiced eye as well.

Here are a few helpful tips in getting you started on your way to becoming an accomplished sports photographer:

sports11 Essential Tips in Sports PhotographyKnow your sport -you have to literally be familiar with the sport you plan on covering. It is necessary that you know more than just the basics of the sport, and ideally be well enough to play it yourself. It’s helpful to know the strategy and the rules of the game to know when athletes are performing considerably well. Knowing the sport you are covering means you are familiar with the structure of the game .It helps to be able to be in the athletes’ shoes and predict what next move is coming. As the saying goes, sports is not just about being physical, it’s a mind game as well. You constantly have to be at the edge of your seat anticipating every move to capture that one in a lifetime moment that could be in the annals of the game’s history.

Keep an eye out for the player that offers more potential to give you the perfect photograph – with everything happening so fast in every sports event, it’s difficult to keep abreast of everything that’s happening around you. Focus on specific players such as the crowd favorites to get some key shots, but don’t forget the rest of the team. Try to capture images periodically in between stretches of a given time. Don’t dwell on the good shots you missed, instead focus on what’s happening at the moment.

Get into the rhythm of the game. Learn to switch your attention from one player to the other. Keep to where the action is. Usually the best photos are captured during these moments. Once you fall into the rhythm, opportunities will just fall into your lap.

Know your equipment – whether it’s a professional sport event your watching or your child’s Karate match, make sure you come already acquainted with your camera. Practice makes perfect. You can learn valuable tidbits by volunteering your services at any relative or friends sporting event. So when the time comes that you’re going to start using your skills, you’ve got a lot packing.

For team sports, divide your attention between the key players and the other players. Every team member contributes to giving you the best images, that’s why it’s called a team sport; everyone contributes to the success of winning. 

sports5 by jmgriffin cr1 Essential Tips in Sports PhotographyBe prepared – always anticipate what could come next. Make sure you remove you lens cap, adjust your ISO setting, check your flash, check if your battery is fully charges, clean your lens, etc. Rare moments are just that, rare. In sports events, remember that you are not just a spectator, you may just be there to record one of the land mark moments that makes and athletes career and alter the history of sports forever.

Consider the weather conditions and prepare for either the glare of the sun, wetness of rain or the dampness of dew. Whatever may come, make sure your equipment won’t let you down.

A DSLR camera with a telephoto lens is a must for serious sports photography. A simple point and shoot camera just won’t cut it. It’s mainly for portrait shots and it would be handy for shots before and after the game. Fast moving shots are best captured by the former. A lot of people are frightened with the very thought of a DSLR camera. In actuality, it works pretty much the same way as any point and shoot camera when set in fully automatic. The main difference is, it offers a lot more flexibility in features and characteristics that you won’t get in a simple point and shoot.

Anticipate shutter lag – when you click on your shutter button, it may take a few milliseconds before the shutter moves and the image is recorded. This tiny span of time might cause you to miss capturing that crucial moment of action. Be very familiar with your camera beforehand so you can anticipate shutter lag and compensate for it during the event. It is often most obvious when you’re using the camera’s auto focus. To avoid this, use manual focus instead and half-press the shutter-release button so that the focus is locked on a certain area.

sports31 Essential Tips in Sports PhotographyShoot the fans – the audience is a huge part of the world of sports and more often than not, images of fans can provide a great glimpse into what the sporting event is all about. Whether it is a close up shot of a man rooting for his team or a large crowd in the bleachers, you can capture several instances of energy, excitement and tension.

Sports stir many emotions for the audience. The same goes for the images that you capture. They live long past the athletes themselves. It may well be the very core of an era. This is the type of impact you aim to achieve through your work. Whether it’s victory or defeat that you’ve captured, each image should inspire for many years to come.

Location and timing – luck has nothing to do with sports photography. Being at the right place, at the right time is already a given, it’s how you position yourself and how observant you are when it comes to anticipating what could happen next.

Don’t be shy when getting permission to get yourself in place to capture great shots. The worst thing that could happen is that they’ll say no. But it never hurts to ask. Not all side lines in every sports event is reserved for the media. For smaller sports events you have to learn to know where to position yourself for better access to those goals, three pointers or hole in ones.


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Diving into Underwater Photography, Part 2: 5 More Essential Things to Remember

There seems to be as many underwater photo tips as there are fish in the ocean. We touched on five in Part 1 and now here are five more important things to remember before you take the plunge:

diver by konr4d Diving into Underwater Photography, Part 2: 5 More Essential Things to RememberWork with what you have – not everyone can have the best underwater photography camera and accessories. If you have a regular point and shoot, you can still take good pictures underwater. Buy a waterproof camera case and check your camera’s capabilities to see if you can manually adjust exposure settings such as shutter speed and aperture so you have more control. If you have an SLR or a DSLR, using a wide angle lens would be ideal since a wider area can be captured by the lens without the image becoming blurry. 

anemone fish hirekatsu Diving into Underwater Photography, Part 2: 5 More Essential Things to RememberSafety first – when taking pictures, we can sometimes be so engrossed with what we are doing that for a while we forget the rest of the world. This can be very dangerous if you are in the water since the scenario calls for you to be aware of your surroundings at all times. You might be so focused on getting the perfect shot of those pretty fish that you might not notice your diving buddy needs your help. Check your diving gear once in a while, not just your camera gear. Avoid creatures that might harm you. No matter how pretty they are, it is better to keep a safe distance. 

Don’t scare the fish – fish can be very timid and can get easily scared of you since you will be something big and strange to them. If fish are running away from you, do not swim after them. You probably will not get a good shot that way, anyway, since the fish can just outswim you. Instead, stay in one spot and let them come to you. Watch their movements and how they behave, and let them first get used to you so you have a better chance to get closer to them. If you are using strobes, flash them several times first to get the fish used to the effect.

diver 2 by hamletnc Diving into Underwater Photography, Part 2: 5 More Essential Things to RememberCatch the catchlights – something as small as a tiny reflection of light in a creature’s eyes can mean the world of difference in the visual impact of a shot. Catchlights provide depth and dimension, and give the eyes life and spark. Without them, fish and other sea creatures, can appear dull and have no vitality.Use the portrait format once in a while – the horizontal framing or landscape format is often used when taking underwater shots since fish are on the wider rather than the taller side. However, using a vertical framing or portrait format can also make a composition more dynamic and present the subject in a less common perspective.

Good lighting for underwater subjects is very important to get a striking shot. Check out the previous articles regarding how to light your subject underwater. 


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Diving into Underwater Photography, Part 1: 5 Essential Things to Remember

underwater1 by hisks1  Diving into Underwater Photography, Part 1: 5 Essential Things to RememberWhether you are snorkeling or diving, there are a lot of things to consider when doing underwater photography. The oceans and seas hide vast wonders and beauty that is not often seen and if you are fortunate enough to experience swimming among the sea denizens such as strange looking fish and brilliant corals, you probably have feel a strong urge to capture their mystic pull in a photograph. If you are about take your camera underwater, there are several things to remember before you let even just your little toe get wet:

Familiarize yourself with the dive area – before you dive into the big blue sea, first know what to expect underwater. Know what kind of fish and other sea creatures live in that area, the dangers to avoid, and so on. Knowing all these beforehand will give you an idea as to what camera settings to use, what lens would be best tortoise by diko19671  Diving into Underwater Photography, Part 1: 5 Essential Things to Remembersuited for the location, and the best way to approach your subject.

Get your diving skills down pat – good buoyancy control is needed if you want to get a good shot more often than not. A lot of underwater shots are close ups which means proper focusing is determined by making very slight adjustments in the distance of the lens. You would need to know how to hold yourself steady as you shoot or else your shots can easily become out of focus. Practice diving until you are sure you can do it with ease. If you haven’t done it in a long time, take refresher courses first just get yourself reacquainted with the deep. The more at home you are with your surroundings, the easier it will be to concentrate on getting those shots.

young anemone fish hirekats1  Diving into Underwater Photography, Part 1: 5 Essential Things to RememberShoot upward – this perspective will make your subject appear large and have more presence. Shots facing downward can make the subject smaller. Also, there is the big possibility of it getting lost in the background or in the shadows. 

Take close up or macro shots – underwater creatures can be very beautiful and fascinating and it is always a good idea to get in as close as you can to capture their details. Another thing to consider is that the further away your subject is, the harder it is to provide proper illumination. Water sucks in light and the distance your flash can reach is much shorter when underwater.

Lighting and composition techniques underwater is the same as on land – don’t forget the basic techniques in your excitement once you’re underwater. The Rule of Thirds, perspective, leading lines, angles of the light, and so on are still applicable with underwater images. Focus on the texture of the corals, the lines and shapes of fish, the way the light hits anemone. Instead of frontal flash which can make your subject appear washed out and lose detail, try sidelighting instead to bring out fine details, or backlighting to create silhouettes of the fascinating sea creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Using Ambient Light in Underwater Photography

In underwater photography, ambient light can be used to create stunning atmospheric shots. Ambient light is available light that is present in the scene and in this case sunlight is the main light source to illuminate underwater subjects. There will be times when you will not have a choice but to use only ambient light. For instance, if you’re trying to capture images of large sea creatures such as shark by diko1967 Using Ambient Light in Underwater Photographywhales, they might not be near enough for you to illuminate them with strobe lights. There are also times when ambient light will light up a bigger area than your strobes can cover. If you have strobes, you can use these as fill light in key areas such as the foreground. 

When photographing subjects and scenes underwater, you will find that the properties of water is not the same as that of air, and light is very much affected. Water is 800 times denser compared to air and when sunlight hits the water, it diffuses and scatters. The blue light is evenly bounced off at all sides while the rest of the spectrum passes through as normal. This is the reason why water appears blue. The deeper down the waters, the darker and bluer it becomes. Contrast also becomes reduced since water acts like a light sponge. 

backscatter by nalhcal Using Ambient Light in Underwater PhotographyStaying close to the surface will allow you to take advantage of the intensity of ambient light. However, be prepared for backscatter, which are tiny but visible particles such dust or organisms like plankton that reflect light. They produce a snow-like effect, which appear more prominently nearer to the water’s surface.  There are many ways you can avoid ambient scatter. One is to go down deeper but you will have less ambient light. Another is to move with care to avoid dust from clouding up and to also move against the current so that dust will float away from you. Also stay away from swells that stir up dust and sand.

When using ambient light, consider the sun’s position since it is your main light source. The sunlight is at its strongest between 11a.m. and 2 p.m., when it is at its highest point in the sky. This is the time when the waters least reflect it away and more of it penetrates through the surface. You may even chance upon getting a cathedral light effect. This occurs when the water’s surface cathedrallight by quentinh Using Ambient Light in Underwater Photographyis calm and flat, and the sun is high in the sky. Shafts of light become visible and the effect can be quite dramatic. When shooting cathedral light, move out of the path of the light and face it instead so you can capture its full impact.

One of the effects of using only ambient light is color loss and contrast. Since the underwater environment can end up appearing mostly blue with ambient light, you can offset this by using filters. Color compensating filters will give your scene a certain hue depending on the filter color while color conversion filter will change the appearance of color temperature. In this case the warming filter option is most often used to offset the cool blue color cast provided by ambient light. 


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Essential Tips in Sports Photography

Sports photography is one of the most challenging fields in events photography. It has to capture the pure essence of victory and defeat among the athletes chosen as a subject. The image should be able to reflect the time spent in practice to the actual performance and the glory of winning sports3 by oziris Essential Tips in Sports Photography and the bitterness of losing. The events in sports photography are not random occurrences and a sports photographer should always be at the right place, at the right time and ready to capture a rare moment that can happen in an instant. It takes more than just being present with a camera at any major sports event. You’ll need cunning and a practiced eye as well.

Here are a few helpful tips in getting you started on your way to becoming an accomplished sports photographer:

Know your sport -you have to literally be familiar with the sport you plan on covering. It is necessary that you know more than just the basics of the sport. It’s helpful to know the strategy and the rules of the game to know when athletes are performing considerably well. Knowing the sport you are covering means you are familiar with the structure of the game .It helps to sports1 by vinnyprime Essential Tips in Sports Photography be able to be in the athletes’ shoes and predict what next move is coming. As the saying goes, sports is not just about being physical, it’s a mind game as well. You constantly have to be at the edge of your seat anticipating every move to capture that one in a lifetime moment that could be in the annals of the game’s history.

Keep an eye out for the player that offers more potential to give you the perfect photograph – with everything happening so fast in every sports event, it’s difficult to keep abreast of everything that’s happening around sports2 by carlosan cpyryt Essential Tips in Sports Photography you. Focus on specific players such as the crowd favorites to get some key shots, but don’t forget the rest of the team. Try to capture images periodically in between stretches of a given time. Don’t dwell on the good shots you missed, instead focus on what’s happening at the moment.

Get into the rhythm of the game – learn to switch your attention from one player to the other. Keep to where the action is. Usually the best photos are captured during these moments. Once you fall into the rhythm, opportunities will just fall into your lap.

Know your equipment – whether it’s a professional sport event you're watching or your child’s karate match, make sure you come already acquainted with your camera. Practice makes perfect. You can learn valuable tidbits by volunteering your services at any relative or friends sporting event. So when the time comes that you’re going to start using your skills, you’ve got a lot packing.

Be in position – be strategic with your location when taking shots. Pick a spot that offers an interesting or uncluttered background and where there is less chance of being blocked by the onlookers or other photographers. Know the angle where the light source will shine on the players and situate yourself in the side where they will be best illuminated. 

Take shots for stock photos – if you are out on assignment or are simply covering your child's game, don't forget to also shoot images to be uploaded in your stock sites. These can give you opportunities to earn extra income. Don't just shoot the players but also the field, the goal, the scoreboard, the audience, the decor, anything you can find that might be salable as a stock image.


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