I take photos at sports fixtures regularly, mainly at events to do with my University as I can easily get up close and have access to timetables. This gives me a great opportunity to get experience photographing a variety of activities and sports.
I bring this up now, as last week, the BUCS leagues started up again for the new year. And after having about a month since last photographing any games, it was like a bit of a refreshing of the memory getting things like framing and general awareness of what is happening around me to capture the best moments and best expressions.
I also find there is a slight difference when it comes to photographing different sports, although they are mostly the same concept of people moving about quickly.
For example, I find that Badminton and Volleyball are quite unique as the players are constantly looking up for the ball/shuttle making standard angles for taking photos a no-no as you’d end up looking straight up their nose. Lovely. What I try to do is include some foreground element, whether that be the net or another player to bring depth to the scene.
Whereas fast sports like Basketball need a good perspective to try to predict where the action is going to happen. A way that I tend to address this potential issue of missing the shot is by continuously checking what’s going on outside the field of view of the camera by using my other eye to look around outside the viewfinder so I can keep aware of whats going on.
Rugby and (more so) Football are more of waiting games, especially if, like me, you don’t have access to the longer telephoto lenses with faster apertures. I shoot the majority of my photos on a Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 so I can get that blissful separation between the subject and the background/foreground. Plus, with an f-stop of 1.8, it allows me to shoot fast with a lower ISO. However, with sports like Football & Rugby that are played on a large field, the 100mm limit is a little bit cut short. This does mean that I’d have to be at the right end or on the right side of the pitch to be able to get close to the action.
Then there are sports like swimming where the athletes are below normal eye-level compared to others which are at eye-level. (If that makes sense). Which gives a completely new angle of seeing things. It’s also fast with water droplets being thrown around. Having been competing in the sport all my life, I know what types of photos I’d like and from them, figuring out where to stand.
That’s a brief intro into some of the different sports I take photos of regularly. Should I write more specifically about any? Comment below. And Check my Instagram for more.
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