I always seem to have such a hard time photographing my kids in sports. The outdoor sports held during the day aren’t quite so hard to capture good pictures, but the nighttime games and the indoor games are the worst!
If I zoom in close, there’s too much blur (even if I have the camera on the sports setting). Low light and lack of windows make it hard to photograph the indoor sports! Almost all of the indoor pictures I take of the kids playing sports have too much noise and are grainy.
So in order to try and get better pictures of my kids playing sports, I started searching the internet for answers and following the tips that I found, and you know what? My pictures are so much better. Granted their not Professional Sports Photographer Quality, but then again I’m no professional.
So here are a few tips that I’ve saved over the years. I’m not sure where I got these from, they were in my camera notes file (a file I keep on my computer and add interesting things that I find on the internet). Hope they can help you!
- Shoot establishing shots of the school marquee, the scoreboard, overall shots of the arena, field, etc.
- Shoot non-action shots that tell the story. Shoot the team during time outs, the coaches whiteboard, the lineup card, the manager’s bag, water bottles, a pile of discarded towels, etc. Those are the shots that round out the story and give it depth.
- Shoot cheerleader and crowd shots. Concentrate on capturing close-up reaction shots that ooze emotion. Anguish, joy, triumph, tragedy, etc.
- Shoot a shot of the scoreboard at halftime and the final score. Always.
- Turn off your built in flash. You will never fill the field or arena with that tiny flash. It will just suck your batteries and slow you down waiting for it to recycle.
- Get close to the action. Be on the sidelines. Move with the team up and down the field. (The baseline is the best place for basketball.)
- Anticipate the action. Study the plays the team runs and anticipate what they will do. Most high school level teams have a limited repertoire that repeats often.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Hold the camera firmly with your left hand against the bones of your face. Make a three point
connection, hand and two points on your face.
- Get your left elbow pressed firmly into your chest. The idea is to form a stable platform for the camera.
- Squeeze the shutter, don’t jab at it.
- Use the highest ISO possible with the body you are using.
- Use an Image Stabilization (IS) (Canon) or Vibration Reduction (VR) (Nikon) or similar technology lens/body
- Use the fastest lenses you can possibly afford, i.e. F2.8
- Shoot in Time Value (TV) Shutter Priority mode to eliminate camera shake
- Use a shutter speed fast enough to prevent camera shake with the lens you are using, probably 1/80 or 1/125. This requires some experimentation.
And last, but not least, here are some great websites for sports photo tips!
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