Graphics Union

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Sports Photography: Tips And Techniques

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Sports photography is one of the most complicated disciplines in Photojournalism as suggested by Why? Because of the movement of the protagonists and, when it comes to large events, because of the little freedom of movement that photographers have as they are forced to stay in the area reserved for graphics designers. Here are tips to beat these issues:

 1. Information

We must have as much information as possible about the event we are attending to prepare the equipment we need: A large soccer stadium is not the same as covering a training session on a small basketball court. Therefore, it is essential to attend, as well as documented as possible.

 2. Working Conditions

It is related to the first. Know if we are not able to leave the limited area for graphics or, on the contrary, we will have freedom of action. If the second option is given, it is essential to move to have different planes and points of view; Sports photography is movement, and that has to be reflected in our photographs.

 3. Necessary Equipment

For events that take place in large venues, such as a football stadium, telephoto lenses are usually used from 300mm. For small enclosures, it is not necessary.

And, an obvious thing, do not forget the accreditation!

 4. Techniques To Use

To start working, it is essential to take shots from the outside to the inside: general shots that place the room. If possible, it is good to have different shots from various points of view.

The next thing is to place the action: the players and everything that a sporting event entails (referees’ table, audience reactions, detail photos, group photos of the player). It is essential to have different detailed photographs: the more material we have, the better.

As we have said before, sports photography is movement, so it is essential to know how to freeze scenes well or how to perform a good “sweep”, the star technique of this type of photography. To freeze moving objects there is a rule known here that says that the shutter speed must be, at least, the same as the focal length we are using, and this taking into account the ISO and the aperture at which we are shooting. For example, if we are using a 300mm telephoto lens at its maximum distance, we should shoot at 1/320 or faster shutter speed.

 5. Delivery Of The Final Product

We must be sure that we have photographs that show what we have witnessed: general plans, detailed plans, reactions from the public, most essential plays, incidents. Everything that happened at the event should be in our photographs.

Sarah Davis: Sarah, a data scientist, shares insights on big data, machine learning, AI, and their applications in various industries.