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Essential Tips for Great Sports Photography

13th March 2023

Essential Tips for Great Sports Photography

It is a wonderful experience to capture the action of a thrilling sports event, be it soccer, rugby, tennis, football, or anything else. So, what is the secret behind those amazing shots in magazines, newspapers, and websites?

Go for the following tips for excelling in sports photography which may or may not be taught in best photography Institute.

Seek Inspiration

Before heading out to shoot the best thing you can do is to seek inspiration. Flip through magazines, check work of other photographers or consult stock libraries. Consider what you like and what you can improve upon and then, get ready to shoot.

Understand Your Camera

Knowing your camera and all its settings is vital if you are working with fast moving subjects like cyclists, athletes, or motor sports. You must be able to change lenses, adjust shutter speed or aperture and be proficient in menu settings of the digital camera in a speedy way. The best way is to gain these skills by experience.

Understand the Sport

This is vital. You must truly understand the sport for capturing the best action. You must be able to predict the next move of your subject and learn when you need to hit the shutter button. It is best if you have taken active part in the sports at some point of time.

Zoom Range of At Least 200 Mm

A focal length exceeding 200 mm is highly desirable as it will enable you to get close to the action. Without zooming in, you cannot isolate any of your subjects.

Avoid Using Fully Automatic Mode

Amateur photographers often set their camera in full automatic mode or a pre-mode with label-‘sports’ or ‘action’. Though this may work occasionally, you need to go the semi-manual mode for best results.

Fast Shutter Speed

In case of sports photography, you will do well by ensuring that shutter speed on your camera is quick enough to capture the fast-moving bodies of sportspersons. A shutter speed of a minimum 1/500th of a second is needed to freeze movement. You must not go below 1/500, as you will learn in photography colleges in India.

Use Aperture Priority Mode

The aperture determines how much light is taken into the sensor of the camera. This is of concern in a DSLR camera while other cameras stress on shutter speed. When the aperture is set in priority mode, we are permitting camera to set shutter speed. On sunny days, this is ideal as it sets a large aperture enhancing shutter speed and helps in freezing action.

Watch ISO

Shutter speed is crucial. ISO, shutter speed and aperture are key to correct exposure. While shooting in semi-manual modes, we must set the ISO by ourselves considering conditions, time, and location of event. For a bright sunny day, a low ISO of 400 will suffice but on a darker day, the ISO must be increased to 800 to 1200 mark.

Use Burst Mode and Fast Autofocus

For capturing the best image, the camera must focus on continuously happening action instead of only on one spot. The camera must be set also to take multiple images or “burst”.  Enable both these functions while shooting sports events. Set the camera to shoot maximum images per second.

These are some top tips to improve your techniques and creativity in sports photography.


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