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There are several moments in life when a camera is needed to capture moments in action. This is true if you have a sibling who is a member of the school’s soccer team. This could be the case if a friend of a child plays for the high school basketball team. Maybe your child has joined the volleyball squad or maybe or your cousin competes in track.
Whichever the case, you’d like to document the event using still imagery but also don’t want the results to end up all blurry. There are ways to ensure that doesn’t happen, and here’s your guide in doing so:
The Right Equipment Is Key
There are sporting venues such as stadiums and football fields where telephoto lenses will be of most use. This isn’t to say that DSLRs with kit lenses in the 15-55mm range won’t succeed; it’s just that lenses with a longer reach enable the clearer capture of action from all ends. A good start will be with a 70-300mm lens but you can always go higher.
Camera Settings Matter
A lot of things happen in a matter of seconds in sports. As such, it’s easy to miss out on critical shots. This is why a golden rule of sports and action photography is to never take your eyes away from the action. A simple glance away is just enough to ensure you miss the run-up to scoring a goal.
Since most sporting events are chaotic with lots of bodies moving around, it’s best to set your camera to Continuous Auto Focus. Doing this allows you to click once to capture multiple frames. This way, you increase your chances of capturing a nice moment.
Position is Prime
Where you are located matters is a deciding factor in the quality of shots you are able to make. Being near a basketball stanchion allows you to capture images of a player soaring towards the hoop for dunk or lay-up and maybe even capture a great block from an athlete on defense.
It also helps if you can afford to move around. Games usually last for hours and you can avoid having your images look the same when you change positions.
The Environment Factor
The athletes are the subjects for certain, but you also run the risk of producing images that are repetitive if you continue to train your focus on them for the entire duration of a match or event. Events held outdoors, for example, offer great opportunities to include the sky, the mountains, and everything else into a single shot. Including the spectators into your image also creates more interesting images.
A Different Perspective
Other than finding different positions to capture a variety of shots, trying to take photos from a different angle helps lend more creativity to a photo. For instance, you can focus on the ball being tossed about during soccer. Or, you can take photos of a basketball player’s feet when they are carrying the ball. You can also concentrate on a player’s hands, their facial expression, their interaction with another player, etc. There are moments away from the action that are equally deserving of a capture too.
You may have the best equipment built for sports and action photography but that wouldn’t mean a thing if you didn’t practice. It takes time to capture a great shot but you will get there with patience and a whole lot of practice.