Grabbing Sports Photography Action

Sports Photography

The Sports photography era began with technological photography advances, the illustrated press growth, in addition to the associated explosion of mass sports during the later part of 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. The term typically refers to photographic reporting of organized sports competition leaning towards mass-media dissemination, however has additionally been employed to include all forms of photography for leisure and athletic activities such as ice skating, travel,, auto, other motorized racing and picnicking when photographed by professional and amateurs photographers both for personal and public display.

Sports Photography Action
A typical sports picture. Notice the compression of perspective and loss of depth of field from the long lens.

The primary use for sports photography is editorial objectives; dedicated sports photographers most often are employed by or work free lance for newspapers, dedicated sports magazines or major wire agencies.

Cameras and Equipment

The photography equipment employed by a professional sports photographer typically includes a high speed telephoto lens plus a camera with an extremely quick shutter speed which can rapidly capture images. Monopods are typically used for supporting the weight of a heavy camera and telephoto lens, plus stabilize the camera.

Camera bodies preferred for the today's sport photographer are the ones with fast autofocusing capability with a fast frame rate (most often 8 fps or quicker). The pair of most prevalent camera bodies used by professional photographers shooting sports are the Canon 1D-cameras and the Nikon D3

Steven Bolinger shot from the bleachers
Steven Bolinger shot from the bleachers

Camera Lenses

Most often sports photography demand fast telephoto lenses. f/2.8 apertures or even faster are often seen in use, while the most often used lens is a 400mm f/2.8, (these babies cost $8,000 to $10,000) are particularly preferred for sporting events happening upon a large field kike football, baseball or soccer. This may variy with the sport and photographer preference; for instance golf photographers often prefer using a 500mm f/4 in contrast to a 400mm f/2.8 because this lens is lighter and easier to carriy around all day long.

These big apertures are necessary for many reasons:

They render backgrounds severely out of focus (bokeh), consequently creating improved isolation of your subjects. These lenses have the ability to focus faster because increased light penetrating the lens - extremely important for fast-moving action. These faster shutter speeds are then used for freezing the action.

Shooting Technique

Location is critically important in sports photography. At big sporting events, professional photographers typically shoot using VIP locations having the better views, most often as near the skirmishes as feasible. Most sports compel the photographer to structure their shots using speed and to spontaneously adjust their camera settings to diminish blurring or bad exposures.

Remote Setups

Sports photographers may additionally use remotely placed cameras activate by wireless shutter method like Pocket Wizards to capture images from spots they can not otherwise get to, for instance in an overhead position like above a basketball hoop, or have the ability to be in more than one place at the same time such as both the starting and the finish lines like horse racing.

updated article Nov 11, 2011

Sports Photographer, Jon Willey—AdoramaTV

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