Tips For Aspiring Sports Photographer

sports photographer

Being a sports photographer can come with many opportunities, one being your passion turned as a career. Other opportunities involve your work being published and recognised in magazines or websites.However, there are many things you need to learn to become a great professional sports photographer. Just like with other similar passions or careers, to be successful means to be on top of your game whether it’s learning more or looking for more experiences in your field.

To help you with your journey, we’ve found some helpful tips from a professional photographer named Jordan Weeks whose had plenty of experience in sports photography including cycling, surfing swimming and much more.

Learn your camera

Sports photography involves a lot of action and movement. Therefore, it can be difficult to shoot your subject when they are in action. However learning the settings of your camera can be helpful and make it easy for you to capture your subjects. When your settings are correct, you’ll be able to take a shot quickly and easily as well. Keeping in mind that being fast is an advantage as you want to keep up with your subjects so that you won’t be missing anything!

Find inspiration

Find something that sparks your creativity whether it’s looking up to someone you aspire to be or simply finding inspiration through other people’s work. As much as inspiration is important, make sure that you still applying your personal touch in all your work instead of copying someone else.

Shoot closer

Close-up photos can give you a dramatic result. You can try to experiment with taking a close up shot of different parts of the body especially on your subject’s head as this is where you will capture facial expression or feelings from a person.

Learn the sport

Knowing how the sports work and how the game transitions, you will always be one step ahead as this will give you a chance on moving to an area where you will get more actions from the scene. Jordan also recommends trying the sports to find where the most actions are.

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Tips For Water Sports Photographers

Sports on the water are usually some of the most dynamic, and if you happen to spot someone water skiing, windsurfing or otherwise riding the waves it often presents a great opportunity for a photo. These aren’t the easiest subjects to shoot, however, so you should be prepared if you hope to get some really impressive shots. Consider the following…

Equipment

Firstly, you’ll probably need some specialised gear if you want to capture the best water sports photos. A study tripod may be a good idea to keep your camera steady on land, although this depends how long your subject stays in one area. Using the correct lens is crucial, as you’re likely to be quite far away and you’ll need to zoom in so as not to make your subject a tiny dot on the ocean.

If you do manage to get nearer and take some close-up shots, you may want to experiment with different lenses. At this point you should also consider how water resistant your camera and accessories are. If they need to be protected, be very careful and test your gear before going near deep water.

Speed

Generally speaking, water sports are all done at high speeds and it can be hard to predict where your subject will go next, so photography isn’t made easy. Try starting off with a slower paced activity to get some practice before trying anything too challenging to keep up with. It will be easier to get good results if you stay focused on one person.

Technique

Of course, your skill level will probably show in your final photos and it’s worth practising different techniques as much as you can. Remember to think about…

  • Shutter speed – Increasing this to 1/100 or more may be necessary to get those “freeze frame” shots of fast-paced action
  • Focus – If you continuously pan to keep up with your subject, you should be able to auto-focus on them fairly easily while blurring the background
  • Framing – You should usually try to fill the frame as much as possible, rather than leaving too much plain water and sky with a small subject in the middle somewhere. Try to keep the camera straight, but don’t be afraid to try taking some portrait-oriented shots.
  • Exposure – On a bright and sunny day, reflective water can trick your camera into underexposing your photos because it thinks the light is brighter than it is. Looking into compensating for this with your settings.

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Bad Habits That Ruin Sports Photography

Even talented sports photographers can pick up bad habits that are hard to shake off. Do you have any of the ones in our list below? If you do, it’s time to starting thinking about breaking out of them.

Forgetting your camera – Invested a lot of money in a professional camera? Great, so where is it? If you leave your camera at home you might as well not own it. You’re not always going to capture a career-defining sports photo every time you take it out, but if you leave it behind you’re guaranteed not to get any material at all.

Running out of storage – One memory card can set you back a hefty sum, let alone thinking about buying more than one, but that’s the only way to make sure you don’t run out of space exactly when you need to take an amazing shot.

Not backing up your work – As an amateur or professional sports photographer, you need to make sure you save your work in at least two places, preferably three. The worst thing you can do is leave your photos on memory cards and never copy them.

Basic composition mistakes – Ever heard of the rule of thirds? If you haven’t, we can assume all your photos have the subject dead centre (or at least they’re supposed to). This ultimately makes for a lot of similar shots without much artistic flair. Frame your subject differently to achieve more varied and interesting images.

Ignoring your settings – You might be happy with some of the shots you can on automatic mode, especially with a more advanced camera, but you’re then restricted to taking shots the way the camera works best. Instead, you should be able to manipulate the camera to suit your situation rather than the other way round.

Rely on editing later – Sure, there are a lot of sports photography mistakes that are minor enough to be edited later using software, but you’re probably going to be sacrificing quality in order to achieve this. It’s easier and more effective to get the right shot when you take the picture, once you learn enough about photography to do this.

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8 Tips To Perfect Your Sports Photos

Are you looking to make 2017 the year you finally start to earn some real recognition for your sports photography? It’s a great field to be in if you’re willing to put in the work and develop your skills over time. Here are 10 top tips for getting the best out of your efforts.

1) Know your sport

Don’t bother trying to get great pictures of a game you don’t fully understand. You’re more likely to catch the real crucial moments if you truly follow what’s happening, and understand what’s coming next. You have to be ready and in position before the action happens.

2) Use back-button focus

Auto-focus usually happens when you start to press down the shutter button. This is handy for most situations, but for intense sports action you might need more control. Try switching to the focus button on the back of your camera, if you have one.

3) Stop checking every photo

You might have picked up a habit known as “chimping”, which means checking every picture you take on the screen immediately after taking it. This can mean you miss a lot more great opportunities. If you missed the shot, that’s tough… finding out now won’t let you go back in time to catch it.

4) Get unusual angles

If you can show familiar action from a new angle, this adds a lot of depth to your sports photography. Get to a position that spectators and TV cameras rarely see, and you’ll be more likely to capture some amazing and unique images.

5) Storytelling is key

It doesn’t matter much how expensive your camera is, or even how technically knowledgeable you are, if you fail to tell a story with your photos. Capturing a narrative and conveying what’s really happening is the most important aspect of getting those truly memorable shots.

6) Keep shooting during breaks

When the action is paused or even at an end, this is when many sports players will finally let their emotions show, meaning you have some amazing photo opportunities. Moments of victory always come just after the whistle blows, so don’t miss out on these.

7) Faces are important

If you manage to capture a face in your shot, it will almost always help you tell that story more effectively. Having said that, it can sometimes be more important to catch the exact game-changing moment and sacrifice the visible reactions from the players.

8) Critique your own workspace

The only way you’ll really learn how to improve is to learn your own bad habits and iron them out. Everyone takes some bad pictures, so don’t be terrified to admit when you do.…

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Product Photography for Sports Equipment

Product photography is always going to be a difficult aspect of selling your product to someone who can’t physically see or touch it for themselves. With e-commerce gradually becoming even more important to the majority of businesses, this is a problem most retailers of sports equipment will have to overcome. How do you show off your items in the best possible way? A professional product photographer that specialises in e-commerce photography will go some way towards making it happen, but here is some general analysis of what makes it a little different when it comes to sports, and what you should be aiming for.

 

1) Focus on fine details

Cheap sports equipment may look the same from a distance, but compared to fine quality alternatives it’s not going to make the cut as long as the potential buyer can see the details up close. If your products are high quality and you want to advertise that, your photography will need to highlight extremely fine details. You can show the quality of stitching on clothing or gloves, or give a close up look at the surface of a ball if that’s what makes it unique.

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Ideas For Sport Photos

Have you ever wondered how the best sports photographs are produced?

It is not always how fantastic and expensive your camera is, a lot of the time it is just about being in the right place at the right time. Although there are advantages to having a more technology savvy camera, a budget camera if used at the right moment with right level of lighting and composition settings can get a perfect image.

Planning ahead is another feature to achieving great sports photographs, making sure you know when a sporting event will take place early can get you into an ideal position to take snaps. And if you can plan ahead and get that ideal position rather than having to jostle with crowds that can be a big factor between a great photograph and obscured visuals and blurry shots.

 

There are many great tips and tricks that can be used to bring out fantastic quality in you photographic work. Here are just some of them:

• Planning your location – If you are to visit a venue, or for example be at the side of the road when athletes run past then location is important. In a venue you might wish to try and get as close to the action as possible. You don’t get without asking, so try asking the venue if you can have things such as a trackside pass, it is always worth the extra effort and you might learn how to get a pass the next time round.

• Your camera settings – making sure you take a few shots prior to a sporting event can help you gauge the lighting and settings required to take high quality images.

• Shutter speeds and multi-shots – making sure you have the correct shutter speeds are vital for fast action photography. If your camera has the ability to take several shots at once then use the feature as there are shots you can miss if you only take one at a time.

• Make sure you have enough space to store photographs in your camera memory, or take plenty of film. There is nothing worse than running out before the event has finished.

• Tripods – If you wish to take a shot that is very stable, then a tripod can be an advantage.

• Zoom – Although some cameras do not have great zoom capabilities many do so try out a few zoomed shots prior to an event, use props such as trees in the distance or a distant moving object.

Overall with a bit of practice you will start to understand your camera’s capabilities and in time you will be able to take some great snaps. Remember that even the best photographers can get some terrible snaps, so don’t be put off if at first you and your camera do not succeed just keep trying.…

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Top 5 Tips For Black And White Sports Photography

In an interesting move to adopt older styles of photography, more and more people are today showing preference for black and white photographs as opposed to coloured photos. One of the main reasons for is the artistic and timeless elegance that black and white photos often exude. Black and white photography has a way of bringing out the emotions of the photos subject in a way that is difficult to achieve with coloured photos.

Probably because of the fewer colours and shades, black and white photographs often look clearer than coloured photographs. The fact that black and white photos are rare when compared to coloured ones also makes them stand out. This has been one of the reasons that black and white photographs are finding their way into important occasions such as weddings.

But simply taking black and white photographs does not necessarily guarantee that end result will be as per expectations. There are 5 fundamental principles that one must be adhere to when taking such pictures: that is, texture, shape and form, contrast, light and pattern. In fact, the way these principles are applied is what forms the major distinction between black and white photography, and coloured photography.

Shape and Form It is important for the photographer to always bear in mind the shape and form of the photo’s subject. Remember that colour easily enables anyone looking at the photo notice different shapes and forms even if the objects are arranged in a somewhat hap hazard manner. With black and white photographs, you have to take a more deliberate approach. So when taking the photo, ensure you arrange all objects that are meant to form the focus and background of the photo in a way that creates an attractive and interesting theme. Contrast Depth is one of the most important aspects of a quality photograph. Depth in a black and white photograph is achieved by making the most use of different shades and tones of black, white and grey. One way to do this as a photographer is to play around with the lighter and darker objects and surfaces of the photo. For instance, a lighter object may be placed in front of a dark surface to bring out the contrast. This breathes life into the photograph.

 

Pattern Since you do not have a wide range of colours to work with when taking black and white photos, you have to make maximum use of design patterns on the objects you are photographing. Good patterns can increase the intensity of the photo thus making it more interesting and attractive. Texture Due to the lower number of colours and shades, it is not as easy for someone to pick out the focus of a black and white photograph as it is for a coloured photo. This is where texture is important. It is the contrasting textures of different objects and surfaces on the photograph that will allow the person looking at the photo to distinguish which object is the primary …

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Different Ways To Achieve Levitation Photography

The easiest and simplest way to achieve levitation in a photograph is to ask the subject to jump up as high as they can while you photograph them. But make sure that you have set your speed to a high speed. I find that 1/200 – 1/1000 is sufficient enough to capture the moving subject and freezing them in action. Alternatively, if your camera has a “sports” mode, switch to that mode and the camera will automatically adjust the speed sufficient enough to freeze any movement. If you are struggling to get up to high speeds, you may need to increase your ISO, open up your aperture or increase the light available.

 

Also don’t forget to switch the focusing to manual, especially when the subject will be jumping towards or away from the camera. This is to prevent any mis-focus as the subject is moving in and out of the depth of field. If you’d like to learn more about manual focusing, please visit our manual focusing tutorial

Throw the object!

If you want to portray a tiny object to appear to float in the air, you can capture the photograph as the object being thrown up. Again, high speed is essential in achieving this photograph. A bit of Photoshop will do the trick! Now, I doubt that you can throw a car up mid-air, so in the next example, you’ll need a bit of help from editing. You will need a photo-software that allows you to stack two layers of photos together, like Photoshop. Let’s go through the steps to create a photograph similar to the one below. So we’ll try to float a model + a car! Before we get into the post process, let’s make sure that the photo-session runs perfectly. Here are the steps to take:

  • set up the scene for your photoshoot, but without the model and the car. Just plain background.
  • setup the camera and the tripod. Once you are happy with your angle and composition, make sure that the camera won’t shake or wobble.
  • introduce the model and the car into the scene. Place the model on a stool, and the car on the crane.
  • take a few shots, experiment with different poses. Do not move the camera or change angles, settings, etc.

All done! It’s now time to transfer the files to the computer for processing.

Here are the steps needed to be done in Photoshop:

Take the two photos that you just took, the one with just the background, and the photo with everything in it. Drag the background photo on top of the photo with everything. Now there should be 2 layers. Align them. Lower the opacity of the top layer to around 80%. If you have setup the camera properly, the background should stay sharp, but now the model and the car appeared, along with the stool and the crane. Now comes the tricky part. Place a layer mask on the top layer, and mask out the areas …

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