Being an experienced sports photographer Mark Dadswell has captured fast moving champions, such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Sally Perason, in action before. However, when he started thinking about doing a shooting with Australian cyclist Alex Morgan he wanted to recreate the feeling of movement, but also capture the natural beauty of the south-eastern coast roads of Australia. And doing it all under studio lighting. That’s how the idea of making a lighting rig on the back of a car came about.
Sports photography requires a different set of camera capabilities than the average shooter. Sports cameras need to be fast. Sports cameras need a good zoom. And sports cameras need to perform great in any light. Whether you are looking to capture a t-ball game or headed to the professional level, you need a camera as fast as the action you’re shooting. Here are our current recommendations, all within a few different price points.
Does your kid play basketball and you can’t seem to get a single shot in focus? Is the pool area at your daughter’s swim meet simply too dark and flash doesn’t seem to work? Or perhaps your son plays soccer and spends most of his time at the far end of the field, making your point and shoot useless? These are all constant issues of the casual sports photographer—and there are a few fixes that don’t break the bank. Purchasing expensive and enormous professional gear will certainly get you a better start than a little point-and-shoot, but knowing what settings are best can make dramatic improvements as well. Here’s what you need to know about shooting sports from start to finish, from making a camera purchase to sorting through hundreds of shots after the game, to demystify the exciting world of sports photography.
Sports have universal appeal, and are a natural subject for photography at all levels. A child’s baseball game and a big league match-up share many of the same characteristics that photographers seek in order to make great images – drama, involvement, excitement, suspense, action and interest.
The professional sports photographer has numerous advantages over the average picture-taker, not the least of which is equipment selection. Most photographers who make their living from shooting sports use expensive, top-of-the-line 35 mm SLR cameras equipped with fast, super-long telephoto lenses that bring them close to the action. They are generally able to shoot from field level, ringside or wherever the best camera angles can be found. They are practiced in their techniques, experienced with their equipment and have in-depth knowledge of the sport and its players.
Ever since picking up a camera at the age of 16, sports photography has been one of the top subject matters for professional British sports photographer, Jordan Weeks.
Jordan has worked in various areas of sports photography over the years, from swimming to running, cycling to surfing, and triathlon to hiking. He has produced photography for many top brand names, and is a regular contributor to various Magazines, and Travel Guides.
Like many photographic subjects, sports photography is no different, in that to be good at it, you must know your subject matter like the back of your hand. Experience is your weapon of choice here.
However, to help you get started, Jordan Weeks has put together what are, in his opinion, the top 10 tips for taking better sports photographs. So get your camera gear ready, and start shooting like a pro sports photographer today…