Sports Photography Tips - Know Your Sports.

Sports photography example of american football tackle. Capturing a great sports photograph is difficult. The action happens fast, sometimes a long way away and you never know exactly when or where the best bit of ball-kicking, hitting, catching, driving, diving or throwing is going to happen. All you know is itís going to happen somewhere out there in front of you and your lens. There is one thing you can do to increase your chances of capturing that deciding moment, the one moment in time you have been hoping for, praying for and maybe even being paid for to capture.

That thing is to know your sport. That means understanding the rules of the game and understanding how itís played. Some of this is very basic, for instance, how long the game takes to play. If you turn up to photograph a game of Rugby for example, you need to know that you have 80 minutes, played in two halves in which to capture all of the action sports photographs you need from the event. You need to know that they swop ends after each half because you may be there to cover a particular team so at half-time you have to make your way to the other end of the pitch before the start of the second half. That would be a simple example, vital to know, but simple. Next though is an understanding of the more complex rules such as throw-ins and scrums. When you understand how these rules are applied you can predict how the play may turn out and be prepared for the flow of the action both during and after the throw-in or scrum. By knowing this you can keep in front of the expected play and follow the game through your lens, ready for the action to be captured as it unfolds. If you donít know how it will go you can only guess at where the players will end up as they go through the motions. Trying to guess the action is not going to give you many opportunities to capture the sporting highlights of the day.

That though is to understand the technical aspect of the game, also vital is understanding how the play is taking place on the field. For instance, if a team favours a certain wing for attacking along the ground, if you are situated on the wrong wing you will be unlikely to see any action within range of your camera so having observed that the majority of the play is elsewhere on the pitch you have to make sure you put yourself in a position that maximises your chances of getting that action. If you are shooting a football match for a Sunday paper, they are likely to want a shot of the winning goal. Know who is winning, or at least likely to win, means you can choose at which end of the ground to sit to capture that team scoring or attacking their opponentís goal.

Quick Tip Understand the rules, understand how itís played and follow the action.

If you enjoyed this article why not take a look at our next article, Panning Your Camera - Click Here.

Remember to always think safety first when you're out shooting sports. Never put yourself or others in danger and always observe all safety notices and instructions.


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