The Ultimate Guide To Sports Photography: An Introduction

The following is a reader sent tutorial from Jamie De Pould, who shares what he’s been learning more about. Sports shooting can be among the most complicated kinds of photography, even to the innovative shooter. The tiniest mistake can destroy a shot. Having said that, it’s likewise essential to bear in mind that with sports, you get a lot of chances to get a shot with great effect.

A little bit about myself, before I get too far into it: I am a trainee in the U.S. and Chief Photographer for The Chimes, Capital University’s trainee paper, where I handle a staff of 3 photographers (including me). I likewise do some freelancing for the local Columbus papers. One of the biggest barriers to entry is equipment.

It likewise helps if those long lenses are fast. Eventually, you’re looking at a pretty big investment which is also favourable for sabc sport presenters. I usually shoot with two bodies: a Nikon D50 and a Nikon D200. Lens choice depends upon exactly what I’m shooting, but my 3 main “weapons” are the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4. 5-5.

5-4. 5 and 50mm f/1. 8. Typically, the 70-300 goes on the D200 for the main action, and the D50 gets the 18-70 or 50 for time outs, and less active shots-free tosses are a good example. There are no hard and quick guidelines, but if you don’t have a lens with at least 200mm of reach, you’ll most likely be injuring.

Sports Photography – History And Purpose – The Facts

Examples of sports with excellent lighting are (daytime) baseball, vehicle racing, tennis, (American) football, and soccer (AKA futbol). Examples of sports with bad lighting are ice hockey, basketball, indoor volleyball, and anything at night; synthetic light isn’t as good as our reliable old sun. Before I start speaking about lenses and aperture, I want to worry that fast shutter speeds are essential to getting clear action shots.


When you have great light, it’s a lot easier to use a consumer-grade lens and get great results. Stopping down to someplace in the f/8 -11 neighborhood offers you great sharp images with minimal sensing unit noise; you can easily use shutter speeds around 1/500s and sensitivity in the 200 variety. This is usually quick sufficient to freeze all but the fastest action.


This is where having a quick lens really assists, shooting at f/2. 8 or f/4 will give you a lot more leeway as far as shutter speed and ISO, along with decreasing the amount of post-processing work you wind up doing. Another thing to think about is using your video camera’s “continuous drive” center.

This is also crucial when choosing between shooting RAW or JPEG: the cam can fit more JPEG frames in the image buffer than RAW. Usually, 3 images (like my D50) aren’t enough. There’s still one missed shot of a basketball gamer holding on the rim that stands out in my mind.

7 Simple Techniques For Sports Photography: An Introduction

Auto-focus is a present from the heavens. There are a few basic AF settings that can yield remarkable improvements. This is where recognizing with your electronic camera and manual comes in helpful. Most cams have 3 AF modes: AF-A, AF-S (not to be confused with Nikon AF-S lenses), and AF-C.