Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2011-10-11: Sports Photography? Me? Why Not!

So I had an interview yesterday with the Laconia Citizen for a freelance photographer position. My first assignment was to cover the Gilford HS Girls soccer game today. Now, I generally have shied away from photographing people. Much easier to go out and capture inanimate objects. But I welcomed the challenge. Last night I brushed up on all those action photography books and blogs that I have been ignoring. I was nervous today, but then I said to myself...What's the worst that could happen? Maybe miss a shot? And what is the best that could happen? Get published! So that quickly erased my nervousness and off I went to the game. Gilford played White Mountains and ended in a 1-1 tie. The game was called in overtime due to darkness. I came home and had dinner, and around 8:30 I started looking a the shots. I had about 400 of them to go thru. Ug...Then at 8:40, the paper called looking for the shots. They had a 9pm deadline! Something they had neglected to tell me before.. YIKES! SO I scrambled to grab some shots. Not sure they were the best. No time to crop or anything..Then tried to email to my contact. He called me back...The emails were not going...I wasn't getting an error or anything, but the paper wasn't getting them. After a few tries, they said I could hand deliver them. Got the pics in their hands by 10. So hopefully they'll make it in the paper! Anyway, here is a shot. No face given as I'm not sure what the legalities of posting it to my own site. But I figured this can't hurt anyone.

Here are some of the tips I read for action/sports photography:
Put in Shutter Priority Mode
Shoot at 1/640s at least to freeze action
Use ISO 800 or put in Auto ISO
Open up Aperture as wide as possible, F/2.8 if possible
Shoot in Burst mode to better your chance of getting the shot
Don't always focus on the winner. Get the emotions of the losers.
Use a monopod
Shoot both vertically (to focus on athlete) and Horizontally
Compose to give your athlete somewhere to go. (not done above because there was poor background object, so I cropped.
AF mode: set to Al Servo to help keep focus on moving object
Get down Low
Have sun over your shoulder to light up the athletes faces.
Share the emotion
Tell a story
Try to limit players in the shot so viewer knows who you are focusing on.
Get in tight. Show what people in the stands can't see
Anticipate the shot. Focus on a spot you expect the action to go to and be ready for it.

Ok, that'll keep you busy for awhile.
See you tomorrow. Hopefully my shots will be in the paper!

p.s. Happy Birthday to my brother John!

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