Sports Photography

Welcome back to everyone and Happy New Year.

This evening was the first of several workshops we intend to hold over the coming months to encourage members to try different forms of photography and learn some new skills.

Dave and Paddy kicked us off with an excellent presentation on sports photography. Their presentation can be viewed by following this link. The two guys come at the genre from different viewpoints. Dave is an enthusiast who loves all sports, particularly rugby and he heads off with the aim to take loads of photos of his team and the players whilst Paddy is a professional sports photographer who is commissioned each week to take specific photos of players, teams or events. Both stressed the importance of eyes and balls. A good sports photo benefits from having players faces and the ball (or sliotar, puck, jump, fence etc) in sharp focus. It’s about the people.

Much of the advice given is applicable to all areas of photography; know your subject, plan ahead, be prepared and practice, lots. Technically we were given general principles to follow rather than specific settings to utilise as situations and conditions vary enormously and in terms of equipment, make use of what you have. We’d all love an f2.8 400mm prime lens but given that they can cost as much as a decent second-hand car then that’s not an option for many of us. A less expensive lens with a converter and a higher ISO setting will get you closer to the action than your kit lens else turn around and photograph the spectators or look for unique moments closer to hand.

As a club we’ll get the chance in the coming week to practise some of the skills at a local rugby match. We’ve permission to be ‘inside the fence’ so a bit closer to the action. Remember not to interfere with spectators’ views, the match, obviously, and choose a position and stay there for a half unless you can move by crossing outside the fence. Should be fun and hopefully we’ll get loads of faces and balls in sharp focus.