Using Wide Angle Lenses in Sports Photography

Sports is normally shot with a long zoom to bring the action closer to the viewer, but what if you want to bring the viewer to the action?

A wide angle lens is perfect for this. Because of its short focal length, a wide angle lens requires the photographer to get up-close-and-personal with their subject, therefore bringing the viewer along with them. In the photo below, we caught our expert teacher, Rafael, shooting with his wide angle lens.

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Wide angle lenses will add depth to the photo. They help you keep everything with the frame in sharp focus and the view from a wide angle lens will make the viewers feel like they are part of the action. Can’t you feel the action in this photo? That’s because we were shooting with a wide angle lens!

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Wide angle lenses are about capturing close up moments and being a part of the action. To use a wide angle lens correctly, we recommend getting as close as possible to the action. You want to be sure you are focusing the camera on your subjects. Sometimes this means getting low and down where the action is! This will create depth and help your subjects stand out in the photo in a way that draws the viewer into the moment. An example is the photo below, you truly feel as if you are in the circle with the team.

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With more elite sports, you may not be able to get into the action to practice shooting with the wide angle lens. However, if you are shooting youth sports, there are plenty of opportunities to get near the action and practice shooting wide angle. Have a photo that you took with a wide angle lens? We’d love to see it! Tag us in it on our Instagram or Facebook @DCSportsPhotographyAcademy.

If you would like to invest in a wide angle zoom lens, you have many options. Here are some of the excellent wide angle zoom lenses for Canon and Nikon cameras!

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Georgetown vs. Duke Men’s Lacrosse

This past weekend, DC Sports Photography Academy and our newest student, Bill, were on the sidelines when the Georgetown Hoyas took on the Duke Blue Devils in men’s lacrosse.

Bill has long been a photo enthusiast. When he son began playing youth sports,  Bill began photographing his games. He enjoyed photography so much that he began to upgrade his equipment and turned his passion for sports photography into a full-fledged hobby. He currently photographs for a George Mason men’s basketball blog and he loves doing it. He will also work for his alma mater, Elon University, when they are in town.

Before the game, we worked with Bill on setting up his camera for fast action and finding the right shooting location. It can be difficult to find the right spot and get focused during fast action play but as the game continued, Bill became more comfortable.

After the game ended, we talked about the best techniques for editing photos. We went through his photos together so we could offer him pointers on how to edit each photo so that the finished photo is truly spectacular.

As you can see in the incredible photos below, Bill caught on quickly! Now that Bill is armed with more knowledge and skills, we can’t wait to see how Bill takes his lessons with DC Sports Photography Academy and continues to shoot fantastic sports photos!

 

Are you ready to start shooting like a pro, like Bill? All skill levels are welcome at DC Sports Photography Academy! Visit our Packages page here to learn more about our packages and book your game today!

How to Use Remote Cameras for Sports Photography

This month, photographers all across the country are setting up their gear to get the best photos during March Madness. If you have ever shot a sporting event, you probably already know how hard it can be to cover every angle possible. Especially in high level, fast-paced games like the basketball games during March Madness. That’s why photographers use remote cameras.

sports remote cameraRemote cameras allow photographers to shoot multiple areas of the game, race or match, without actually being there. It also offers a way to achieve multiple angles that photographers often cannot achieve on their own.

If you want to get started using remote cameras, there are a few things you should know. First you have to ensure you have the right camera. Not every camera will work as a remote camera. You need to have a specific port to plug in a PocketWizard. A PocketWizard acts as a switch that allows you to trigger the camera.

You will need two PocketWizards for remote cameras. One attaches to the remote camera and the other is used to trigger the remote. The second PocketWizard can be connected to a handheld camera or it can be used as a standalone transmitter.

Finally you will need a bracket or floor plate that will attach to the remote camera. It is essential that you receive permission from the building or the referees before you mount a remote. You want to ensure that it’s in a safe space and is not a hazard to the players or interfere with the game. Not only will this save you from interference and losing the job, but also from damaging your camera!

Once you have all your gear and permission from the building to set up a remote camera, you need to find the right place to set up your remote camera. You want to think where the action is going to occur and the different about the angles you can capture.

remote camera how toMany sports photographers choose the point of major action to set up their remote cameras. For example, in hockey you may want to set up a camera above one of the goals to get a overhead shot. In basketball, behind the hoop is a great way to capture really great action photos.

You can also choose to set up your remote camera fro
m above to try and capture the full view of the game, which would be impossible to catch from your spot on the floor.

Or maybe you want more options and angles of shots. For example, setting up a camera on the floor, while you’re on the other side of the court. Or setting up a remote camera behind a lacrosse goal while you’re on the other side of it, to give both perspectives of shots.

_RCS0261No matter where you choose to set up your remote camera or how you choose to use it, they can be invaluable tools if you want to advance your sports photography career.

The next time you are browsing through sports photos, take a look at the different angles to determine if a remote camera is used and where it was set up to give you a better feel for how photographers use remote cameras for high profile games.

For more step by step instructions, check out this video by Imaging Resource on how to mount a remote camera here.

Understanding the Three Types of Sports Photos

Sports is more than just action shots. A great sports photographer captures each part of the sporting event, telling an entire story through their photos. You can also do this by focusing on three different types of photos you can take during a sporting event.

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Action Photos

As the name implies, these photos focus on the action in the game. It’s the jump shots, the goalie saves, the finish line crosses. These photos require you to anticipate the action of the game and be scanning the field and moving with the action.

To capture great action photos, we recommend having a basic understanding of the sport you are shooting and positioning yourself in a place where the action might take place. Sometimes that means running to home plate to catch a runner coming home.

Men's Basketball vs FordhamEmotion Photos

There is more to sports photography than the actual action. Sports photographers also capture the emotions of the athlete and the game. You want to think about the bigger story of the game, more than just the plays. It may be capturing an injured athlete being support from his teammate. Or the fans reactions after a game-winning shot.

If you want to capture emotions in your photos, it is important to continue shooting even after the whistle blows. Some of the best emotions occur just after the play. And remember, it’s not only the players who have emotions throughout the game. Remember to shoot the coaches, the team members not in the game and the fans as well. Those types of shots can add to the story.

crowdlas02.jpgGraphical Photos

Graphical photos are not as well known as the other two types of photos but they are often the most spectacular shots. In graphical photos, photographers tell the story through little details and small moments. For instance, in a group photo where the helmets of the players are all pointed to the coach, giving his pre-game speech.

It’s the details that help add to the story like  the shot of a challenge flag lying at the coach’s feet or the catcher’s mitt lying alone on the bench. These powerful photos will add to overall story and look great in a portfolio. So be on the look out for visually appealing graphical moments during the games and look for the tiny details.

When you add these three different types of photos together, you are able to truly tell the story of the sport though your photos, which is exactly what a great sports photographer does in every game!

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Georgetown vs Providence Women’s Basketball

Last week Georgetown Women’s basketball took on Providence Women’s basketball and DC Sports Photography Academy was there to capture it! Our student Rajani had experience with photographing still life portraits, social events and parties but he wanted to enhance his skills and build a sports photography portfolio.

One of the areas we focused on during this game was the art of keeping up with the speed of the game. It can be tricky in sports photography to stay on top of all of the action. It is key to keep people in focus and compose the shot properly.

Over the course of this game, Rajani was able to keep up with the fast-paced and captured some incredible photos!

The Hoyas also scored a win, defeating their opponent 72-70 in overtime! Nothing like an overtime game to help you learn how to manage the fast pace of sports photography.

Take a look at the amazing photos our student took below!

Want to be a sports photography pro too? We have packages and prices for all skill levels available!

George Mason vs Saint Louis Men’s Basketball

Michael wanted to experience a basketball game from a photographer’s point of view after spending a couple of years working for a women’s team as a manager. Having a bit of photo equipment, he decided to use his camera and a couple of lenses and have some fun.

This is a great example of how using a slow lens (f/5.6) and a cropped sensor camera affects the quality of your photos. Because the lens is not allowing as much light to enter, Michael had to compensate by bumping up the ISO to 6400 and dropping his shutter speed. This created images with motion blur and a high level of noise.

George Mason vs George Washington Women’s Basketball

Jenni recently graduated from high school and is looking to improve on the sports photography skills she learned while in school. She wanted to play with alternative angles, so she grabbed a 300mm lens and headed up the the concourse level to shoot. It’s a great vantage point for basketball and she made the most of her opportunity.

She had a blast shooting the game and is interested in covering more games with DC Sports Photography Academy.

George Mason vs George Washington Women’s Basketball

Bill decided to take a long break between games but his photos show that he didn’t miss a beat. It’s a great mixture of loose and tight shots for both teams.

I hope had a great time with DC Sports Photography Academy and I’d love to see him out on the sidelines again sometime soon.

George Mason vs VCU Men’s Basketball

For his final game, Charles took on the virtual role of VCU’s team photographer assigned to cover just the team. With having to concentrate on just half of the players on the court he was able to get a few more details that would have otherwise escaped him.

He seems to have grasped to concept of shooting sports fairly well in a short while. Only time will tell if he decides to continue with sports or will stick to what he knows best.

Georgetown vs Marquette Women’s Basketball

Feeling a bit more comfortable with the speed of college basketball games, Charles’ next game had him take on the role of the team photographer for the Marquette Golden Eagles. He seems to have gotten a better idea of what to shoot with only having to deal with one team. By only having to deal with five players instead of ten, he was able to pick out some details that he missed on his first outing.