5 Fantastic Sports Photography Shots

There’s a level of creativity in every type of photography. From portraits to landscape, the best photographers are the ones who are able to see the details and take a new view of something.

This rule applies for sports photography. We know that when you are a new photographer, it can be hard to get a good range of photos. Everything comes down to practice and when you are beginning your sports photography hobby or career, you’ll want to practice taking lots of photos.

We’ve even talked about the three types of sports photos but we wanted to give you an idea of some shots to look for during your sporting events so you can start taking different types of photos and improving your skills

  1. The action shot

We all know this shot but it’s often the hardest one to get because you never quite know when action is going to pop up. But there are a few places you can strategically place yourself to try and catch the action. The action usually takes place near the key areas of the game. So you’ll want to position yourself near the goal, hoop or home plate. Sometimes you may have to anticipate the play. For example, maybe you are shooting first base but see a play developing at home so you may need to run to get to home! The key is to keep shooting and anticipating action.

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  1. The celebration shot

These are some of the best photos. They are that moment right after the game buzzer or right after the goal. Not only will you want to be positioned somewhere strategically near the action but you want to pay attention to the facial expressions of the players. Try to zoom in as much as possible. What is key to remember with the celebration shot is to keep shooting after the goal or the play. That’s when you’ll get these great photos.

Celebration.jpg

  1. The sideline shot

The action is not always on the field. The sidelines can tell quite a story about a game. While you are shooting, be sure to pan toward the sidelines. It can be especially powerful to do so during moments just before the action shot. For example, if a player is about to step up to shoot a foul shot at the end of the game or a batter is getting ready to swing when their team has two outs. You can often catch the intensity or excitement on the sidelines. Sidelines also make for great celebration shots!

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  1. The crowd shot

The players are not the only ones who are part of the game. The fans in the stand can make for great subjects of your photos! Your photos should capture the feeling of the game and fans can play a big part in that feeling. You can often catch great crowd photos during time outs or between innings.

Crowd.jpg

  1. The details shot

These are often the graphical photos that we talk about this post. They are the details photos and you can get very creative with them! For example, the cleats of the players lined up in the dug out or the lacrosse stick laying against the team bench. These photos can serve as excellent opportunities to improve your technical skills when you aren’t trying to catch a certain moment or play.

Details.jpg

The next time you are photographing a game, try to experiment with taking at least one of these photos!

Photographer’s Secret: Don’t Shoot the Same Game Twice

Different photography jobs require different approaches. This is especially important in sports photography when every sport and, really, every game is unique. You can’t set up and shoot each game the same way. Sports photography is about telling a story and almost there is a new story every day. It is important to approach each game differently, depending on your assignment and the specific situation.

In other words, don’t shoot the same game twice.

We approach every game differently and that helps us capture compelling photos across different sports and games. Preparing your mindset and your plan to shoot for the game you are at instead of approaching every game the same will improve your skills and, of course, your photographs. Here are three tips for preparing for every game.

Baseball vs Xavier
Baseball vs Xavier

Understand your assignment.

This is the perhaps the most important thing to do to prepare for your next game. It’s important to understand what your client is looking for and what is important to them. Are you being hired to cover a specific team? Or are you being hired for editorial purposes? Perhaps your focus is on a specific player. If you are a team photographer, have their been underlying stories in the team all season long? Try to think about what story you are telling.

Spend some time getting in the mindset of what your client wants. If you don’t have clients, then experiment on your own. Create an assignment for yourself to practice getting in the mindset or planning for different games.

Study the game. 

This is one of the basic tenants of sports photography and it pays to brush up on the game, no matter what. Shooting a baseball game requires different legwork, different angles and different focus than shooting a lacrosse game. Track and field has a different rhythm than basketball. All of these things matter when you are setting up, preparing your shots or planning where you want to start shooting.

Study the players and the teams involved. _RS17029

You are telling a story in sports photography and you are doing more than capturing action, you are capturing moments. It’s beneficial to have a general knowledge of the players and the teams and perhaps, the stories that have been evolving in the season. Is there a specific player who is known for making big plays? Does a team have a certain pre-game ritual or celebration tradition that you want to capture? These are just some of the things you can pay attention to and try to capture but only if you know them ahead of time by doing your research!

If you are a team photographer, you probably have a really good understanding of the team you photograph on a regular basis but you might also want to get to know their opponent to see if a pitcher is known for spectacular strike outs, a goalie is known for big saves or any other skills that can translate into great action.

Athletes always prepare for their specific opponent and as a sports photographer, you should too! No two games are the same but that is part of what makes sports photography such an exciting experience and a fun challenge!

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The Best Photo Editing Software

StockSnap_EW161F7YQXA photographer’s job isn’t done after they’ve taken their last photo of the day. There’s still more work to be done once you have taken your camera home. It’s time to edit your photos! Choosing the right photo editing software is about finding a product that the right tools for your skill level and fits in your budget. Here are some of the most popular photo editing software applications available.

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is the one of the original Adobe photo editing products. It coined the phrase “photoshopped” in our daily conversations. So it’s a good place to start our list. Photoshop has a wide variety of photo editing tools but also tends to be the most expensive.

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is extremely similar to Photoshop but it’s equipped for more professional photographers. It has many of the same photo editing abilities as Photoshop does but what really makes Lightroom a great tool is that it makes it easier to organize and categorize a large amount of photos. If you plan on taking more photos over time, Lightroom could be a great investment for you. You can actually get an annual subscription to both Photoshop and Lightroom for $10/month.

Adobe Elements

Adobe Elements is a great “beginner” version of Photoshop. It has many of the same features of Photoshop but lacks some of the more advanced features. One of the biggest pros of Adobe Elements is the price. It’s $80 for a license, which costs less than an annual subscription to Photoshop or Lightroom.

Serif Affinity Photo

Affinity was designed for Macs and it can be a happy medium between the extensive Photoshop and Elements, at an excellent price. It has powerful tools, RAW processing and an easy to use interface at a great price. However it does not have the organizational features that Lightroom has.

PhaseOne Capture One Pro

PhaseOne is another high-end tool that is similar to Lightroom and includes the ability to organize and store your photos in a searchable database. In Capture One, you don’t directly modify your changes so they are only permanent when you export, which is helpful if you need to go back and change an edit.

Corel Paintshop Pro

Corel is another program that’s ideal for beginners. It’s very versatile and easy to use. Similar to Elements, Paintshop costs $99.

If you’re just starting out, you may still be using free tools like Apple photos. This is a good way to get started with editing but if you really want to improve your photos to a professional level quality, investing in one of these software programs can help!