Many sports fans enjoy “watching” their favorite teams or players in action. However, there always seems to be that one photo of the sporting event that captures how the game or event turned out. Being an avid sports fan, I looked into what settings and equipment are needed to capture the dramatic moments of all sports that will leave that lasting impact.
1. Use a high ISO and typically a high shutter speed. When shooting sports, you are basically always capturing motion, so a high ISO, complimented with a higher shutter speed is preferred to freeze the action. Every small detail is important in sport photos because you want to capture the emotion and reaction of an athlete at the exact moment. Intensity and passion are things we love about sports, and they should be the a factor when considering your shot.
An ISO of 800-1600 usually works best, especially for nighttime games. Also, go for a shutter speed of at least 1/1000 of a second. There will be times when you’ll want to blur everything around the subject in sports. This shows off the athlete’s speed. This is particularly popular when shooting motor sports like NASCAR and NHRA drag racing. With cars going over 200 mph, you want to truly capture that in an image. Going down to 1/80 or 1/100 of a second would suit this, as your main subject will stay crisp and in focus.
2. The Lens. The lower you can go with the aperture, the better. The website prefers f/2.8 or f/4 if you can afford it. Also, consider a lens that is fairly long, such as 300 mm to 400 mm.
3. Be aware of your surroundings. It’s always good to get photos of the reactions of crowds at sporting events, as more emotion can often be captured by them as opposed to athletes. Landscape shots of entire stadiums full of people can be effective, as well as shots enhancing depth of field in which you see an athlete’s reaction in the foreground, along with a fan’s reaction in the background. Avoid using flash at all costs, as it potentially could distract athletes during game play, although it always depends on the type of sport. Finally, the article says to always keep your eye on the action instead of on the camera, as there can be multiple potential shots on one single play.