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Improve your Sports Photography

By Michelle Ecker on November 07, 2016


The New York Institute of Photography is one of the world’s largest photography schools and because we are, we often publish fun and useful photography tips on our photography blog. Please enjoy!

Improve your Sports Photography

If you’re like us, following the World Series this year sparked your interest in pursuing some sports photography. Luckily, we had the chance to chat with professional sports photographer June Harrison to round up some easy-to-learn tips for beginners. Here’s what we learned:

Understandably, those who actually play sports have the compositional advantage that comes with a general understanding of the game. That being said, you will likely not be a total pro at every single sport you hope to photograph in your life. To circumnavigate this disadvantage, be sure to do a little research before an event. Watch some highlight clips on YouTube, or even an entire game of the same sport being played if you can find one on TV.

It also helps to do a little research about the specific details involved in a match-up. For example, if you’re photographing a basketball game and two opposing players are in a well-known disagreement off-court that’s been getting a lot of media attention, a great shot of the 2 going head to head would be an awesome one to walk away with. If you don’t do your research about these intricacies, you’ll likely miss out on some meaningful images.

Understand that you can’t be everywhere at once. Sports are constantly in motion and it doesn’t make sense for you to run up and down the field the entire game, frantically trying to capture anything. Again, this is why it’s important to have some general knowledge of the game before you show up. Knowing where certain plays will be made throughout the game, pick some choice spots beforehand, and hang around those to get more careful, deliberate shots instead.

Before the games begin, you should already have your exposure set, and if you're planning to use a tripod or a monopod, it should already be set up where you want it before the crowd arrives.

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