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Sports Photography: How to Take Gold Medal Standard Photos

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You might not be jetting off to Rio this summer, but if you do find yourself enjoying the sun (fingers crossed!) at a sporting event, we’ve put together a few quick tips to help improve your sport photography skills. From Twenty20 to track and field, up your photography game and capture all the action on camera. Follow these sports photography tips and you’ll be a pro in no time!


Be Ready

Anticipating the action is key to successful sport photography. Think about where the action is moving towards, and always be ready to shoot. The better you know the sport you’re shooting, the better you’ll be able to predict the next play. The more often you shoot, the better you’ll get at anticipating what’s next.

Choose a Fast Shutter Speed

Your shutter speed needs to be fast enough to capture the action without any blur. When shooting outside, a faster shutter speed will also help to compensate for the brightness. The more photos you take, the more likely you are to get that perfect shot, and rapid shutter mode will help with this.


Consider the Background

Check the background whilst framing your shot and move position if there are distractions in the frame. Get closer to the action by using a decent lens, or by using optical zoom rather than digital zoom on your compact camera.

Think About Your Position

Consider where most of the action will be happening before you choose a spot to stand or sit. The best thing about amateur sporting events is that you’ll have more freedom to get up close to the action, so don’t just stay in the stands, get down to pitch level and you’ll get some much better shots.


Get to Grips with Panning

The panning technique will let you capture a sharp subject with a blurred background – perfect for those action shots. For this you’ll need a slower shutter speed. Auto focus by half-pressing the shutter button, then aim and pan with your subject. Continue panning after fully pressing the shutter to achieve a smooth motion blur. To improve your chances of capturing your subject, switch to continuous shooting/burst mode and start shooting before your subject is parallel to you, and continue shooting once it has passed.

Trouble keeping up and staying in focus? Try setting the focus on one point and waiting for the action to get there – near the goal, for example.

Using your GoPro for your action sport photography? Check out our GoPro photography guide to taking awesome photos with your snazzy bit of kit.

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