Capturing the Big Game

With crisp cool fall weather comes some of the greatest sports seasons of the year. Whether you’re an avid team fan or a sideline parent, you want to remember those big plays. You grab your fancy camera, your tripod and your snacks and you are ready for anything.

However, every time you look through your photos at the end of the game, you end up with nothing but blurs and backsides. So what are the best ways to capture those coveted action shots and memorable moments? Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be displaying professional worthy photos in every room of your home.

Location, location, location. If possible, pick a spot where the action is most likely to happen on the field or court. Usually, this is on either end by a goal line. If you are trying to get shots from the middle of the field, you’ll probably get nothing but blurry running figures. Position your camera in a steady place where you can capture faces, not the backs of heads.

Up your shutter speed. If you have a continuous “burst mode,” be sure to switch it over to this when the action starts happening. Being able to take several burst photos at a time will allow you to get shots you may have missed. You camera speed can also be increased by buying a speedy memory card and switching to a smaller file type, like JPEG.

Choose your moment. If you have a fast-moving subject, start taking shots before they enter the frame to give them time to move. If you start clicking as soon as they are in front of you, they could be out of the shot before you even have a chance to capture them. It’s always better to get one hundred useless shots if it helps you get that one perfect photo in the end.

Get the down low - on your angle. Ever notice how powerful figures are shot from a low angle? It’s because it makes them look large and powerful. If you want to make your subject look like a warrior on the field, get the low angle shot from below the action.

But don’t forget to capture faces. Don’t focus so much on the body doing the amazing move, and be sure to capture the face of your subject. Facial expressions show so much of what they are feeling in the moment, whether it’s determination, fear, surprise or pure joy.

Last but not least, display your amazing work. This isn’t so much an action shot photography tip as it is a generally great idea. Print media will last forever, and digital media can be lost in an instant. Choose your favorite gold or silver frame, or hang a few shots next to your legend’s jersey in a jersey display case, and show your great work with pride. You may even be asked to submit it to a publication. 

23rd Oct 2017 Eric Morgan

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