SPORTING TRIALS – BEHIND THE SCENES OF SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
BE A SPORT
I would imagine that upon reading the title of this post you fall into one of two categories which we shall explore and exploit below.
1) You are a regular reader, glancer or somewhat connected OurWorldMyEye reader and thought ‘Sports Photography, surely not – what has he come to. This I have to see’. (Apparently you talk to yourself a lot).
2) You have been pumping the Goggle machine for information relating to how to do sports photography or for examples of good sports photographs and the title of this post cunningly suckered you into my fold.
Either way, prepare for disappointment as it is probably not what you wanted or expected! I sure know how to sell myself don’t I!
The story goes that a College asked me to photograph their sports trials so they would have some stock shots to put into publicity material, prospecti (is that the legitimate plural of a prospectus?) and such like. Now I am no sports fan but I had never done any sport photography before and figured it was a good learning experience – so I obliged.
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY ADVICE
On the agenda was Football, Rugby, Netball, Badminton and Basketball. All different beasts that boasted their own challenges. So, for the benefit of those who have come here today hoping for advice on sport photography, here is my summary of each:
FOOTBALL – Really hard. They move quick, pass the ball too much and by the time you focus on a shot it has gone. Anticipation is the key and as someone ignorant to the game it proved a struggle! My tactic – keep following the players that looked the best and wait for a tackle as its the only time they stay still and you can get a shot!
RUGBY – Fairly easy. They are a bit more cumbersome than the Football players and the game stops and starts almost as much as American sports!
NETBALL – The easiest of them all. They are forced to stop with the ball and do that pivoting thing, so you have ages to frame a shot. No worries.
BADMINTON – Impossible. Dark hall, fast movements, lots of courts – getting a good shot just doesn’t happen. Looks like it is a slowish game but they move their arms too fast! My advice – get someone to pose!
BASKETBALL – Well a mixed bag all told. Again a dark hall makes it hard and they move really really fast. But, get someone in the air and you are onto a winner. PLUS basketball players show off more than the other sports so they naturally try and do something snazzy for you.
Right, now we have sorted them who came for advice out, with what will no doubt be classed – ‘the single best guide to sports photography…ever’ in years to come; we can get on with the main event.
As anyone who has graced these pages before will know, I get easily bored photographing what I am supposed to. Hence, I soon realised that sports photography was actually a good thing as there where hundreds of far more interesting shots to be taken that didn’t involve the sport. So, when nobody was looking and whenever possible – I fired off a shot for myself.
TURN THE CAMERA ON THE UNEXPECTED…
Therefore, I will not be sharing with you and of the ACTUAL sports photographs, but will instead show you a selection of my alternative sports photographs.
Here, I suspect, ends my career as a sports photojournalist!