Outdoor Sports

Outdoor Sports
There is nothing like spending a warm summer afternoon outdoors shooting sports and capturing those exhilarating moments of emotion and success of athletes.  Of course every day is not so ideal, and outdoor sports can be a challenge to shoot, from weather, lighting to shutter lag.  By following these four tips you will improve that experience and help to ensure your success.

Position yourself for Success
No matter the outdoor sport you are shooting you must position yourself for successful shots.  Remember there is not one single best spot but rather many good places to shoot the action.  With this in mind you must be ready to move from location to location to capture a variety of great action photos. 

The right position will be determined by a number of things, where the sun is positioned, where the action is taking place and where you can gain access.  Make sure the sun is at your back and is lighting the faces of the athletes.  Determine where most of the action is occurring or where the action of the athletes you want photos of is occurring.  Position yourself where you will have the most opportunities for success.  Pay attention to obstacles that might be in your way, from fences, trees or other spectators.  You may have to get special permission to be in the best spot, or you may have to go out of your way to avoid many of those obstacles.

Capture the Face
If you want good sports photos and action shots make sure to capture the athletes face.  No matter the quality of the shot or the cool action you capture it’s never as interesting without the athletes face.  So, part of finding the ideal positions to shoot from is to be where the athlete’s will be facing you.  They need to be coming toward you during most of the action.  Catching photos of a base runner going to first will require you to be in one position and to capture a runner sliding into third will mean moving to a new position.  Just remember always capture the face with the action and you’ll have photos everyone loves.

Anticipate the Action
To be a good sports photographer you must plan and think ahead.  Once you’ve seen the action it’s too late to capture it, so plan ahead, this will take a little guessing and a lot of practice.  When you think of all the camera must do to take a photo and prepare to take the next one you must account for this lag or delay in time.  You can assist the camera by pressing the shutter half way and letting it focus and set the exposure in advance.  Then when you press the rest of the way it will fire quicker.  You will also find success by anticipating the moment and firing the camera in advance.

Protect Your Equipment
You’re outside and you must protect your equipment in a number of ways.  Protect it from the weather, heat, cold, rain & snow.  A weather proof bag is ideal.  You’re going to be moving around so you must take care that your equipment is there when you return.  Ideally you can take it with you in a backpack or shoulder bag, but if not find a trusted source to leave it with.

ProPix Photography
Sports Photographers

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