Category Archives: Outdoor Sports

Soccer Photography Challenges & Rewards

Challenges

Because shooting soccer is challenging, most people do not do it well and thus great soccer photos are appreciated and rewarded. As with most challenges, the more difficult the obstacle, the greater the reward. Here are some of the challenges you will be facing shooting soccer that sportsphotographysuccess.com can help you to overcome:

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You Don’t Get to Choose the weather

That’s right. You have to play the soccer game when it’s scheduled and competitive soccer leagues try hard to not reschedule games.  You might be trying to take photos in the rain, snow, cold or heat, and you might have to adapt to changing conditions.  Those changes may occur during the course of a soccer tournament or even within the timeframe of a single soccer game. 

You Don’t Get to Choose the Lighting

No, you don’t get to choose the lighting that soccer will be played in. Besides sunny days you will have cloudy days as well as games that go late with the sun going down.  Sometimes the sun will be straight overhead and other times low on the horizon causing shadows and dark faces.  Cloudy days may provide low light conditions all of which cause challenges for the soccer photographer. 

You Don’t Get to Choose the Moment

Sorry, no posing those soccer athletes. No saying, "Okay I’m ready go ahead make that move, steal that ball or shoot on goal." If you don’t anticipate it, you’ll miss it. If you saw the perfect shot, you just missed it, and invariably the moment you stop for a break is the moment you miss the shot you were waiting for. Great soccer photo opportunities happen throughout the game. You have to be ready at any moment to capture them.

These are just a few of the many challenges you will be facing trying to shoot soccer, including caring for and protecting your equipment, choosing the right equipment, learning how to be in the right position for good shots, and much more.

So, with all those challenges, do you have any chance of capturing amazing soccer shots? Absolutely, and this website and soon to be released book will help you do just that. We have just one purpose in mind—to help you become the best soccer and sports photographer you can!

 

Rewards

Although the challenges of soccer photography are many and great, the rewards are equally wonderful. When you catch that perfect shot, you’ll find yourself running around the field showing others or emailing like crazy for all to see. There is nothing quite so rewarding as sharing with a soccer athlete the action shot that shows the emotion of the sport and represents the myriad hours they have spent training and working to improve their skills. You will experience hard work, long hours, difficult situations and conditions–but when you capture those great moments, the challenges and the obstacles fade away.

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Time for soccer photography

 

It’s that time of year that soccer begins outdoors, at least in our climate, and it’s time to capture great action of my children playing the beautiful game of soccer.  What a great sport we love it at our home whether it’s MLS, Premier League, La Liga, World Cup or u10 girls playing 8v8 on a small field we love it.

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In the next blogs I will cover tips and tricks to taking great sports photos during soccer games.  Soccer presents it’s own set of challenges.  You are now outdoors which can be great for lighting, but it can also present challenges with weather on cloudy days, bright sunny days, dusk, rain and just a variety of changing weather.

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You are now also presented with the challenge of a much bigger playing area.  A regulation size soccer field can be 100-120 yards long and 60-80 yards wide.

In addition you now have perhaps 18 players to capture playing soccer, each playing a different position on this large field. 

I will cover ideas on what equipment to use, where to stand how to handle the weather and everything you need to know to take great soccer photos.

So, let’s get ready for a great season of Soccer and have fun capturing some amazing photos of your favorite soccer players.

Scott

Three Keys to Shooting Soccer

Are you enjoying the World Cup?  It’s a frenzy at our house, trying to watch 3-4 games a day, rooting for our favorite players, teams and countries.  It’s hard to fit in everything else in life while all this great soccer is going on.  It seems appropriate to share some keys to shooting great soccer action while we’re in the middle of World Cup.
Shooting soccer on a full sized field isn’t easy, but very possible.  If you’re trying to get action shots of a single player then it’s much easier than trying to get the entire team.  We’ll focus this blog post on how to shoot an individual player and I will try to follow up in the coming weeks on shooting the entire team, the goalie and posed photos.

Key #1 Equipment
Soccer fields are large as you know so this is a case where the bigger the lens the better.  A large lens can be very expensive, but on a sunny day even a f4.5 lens can get you great action shots.  I’ve had great luck with a sigma 50-500mm lens on sunny days and it’s even affordable.  If you position yourself properly and are willing to move more frequently even an 80-200mm can work.

Key #2 Where to Position Yourself
Let’s assume it’s a nice sunny day for soccer (not that my children had any sunny days this Spring) and you’re in place for the entire game.  The sun is your friend as well as your challenge.  You want your players face to be toward the sun so that it’s lit up and bright.  So, when only needing photos of one player I would probably shoot photos for just half the game.  The half when your player is primarily facing the sun which means the opposing goalie’s back is toward the sun, and your back as well will be toward the sun.

Key #3 Frame a Great Photo
The “beautiful game” certainly has lots of action both on and off the ball.  How do you catch the right action to ensure a great photo.  Be sure to capture the face and the ball in the frame.  Yes, that’s not easy, but your photos are always better with those two things.  The player without the ball just isn’t that interesting and if you can see the ball and not the player’s face your photo won’t be as interesting either.  Of the thousands of soccer photos we’ve sold 99%+ of them have included the players face and the ball.

See you on the pitch!

Scott

Sports Photography Preparation is the Key

 

It doesn’t matter if you are going to shoot your child’s baseball game or the High School state championship football game,  you will most likely get better sports photos if you are prepared. There are a couple of things that you should take into account when getting ready for a sports photo shoot.

Get your gear ready

This might be the most important. You don’t want to get to your destination, have everything setup to find that your battery is nearly dead. This and many other mishaps can be avoided by simply getting all the equipment together the night before the big event. This includes blank memory cards, charged batteries, lenses and camera. Depending on whether you will be indoors or outdoors and the weather you may have additional accessories that are required.

Whatever the equipment requirements are it is always a good idea to get them all ready and packed so when you are ready to go and can just grab your gear and be on your way, confident that you have what you need. You may even want to make a list of what you need for different sporting events so it’s easy to bring out that specific list when you are planning on a shoot.

Scout out the location

Obviously you aren’t going to be able to check out a location before hand if it’s out of state or country, but when possible it’s a great idea to check out the location you plan on photographing at beforehand. A great time for this may be something as simple taking a family member practicing at the facility or location.  You should definitely check out the location, walk around and find great spots that will make a great photo.

You don’t necessarily have to check out the location a day or two early. If it’s a sporting event like volleyball, you can get there a half hour early so you get the perfect spot in the stands. If it’s something like a soccer game, it may not be too important as you may be moving to different positions on the side lines as the game progresses, but you may actually miss some shots of the kids practicing (that’s right, you can get some great shots before the game actually starts).

Remember these tips and you won’t have to worry if you forgot your flash card at home, or worrying about getting a great spot to shoot from.

Shutter Lag

Shutter Lag
Even if you don’t know what the words mean, shutter lag, you’ve probably experienced it.  You have your camera at the ready, you’ve composed the shot, the athlete is now in position and you press the shutter button at the exact moment you want to capture the perfect picture…………….but the camera doesn’t take the photo, it waits for what’s seems an eternity and then fires.  You find the resultant photo is not the one you had prepared for, the athlete is not framed properly or they are now in an awkward looking position, or it’s out of focus all because the camera delayed in taking the photo. 

This is what is known as shutter lag.  Sports photographers need cameras that shoot with minimal shutter lag and shoot quickly. You the sports photographer can also take steps to reduce this lag and not miss photo opportunities or poorly capture them. 

What is it?
Shutter Lag is the delay between pushing the shutter button and the camera recording the picture on the image sensor.  Whereas the shutter lag on a film camera was minimal and primarily a result of the mechanics of the aperture opening and closing, digital cameras have that lag plus the processing of the image.  There are many steps the camera must take prior to and when taking a photo, all of which are not related to the shutter, but practically speaking shutter lag is the time from when you press the shutter button until the time the camera takes the photo.  A lot must happen during this time.  Your camera adjusts the focus, exposure and white balance then it opens the aperture, captures the light on the image sensor, converts the light to a digital representation and writes it to your memory card.  That’s a lot to do in a short amount of time and while electronic circuitry and processing is improving shutter lag continues to be a factor.

What can you do about it?
As a sports photographer there are a number of things you can do about it.  The first and most obvious is to buy a camera with a short shutter lag.  You will find measurements in the specifications and it never hurts to test the camera out on a sport you want to shoot.  Even the best digital cameras still experience shutter lag but there is still more you can do.

Prepare in advance
The work you camera must do can be significantly reduced by preparing your camera in advance.  When you push the shutter button half-way down you are telling your camera to focus and make the proper adjustments.  Continue holding the button down, and then when you press the rest of the way down it will more quickly take the photo.  This is not always possible when shooting sports, but when you can it will help you reduce shutter lag.

Anticipate
This is another trick that can reduce shutter lag.  Anticipating or predicting where the action will be occurring will allow you to shoot the camera a bit ahead of the actual shot you want to get.  By anticipating what will be happening next and shooting the camera just before that moment you will capture the exact moment you want.  The more you shoot a particular sport the better you will become and you will find yourself capturing magnificent photos and not noticing the shutter lag at all.

Continuous or Burst Mode
Good sports photography cameras will have a continuous mode or burst mode.  When set to this mode, when you press and hold the shutter button, the camera will take a rapid set of photos one right after the other as quickly as it can.  This can make the art of anticipating a bit easier since you can begin before the action and end afterwards.  This will increase your chances of getting that perfect action photo.

Increased Shutter Speed
Another way to reduce shutter lag is to shoot with a faster shutter speed.  You will be doing this often anyway as you attempt to capture sports and freeze the action.  This way you will obtain clear photos without blur.  In low-light conditions if you increase the size of the aperture or opening you will allow more light to reach the sensor in less time allowing you to use a faster shutter speed.  This will help you to freeze motion for sharp clear photos.

Decrease the photo resolution
By lowering the quality and thus the size of the photo you are taking allows your camera to process the information faster, since there is less information to process.  Just common sense really, if your resolution is set to 8 megapixel per photo, the processor in your camera must process all those pixels, convert them to digital numbers and write them to your memory card.  Obviously your camera will take less time to process fewer mega pixels, so shooting at a quality mode that requires 4 mega pixels will process quicker.  Pick a quality mode on your camera that meets your needs, but still helps you reduce the shutter lag. 

And don’t forget to practice and practice and take many photos.  This will improve your timing as well as give you a chance to capture some great sports shots while learning to compensate for shutter lag.

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The Sports Photographers

Shooting Indoor Sports

Indoor Sports
Getting great sports photos indoor can be a real challenge.  While professional sports photographers shoot in arenas that have been designed with them and the television producers in mind, you are shooting in old school gyms, performance halls and other poorly lit facilities.  You will also be using good equipment, but most likely not using pro lenses that can run $8,000+.  The good news is if you will follow the tips below you will still be able to capture great sports photos like the pros.

Location, Location, Location
Just as in real estate where the best location makes for the best pricing and resale, the best location at indoor sports will make for the best photos.  Find a spot right on the floor close to the athletes or an elevated position that is still close enough.  You want to fill the frame with many of your shots and depending on the size of your lens, being close is almost always better.  There not just one best location, you will want to change positions and take shots from a variety of angles and different locations around the competition area.  By doing this you will have unique shots that will give variety to the shots you are taking.  You will also need to be mobile to catch all the athletes since in most sports they will be moving and changing directions.

White Balance
As a sports photographer you will invariably be faced with event locations that have insufficient lighting.  School gyms and performance halls have not been designed for optimum photographic lighting.  In addition, during many sporting and athletic events the lights are dimmed or turned down as part of the event.  In addition to low-light you will have to deal with a variety of different types of lights including florescent. 

Your best solution is to take practice shots and get to the best color you can on your LCD screen.  You will be able to make adjustments post event on your computer, but that takes time and you want to get it the best you can the first time.  So start on automatic and see how well that looks.  Then try some of the other pre-defined white balance settings such as florescent.  The best way is to try a few and then choose the setting that gives you the best visual representation of the scene. 

ISO & Shutter Speed
You have a double challenge, enough light for your photos and freeze the action so your photos are not blurry.  The image sensor on your camera must receive enough light to allow your photo to be bright, yet you can’t leave the shutter open so long that the movement is blurry.  So your shutter speed must be fast enough to capture the action.  Fortunately a good Digital SLRs will help you to do just that.  You have a number of options.  You can leave the camera in programmed mode and increase the ISO.  You may have to increase the ISO to 800, 1250 or even 1600 where I tend to shoot most of my indoor sports held in school gyms. 

In programmed mode the camera will intelligently set the aperture and shutter speed to compensate.  You will find this to often be a good solution, and obviously easy to do since all you do is set the ISO.  If you want to take more control yourself try setting the aperture as wide open as you can (low f/stop number), and let the camera pick the shutter speed.  It might feel a little backwards, but we have found this to work better than to set the shutter speed.  Of course if you want ultimate control go to manual and set both yourself.

Faces
Don’t forget the most important part of the sports photo is the athlete’s face.  Find locations that will allow you capture the faces of the athletes.  Be aware of obstacles and other challenges that may hinder your ability to catch their face.  When you capture the athlete’s face along with the ball, or other elements of the sport or competition you will have sport photos that everyone will love, and the athlete and family even more.

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The Sports Photographers

Sports Photography Lighting

Lighting is one of the most difficult challenges for the sports photographer.  It varies outdoors and changes in nearly every gym.  If your athlete plays in the same field or gym repeatedly that can help and allows you to try out different options.  Outdoors you have the challenge of the bright sun which will cast deep shadows or cloudy days when their is not enough light.  Indoors you will face a variety of different lights with different brightness and color.  All creating a challenge for you to get the best photos.

Outdoor Sunny
When you are outdoors and it’s sunny you want to remember that you want to light up the athlete’s face.  You want the light on their face so you want the sun to your back.  So position yourself to make that happen.  This might mean only shooting half of a soccer game or shooting the players going in one direction.  It might mean only shooting a few innings of the game instead of the entire game.  The good thing about the sun is you can keep your ISO down to 400 and still eliminate the blur bof motion.  I love sports photos on a sunny day because of the brightness and brilliance.
The shadow of the faces can be so strong that you will not recognize the player nor will you be able to post edit them on the computer and make them bright enough to view.

Outdoor Overcast
An overcast sky is a blessing in many ways, but creates other difficulties for you.  You won’t have the heavy shadows, but you will have less light and will need to shoot at a higher ISO.  The higher ISO isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you have to go too high you can start getting grainy photos.  Check you view finder and keep the ISO as low as possible while still getting enough light on your athlete.  Where you position yourself on this overcast day is less important from a lighting standpoint since you don’t have to worry about keeping the sun on your back.

Indoor Lights
You will find a wide variety of lights used indoors.  They never seem to be the same and the level of brightness always varies.  For the most part there is never as much light as you want or really need.  In some ways you have a tougher job than the professional photographer who works in a well lit arena.  Your key benefit is that at least you can move around.  So, what to do, well have that good lens, adjust your ISO to as high as needed.  This will often have to be up to 1600 to get enough light and to freeze the action.  This may end up limiting the size of photos you can print, but at least they will be bright and viewable.  As mentioned previously try different white balance settings until you get the one that gives you the best color.

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The Sports Photography Professionals

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.

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Sports Photographers

Positioning and Timing

 

If you follow sports at all you’ve seen those great photos on the cover of Sports Illustrated and you see amazing action shots daily in the sports section of the newspaper.  You’re thinking hey, my family and children all participate in sports I want to get some shots like that of my family!  Well it’s possible and this article will help get you started.  Although if you are looking for that shot of your child 2 feet above the rim dunking a basketball that will take a lot more than just good photography, but we can help you get those great shots only found in a basketball game with ten 11 year-olds running around like crazy.  We all love good action shots and with children busier in activities from dance to soccer than ever before we spend a lot of time as parents supporting our children, and capturing them in action is a definite requirement. Getting great action shots takes planning and good shooting, and begins with where you position yourself.

Where you need to position yourself

There location from where you are taking your photos is very important and will vary depending on the sport or action shot you are trying to get.  Where you sit as a spectator will often not be the best place to get the ideal photos.  It might be worth a shot or two from that position, but there are a number of problems.  Take a high school basketball game for example.  As a spectator you may want to sit as close to center court as possible.  The challenge with taking photos from that position is you will likely have to stand up which will rudely block the peoples view behind you and most of your shots will be from the side or the back of the athlete.  So a better place would be behind one of the baskets up a few rows, because there may be fewer spectators in that part of the stands and being elevated will help eliminate obstacles such as cheerleaders and people walking by.  Also right down on court-side is also a good option.  If you are familiar with the sport you will know and learn where to position yourself for the best photos.  Do look at professional sports photos and see what shots they are getting and taking, think about where they are positioned and copy when you can.

Be where you can get the face
Without a doubt of the 100,000s of sports photos I have sold, 99.9% of them included the participants face in the photo.  The #1 most important part of the photo is that you capture the participants face.  Not always easy, think of swimming competition where the athletes only breath occasionally and on different sides.  That can be a real challenge.  Be sure that your are positioned in a way that when you capture the action that the athlete’s face will be well lit and looking toward you.  From the side is ok as well as long as a good portion of the face is part of the photos. 

Don’t stay in one place
If you want good sports and action shots of your family get on the move.  Don’t let yourself stay in one place.  Some sports force you to move because the teams play in different directions.  Tennis for example will require that you move to catch the action from both sides of the court.  Even if the sport doesn’t require it, make yourself move.  Try different angles, don’t shoot everything from the end of the field or court take some from the side toward the end and others perhaps from the middle of the field or court. 

I distinctly remember the day I tried a different angle while shooting photos of my children competitively swimming.  I had always taken breastroke and butterfly photos from the end of the lane where they were looking right straight toward me.  One time I was late getting in position so took the photos from an angle at the side of the pool, still captured their face and had a great angle that has actually been my favorite rather than straight on.  Moving is also important for the larger playing areas and will allow you to get much closer on a a specific player or portion of the field.

Timing
Just as any athlete in a sport must have good timing and skill you also as a sports photographer must have good timing, must be able to act and react quickly and have skill.  This takes practice and thank goodness for digital cameras that let us practice over and over.  If you are familiar with the sport you are shooting you will pick up the timing quicker and you will know what shots to be looking for.  Anticipation is key and knowing what is about to occur.  If you see the action or the moment it’s already too late to shoot it, you must anticipate it happening. 

Soccer is a great example of this.  If you press the shutter when you see the player kick the ball you will be late and what you will get is the ball already leaving the foot and the player in an awkward looking position.  The best shot is achieved by anticipating when they are going to strike the ball and pressing the shutter right before that occurs so you catch them in the "moment" or act of kicking ball as opposed to after the fact.  Every sport has these timing challenges and it’s for you to practice and learn them.  Be sure to use the review on your digital camera, take shots, review them on the field and then take more.

Unplanned moments
These are those unplanned moments in sports that can be amazing or hilarious, and are often the most memorable.  Unfortunately as they are aptly named you can’t plan for these shots.  They can happen at anytime and are quite unpredictable.  Invariably you will miss many of these, but if you are shooting on a regular basis and shooting much of a game you will have those moments and shots that will be treasures.  Really the only way to get more of these is to spend more time taking photos.

Ensure you are in the right position and practice, practice and practice to achieve proper timing and you will be well on your way to getting a sports action photo of your family that is a "keeper."

Scott
ProPix Photography

The Sports Photography Professionals

Sports Photography In All Kinds of Weather

The clouds roll in and the rain starts to fall and many sports photographers turn-off the camera and run for cover.  That’s not going to be you, because you’re going to be prepared and will stay through the weather to capture those sporting moments that can carry even more emotion and excitement in the midst of difficult weather.  All types of weather presents a different challenge you just need to be prepared for it.  Think of it as an opportunity for great shots rather than an obstacle or a nuisance.  Yes, you can pamper your equipment and leave it in the house whenever the weather looks threatening, but you’ll find yourself with very few photos and miss out on many wonderful opportunities for great photos.

Sunny
Okay, you’re thinking what’s wrong with sunny weather isn’t that exactly what we want to be shooting in?  Well yes and no, a sunny day presents it’s own challenges.  A sunny hot day may be one of the most difficult times to shoot sports.  You’re not sitting peacefully with the other fans on the sidelines but rather moving up and down the field or along the sidelines working to capture the great sports moments.  Doing that in 100 degree weather can be a challenge.  Just like the athletes you need to dress appropriately, comfortably and cool.  The same types of clothing you might wear out hiking or running in the sun is typically good.  You never no  you might be out in the sun for 1-2 or more hours depending on how many games you are shooting.  Be sure to use sun screen, cover the back of your neck that will be exposed and take breaks in the shade.  Hydrate yourself before, during and afterward by carrying a water bottle with you.  Keeping a "sweat" rag handy is a good idea to wipe sweat away from your body as well as your camera equipment. 

Be sure to have the basic camera cleaning equipment with you such as a blower, microfiber cloth and lens cleaning fluid.  A bright sunny day makes for beautiful shots if you do it right.  That means make sure to shoot with the sun to your back so that your athlete’s faces are bright and not shadowed.  Sunny days bring shadows so make sure you allow the sun to do the work for you since flash photography is typically not allowed and wouldn’t do you much good either.

Overcast or Shady
These can be beautiful days to shoot long and hard at sports photography.  Physically it is not as demanding as a sunny hot day and certainly doesn’t present the challenges of rain or snow.  With lower light you will need to allow more light to reach the sensor.  This can be accomplished in a couple of ways.  In programmed or automatic mode you can adjust the ISO higher and let the camera adjust the aperture (size of the opening) and the shutter speed.   Remember the higher your ISO the more noise/grain in your photos.  Of course you can manually set the shutter speed and aperture as well to ensure proper lighting and speed.  The benefit of this type of day is that you won’t have to compete with the shadows of a sunny day.  You will have more options of where you position yourself around the field to capture the action. 

Rain
Alright so those dark clouds have now started to drop rain.  Should you turn-off the camera stick it in your bag and run for cover?  Absolutely not!  You now have a chance to catch unique photos that others will not be willing to take.  Make sure that you are prepared to protect yourself and your gear.  Make sure the gear you are not using is in a waterproof bag or is in a location protected from the water.  Protect the camera you are shooting with by using a cover or rain jacket for your camera that can be purchased or by making one yourself with a plastic bag.  Although it can be awkward you can also use an umbrella or have someone hold the umbrella for you.  Have a soft rag to dry the lens and your normal lens cleaning equipment as well.  Just as on an overcast or shady day you will need to compensate for less light.  Hang in there though because you will find wonderful shots not available without rain falling, players slipping, mud flying and crowds bundled up for protection. 

Snow and Cold
If you’re in the right geographic locations that rain might even turn into snow.  Or you might be trying to shoot skiing or snowboarding photos and you have no choice but to be in the snow and cold.  You will want to protect your equipment the same way you do in the case of rain, keep your equipment in a good weather proof bag, and protect the equipment you are shooting with, in a protective cover.  In between shots you can place the camera under your coat to help keep it warm.  Remember to dress yourself appropriately for the cold, you may be there for hours and your ears, toes and fingers will become very cold. 

Just as you buy good equipment for your camera buy good equipment for yourself to keep you protected and comfortable.  Snow introduces some unique lighting and white balance challenges.  The light meter on the camera will see the brightness of the snow and adjust accordingly often leaving everything else too dark.  You will want to overexpose the photo so that the snow is as bright as you see with your eye, and the rest of the photo is exposed appropriately.  In addition the snow will often throw off the white balance as well so try different settings.  Some cameras may even have a snow white balance and if not you may need to try setting it manually or shoot in RAW mode and adjust it in post processing.

If your camera has a custom white balance setting you can also try shooting a white patch of snow for the reference shot. If all else fails or your camera doesn’t have these options, you can always leave the white balance on auto. It may not be perfect, but it should still give you decent, if not great color.

Successful sports photographers are those that are prepared, ready and willing to shoot even when the weather is not ideal.

ProPix Photography

The Sports Photography Professionals