Apart from the general live entertainment, doing sports photography can be so much fun. Filled with action and agility which adds a lot of drama and intensity to your photo. However, you can only properly achieve this not only with your expensive camera but also with the right gear in your camera bag. If the only thing we needed to achieve amazing action or sports photos was our camera, boy, wouldn’t our life be a lot easier? In this article, I will be sharing with you a few must-haves as a photographer when you’re heading out to do action photography. Most of these Items are not brand specific but for the most part, as long as it gets the job done without putting too much of a dent in your pocket then it’s okay.
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One of the first things you should check on your list is to have at least one low profile tripod. A lot of you may be asking what’s the difference between a regular tripod and a low profile one. Well to be honest there isn’t much of a huge difference other than one allows you to shoot at a low level, while the other limits you to a certain height during shooting. A low profile tripod helps to enhance the perspective of your shot, allowing your subject to seem that much more heroic and more intensity during their actions. For example, if you observe photographers during basketball games, you will find that most if not all of them are seated on the floor comfortably catching those amazing shots you see on TV. The perspective of your shot during sports photography changes up the whole game of your photos and can make them that much more intense than the next guy.
At all times you should think about protecting yourself and gear. Most if not all sporting events are held outdoors and as result are subjected to the elements of mother nature. While the game may continue without a hitch during some rain, if you and your gear are not properly protected then you may find yourself running into a problem. Most recently built DSLR’s and Mirrorless camera is not equipped with weatherproofing but this only helps to an extent and will not completely stop your camera or lens from being damaged. Prevention is always better than trying to find a cure, so hop on over to Amazon or any other only store you’re interested in and grab a weatherproof coat to protect you and your expensive equipment. Also, while looking for a coat, take into consideration a weatherproof camera bag as well. They come in handy pretty well and will save you a lot of heartache in the future.
This is probably the fun part but the most critical. Traveling with a bunch of lenses in your camera bag can be such a hassle, not to mention all that extra weight you’re carrying. If we are being honest, we often don’t find ourselves even using some of those lenses we packed. In addition to that, it’s not wise to change lenses often during sports photography for one important reason. Sports photography is something very fast paced and in a split second something amazing could happen but unfortunately for you, you were changing lenses. You then end up missing one of the key shots of the day and feeling bad about it in the long run. To avoid that I would suggest choosing one telephoto lens with some great focal length as well as a low aperture. Some of you Canon users may be familiar with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens or its twin, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II lens. Both these lenses are relatively amazing but come with a pretty price tag. However, if you plan to shoot your sports event in a well-lit space then the Canon 200-400mm f/4 IS should work like a charm.
When shooting sports photography, your biggest enemy is getting a blur in your photo. You want it to look like a frame frozen in time with a clean edge to edge sharpness. To achieve this, you want to make sure that your shutter speed is above the required amount and ensure your camera is in continuous mode. For those of you who are not sure as to what continuous mode is, it’s basically a rapid burst of images your camera takes from the moment you press that shutter release button. Each camera is different and as result shoots at a certain amount of frames per second, which has a lot to do with the shots you get. So to be safe check how many frames per second your camera can shoot at or look into getting a rental that can shoot at least 10 frames per second.