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Assigned to photograph winter sports? Here are some tips to follow to help you get the best shots.
What to Pack:
Extra memory card
Telephoto lens – help you get in close to the action.
Reporter’s notebook to take down names, events, and scores
Basketball Where to Stand: The best place to stand is usually under the basket that your team is trying to score into. This is the best spot to get photos of your school’s players running towards the camera and you can see the determined look on their faces as they defend their hoop.
Camera Settings: ISO 400-800 (depending on how bright your gymnasium is – the higher the ISO, the more grain the photo will have); shutter speed over 1/1000
Tip: Arms are always a problem when shooting this sport. You will want to make sure you don’t accidentally crop off someone’s arm in the shot and that there aren’t any other random arms in the frame that would distract from the photo.
Gymnastics Where to Stand: Each event will have an ideal place to stand to get the best shot. You might want to arrive early to see the teams practice and get an idea of where you should stand to get the ideal shot for each event.
Camera Settings: ISO 400-800; shutter speed over 1/1000
Tip: Multiple events will be happening at the same time. Keep this in mind so that you don’t get more than one of your school’s athletes in your photos.
Wrestling Where to Stand: Off the side of the mat. Make sure you have a simple background so that the athletes are the main focus of the photograph.
Camera Settings: ISO 400-800; shutter speed around 1/640
Tip: The most dramatic action happens when one athlete is about to be pinned. Get as close to the floor as you can so that you can see the faces of the athletes.
Swimming Where to Stand: Right behind the diving block is the easiest place to stand and get photos of the swimmers as they make their way back down the lane. It might also be worthwhile to stand off to one of the sides to get a profile shot of the swimmers in the water.
Camera Settings: ISO 400; shutter speed over 1/1000
Tip: As soon as the swimmers finish their relay, they will snap their heads in the direction of the clock to see their time. When they do so, you’ll want to capture their reaction and possibly the coach’s reaction as well.
Diving Where to Stand: Off to one side of the pool. You want to make sure that your background is clean so that the diver can dominate the image. Camera Settings: ISO 400; shutter speed over 1/1000 Tip: You will want to photograph the diver from the moment they leave the board all the way to the splash of the water. It might also be a good idea to get a shot of them at the top of the diving board.
If you are not sure about the lighting you will need, you can shoot in TV mode where you can set the shutter speed and the camera will figure out the rest.
Get as close to the action as possible. Talk to your athletic department and find out where is the best place to stand so that you won’t get in the way of spectators and referees.
Don’t forget the crowd. Winter months can be the best times to get shots of the crowd, especially if there is a theme for the game that you are attending.