January 2010
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How to take better photos of sports events – some tips and techniques (contd..)

Tip 511 (It is difficult, but possible): Taking photos of sporting events is not easy, given the speed with which events can happen; in addition, you may be located some distance away from the action, and it may be crowded. However, with knowledge of tips and techniques, and with practice, you can learn to take some great photos.

Tip 512 (Learning to shoot at fast speeds): With sports photography, you need to shoot at fast speeds. The shutter should be open for less than 1/250 of a sec, and make sure that your camera is able to shoot at such fast speeds. When you use point and shoot, many of them will optimize the shutter speed and aperture, but may not shoot at the desired speeds.

Tip 513 (Shutter lag): Shutter lag is all the more critical to consider when shooting sports events. Shutter lag is the interval between pressing the shutter button and when the photo actually gets taken, and when the sports events demands a quick shot, you need a camera that can shoot pretty fast after you press the button. If your camera has a shutter lag, then you may want to anticipate the sporting event and try to time your pressing the shutter button accordingly.

Tip 514 (Burst mode): In previous tips, I had mentioned the burst mode. The burst mode enables the camera to quickly take a number of shots when you press the shutter button, and the advantage of taking such shots, all in the matter of a few seconds, means that there is a higher chance that one of the photos will capture the action you want.

Tip 515 (Become a regular): If you are not a professional photographer, then try to show up more regularly at sporting events and shoot often. This sets you up as somebody who is a regular, and you can become more recognizable. This may help you get a chance to get you closer to the activity, since people would be more likely to allow you to get closer.

Book: Sports Photography: How to Capture Action and Emotion (Paperback)

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