February 2010
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Taking great photographs of a basketball game

Tip 571 (Get larger aperture lens): It’s all about getting the correct exposure. With the fast action, you will need to have fast shutter speeds, and to get the proper light, you will need to ensure that you have a larger aperture lens; but larger aperture lenses can be expensive. Look for a lens with a large aperture of f/2.8 or more.

Tip 572 (Look for a good seat): Unless you are one of the selected lot, you are unlikely to find a spot near the court, and as a result, you would need to shoot from the stands. In the stands, with enthusiastic fans likely to jump up or down at a good shot, you will need to find a seat from where you can get a clear view. If necessary, look for a seat with children in front, so that you can get a good view.

Tip 573 (Get your telephoto lenses): Getting a telephoto lens is pretty necessary for shooting from the stands, else you will not get a clear view of the action in the game, without getting the crowds and the rest of the stands in the image. Of course, consider that you will need to have a steady hand and a fast shutter speed to avoid shake and blurring, especially when shooting at full zoom.

Tip 574 (Positioning yourself on the court): If you are one of the fortunate lot who has managed to wangle a media pass or managed to get a location on the court, the best spot is to get near one of the baskets, but not directly behind (else you risk damage from some fast moving player); move a bit off center and concentrate on getting the players and ball as they come close to the basket.

Tip 575 (Ask politely for permission to shoot before the game starts): Not all great shots are during the actual game. Do make the effort to call the Public Relations Department of the teams or the stadium, and ask for permission to shoot before the game starts. You may be able to get shots of the players and the crowds when they are assembling, even if you are not able to get the close-up shots during the game.

Book: The Digital Photography Book

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