I've been lucky enough to work with our Church youth program for nearly three years now; it's been fun, as well as a learning experience (in positive ways). They just finished off a summer-long soccer tournament and I was back from vacation to be there and support them, as well as take photos. The boys kept asking me if I would be back in time for the final game because they wanted photos, like I did last year.
I had done a little bit of sports photography before, so I had a few ideas about how I wanted to do this.
First, a fast shutter speed (generally speaking). The action is moving fast and the goal is to try and capture the moment.
Second, burst mode. I know, this is often referred to as "spray and pray", firing off a rapid burst of images in the hopes that SOMETHING will turn out. However, with sports, things are moving so quickly that it is very difficult to grab one frame at precisely the right instant.
Third, go with the telephoto zoom. You will be shooting from the sidelines, already removing you from the action, and the action will likely often be far from you. A group of colorful specks against the green field can get to be pretty boring. That said, I did take some wide angle shots, which can help provide a larger context for what is going on.
Fourth, go with Aperture Priority. When I'm shooting portraits, landscapes, or some other controlled circumstance, I'll often go manual mode. In this case, I know roughly the kind of depth of field I want, so I set the aperture and let the camera figure out the rest. I also (should have) set the white balance to auto because we had cloud cover rolling through all the time.
Lastly, practice, practice, practice. I had the luck of being able to shoot two consecutive games, during which I shot 1,030 images, of which I kept 244, a bit less than 25%. I found that I made fewer images - and better ones - during the second game. As I got a better feel for the game and how things moved, I found that I could anticipate better. So, going back to the "spray and pray" comment, probably with enough practice you could do that single frame and capture the moment. I'm nowhere near that!
Anyway, here are a few more of my favorites from that day. Enjoy!
A project to document the stories of refugees who have relocated to Twin Falls, Idaho.
A great resource on learning how to light.
Follow the work of one of the great photographers of today.
Amazing images by an incredible visual artist.
Why buy it when you can have fun and build it?