Daniel Gonzales
Illustrative essay
18 February 2008

 Sports Photography

            Most people believe that sports photography is done well by amateurs; however, advanced methods, as well as techniques, must be used to be successful.

            Before a photographer leaves for the event that he or she is going to shoot, they must prepare their equipment. Photographers, obviously, must pack their camera, their lenses, and their accessories, such as a monopod, a flash system, and extra memory cards, and many different lenses for different shots. The telephoto lens’ purpose is to zoom in on the subject from a far distance. These vary from magnification strengths, like a 600mm lens is stronger that a 300mm lens. The lens that will be used at an event is determined by the photographer’s location.

            So, once the photographer is at the event, they must set their cameras’ aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. Photographers make settings according to the given light at the event. The aperture setting, also known as F-stop, is how wide the lens is open. The wider the aperture, like a 2.8 setting, the faster the lens is. The shutter speeds works along with the aperture; setting the shutter at a high-speed will quickly close and open the lens. And as to ISO, it refers to the sensitivity of the film, the higher the setting, the more sensitive the film is.

            Focusing is another important factor in photography. There are three focusing methods that can be used in sports photography. Automatic focusing is the most common among sports photography. But before that, there was the follow focus method, and the zone focus method. To follow focus, the photographer would have to follow the subjects while trying to get a clear picture by turning the focusing ring on the lens. To use the zone focus method, the photographer would have to set the focus at a certain area. Once the subjects would enter the area, the photographer would shoot.

            When the photographer is at the event, he or she must select a good location where they can see most of the field. For an example, at a soccer game, the photographers would most likely position themselves in a corner or on the baseline. At professional soccer events, the photographers shoot from a designated area in the stadium, where they must select a spot to shoot from within that area. After selecting a location on the field, the photographer must remember the basics as well as the techniques to shoot the game.

            There is a lot to learn about sports photography. Yet the best way to learn is through practice and experience. Some of methods and techniques may take a long time to master, but with practice, the quality of the photograph will be much better. Remembering the basic settings, the focus methods, and selecting a location will improve one’s photographs.