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Sports photography tips and techniques

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“A picture speaks a thousand words.” We all are aware of this famous proverb. We relive moments through photos, and deft photography plays a significant role in it. Sports photography is an area that has evolved considerably over the past decade. It is a fascinating experience to capture a thrilling or momentous occasion of your favorite sport. Be it your favorite player scoring a goal or breaking a record, sports photography enables us to look back at it in the future. Capturing moments of a sport makes you part of it rather than sitting on the sideline during the event. This blog will provide you some useful sports photography tips that will enhance your skills and quality of the photos.

Tips and techniques for sports photography

  1. Know the rules of the sports: Try to acquire knowledge about the rule of the sport you want to photograph. Having a better understanding of the rules will enable you to take better pictures. Through the internet, try to acquire knowledge about the rules of the sport, best shooting positions, and types of equipment used.
  2. Learn to use your camera: You can make the most out of your camera if you know how to use it. Utilizing a camera can be intricate. If you are an amateur in photography, take out some time to get to know your camera better. Taking photos in auto mode does not leave you with much scope for enhancing the quality of the photo. Devote some time to try taking pictures with other camera modes. For knowing more about the camera, go through the manual that comes with the device.
  3. Use fast shutter speed: Sports photography is different from other forms of photography. In sports photography, you have to capture fast-moving athletes. For this, the shutter speed of your camera should be fast enough to do so. Ideal photography requires a shutter speed of at least 1/500th of a second.
  4. Avoid using full auto mode: To freeze a perfect moment, do not use full auto mode. Most amateur photographers commit this mistake of setting the camera in fully automatic mode. The chances are slim of capturing a perfect picture with these settings. To enhance the quality of the pictures, jump to semi-manual mode.
  5. Plan your shooting position: You should know the position to be in before capturing a photograph. Generally, you should be in a position facing the subject you want to capture. Another best way to the position is to have the sun behind your back. It is useful because the subject receives enough light due to it. It will help in taking better photographs.
  6. Use a lens with 200mn: A focal length of more than 200m will enable it to zoom in close and isolate other subjects. I will let you take a better picture of the action.
  7. Learn about exposure: Having a better understanding of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO will augment the quality of your picture significantly. Sports photography demands a camera with fast shutter speed, a large aperture, and a variable ISO depending on the lighting.

     The aperture determines how much light will get into the camera’s sensor. Setting the aperture is essential when you are using a DSLR. However, if you are not, then you should focus on the shutter speed. Using the camera in aperture mode will enable the camera to determine the shutter speed. This setting is best to use on a bright, sunny day. Many professionals prefer using aperture mode while capturing sports. In this mode setting, we set a large aperture such as f/2.8 or f/4. It lets more light in which tells the camera about the requirement of faster shutter speed. It will facilitate freezing the action because of faster shutter speed.

     When we shoot in a semi-manual mode, we need to set the ISO ourselves considering the location, time, and sort of event. During a sunny, due to ample light, a low ISO of 400 will be sufficient. Similarly, if it is an overcast day, we need to change the ISO settings accordingly. For a darker day due to poor lighting conditions, ISO of 800-1200 will be perfect.

     Not many people have SLR cameras. For such cameras, shutter speed setting comes handy in taking good pictures. In comparison to aperture priority mode where we tell the camera the amount of light coming in, shutter speed mode tells what speed we want the shutter to be. A shutter speed of 1/500th second is perfect.

  1. Use a fast auto-focus and burst mode: For capturing fast-moving subjects in sports photography, we need the focus to be on the subject/subjects continuously.We should also set the camera to take multiple images known as ‘frame per second or ‘burst.’ Enable these features on your camera before taking sports photographs. 
  2. Shoot from a low angle: Try taking photographs from a low angle. It will magnificently capture the dramatic aspect of the moment. It adds to the profundity of the image and is a technique that professionals regularly incorporate in their photography.


Sports photography is both fun and challenging. You might fail to get it right the first time, but sticking to these tips mentioned above, you will eventually take astoundingly good images. Your skills will improve as you get more experienced. For strengthening your motivation, try to find inspiration from professional photographers and the works they have done.

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