Questions for sports photographers

Started May 14, 2008 | Discussions thread
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andyroo770
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Questions for sports photographers
May 14, 2008

Hello Pros!

I am currently a student of photography in Australia and would like to know how a professional sports photographer operates in a real world situation.

I have had some work experience shooting school Rugby League (age 6-15) for a lady who wanted me to capture individual shots of players to sell to the parents. She seemed to reject any shots that showed peak action or too many players in the frame as these didn't sell to the parents well. Fair enough I guess but I prefer to get the 'moment of impact' shot showing all the agonising pain of the moment.

I often found myself frustrated by the fact that alot of the time most of the action was being played at the other end of the pitch to where I was and vice-versa if I moved position! I wish to try a career in sports and as I understand it, a professional shooter in a match day scenario doesn't have the oportunity to get up and move to the other end of the pitch (I may be wrong??). Also, I was using a 170-500mm lens which has good reach on a nikon D200 (her equipment - I shoot Canon) but still cannot 'get right in the action' from the other end of the pitch.

SO, my question/s;

As a proffessional, do you pick a good position for action and just shoot the best you can and try not to think about the shots you could be getting when the action isn't going your way??

Do the majority use telephoto zoom lenses and what would be the best lens option for sports?

If shooting with a fixed focal length ie; 300mm do you just accept you cannot go wider when the action does actually decide to come to you??

Where are the best positions to shoot from for various sports?? ie; Soccer (football if you're English like me!), basketball, tennis, rugby, baseball etc...

I have read alot of advice concerning sports shooting eg; faces, faces, faces, vertical composition, aperature priority or manual etc etc

Any advice on lens selection and position is welcome - and anything else for that matter!

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