Mastering the Art of Sports Photography

Posted by: andy  :  Category: Photography

Author: Amy

For sports enthusiasts, there’s nothing more exciting than sports people playing their favourite game. The sight of the field, rink or golf course initiates the thrill and anticipation. This, combined with digital photography, can provide some amazing photographic opportunities. However it’s not a matter of point the camera at the person diving for the ball or puck and snapping away. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

In digital photography sports can be quite challenging. The sports people do not present an easy task of being photographed because of the amount of high movement. However, you can indeed achieve great sports digital photography. Most excellent sports digital photography requires good planning and execution.

Here are some exclusive tips for gaining fantastic sports shots in your digital photography.

First things first; know your digital camera. I recommend taking note and practicing first all the settings that sports photography needed. You may find yourself going for the faster shutter speed, increased ISO and burst mode. Let’s take a look at all these things on your digital camera and see how they can be applied to give you sensational sports photos.

High shutter speeds:

As with all moving objects, in order to capture the “frozen in time” look in digital photography a fast shutter speed is required. The faster the movement the fast the shutter speed will need to be. In digital photography the general consensus is that the shutter speed needs to be faster than that of the subject. For example if you have a sliding puck across ice and there is a someone about to take a dive for it then its necessary to quickly mentally assess how fast that person might be traveling at. If they are traveling at approximately 50 kilometers (approx 32 miles) per hour then you may find a very fast shutter speed is needed for this digital photo.

A very fast shutter speed in digital photography may be anything from 500th of a second or higher. For high speed movement you may want to consider an even faster shutter speed of 1000th of a second or something in that range.

Keep in mind that in digital photography a fast shutter speed works to reduce some of the light which is why a higher ISO is often necessary. (I’ll talk about that in a minute.) Usually a if a ball, such as a baseball going at around 145 kilometers an hour (90.09 miles per hour) a shutter speed of around 1/4000 will get you that “suspended ball in mid air” type of photo. For physical movement, such as someone leaping to catch a football, a shutter speed of 1/500 or over is a good place to start.

Now this is all very well if your scene if well lit. But what if you are taking your digital photography shots indoors at night and the light is not quite enough to provide enough light? In most instances, an indoor stadium at night time will be well lit, but that doesn’t always ensure good digital photos. In sports photography we need to understand that we can only control the artistic value and input of our digital photo and the control of the camera. We can’t control the lighting on the scene being such a public event. In digital photography sports photos we must realize that it’s going to be a challenge to begin with. So here are something’s you can in your digital sports photography to increase the amount of light.

If you have a light tool on your digital camera such as a histogram you can get a good idea of what the light levels are like on your sensor. With this handy tool you can adjust the ISO at the time of your pictures taking.

Increase your ISO: A high ISO in digital photography simply means the sensitivity to light that your digital camera has. In a nutshell the more ISO you have increased the image to, the less light the sensor needs. In sports photography an ISO of 400 or higher can work really well. The downside to this is that it does increase noise. To combat this you can use noise reduction software in the post editing process such as Noise Ninja or increase the LAB mode in the post editing process. Don’t be afraid to try a few shots at 400, 800 and even as high as 1600.

Burst mode:
In most sports digital photography this will be one of the settings you will turn to. Burst mode is also known as ‘continuous shooting’. This ‘continuous’ shooting mode allows you to get a sequence of shoots in succession. You can increase your chances of getting that ideal “split second perfect shot” that you might not be able to get by pre-emption or in normal shooting. This also works so beautifully if your digital camera has a painfully long lag time. I’ve used this so many times to get around the high lag my Sony Cyber shot has got. Some cameras have 3 frames per second and some go up to 12 frames per second. You simply select this mode and hold your finger on the shutter button and it will fire off as many shots in 1 second as it can.

Okay so I’ve been talking about your digital camera and the setting’s used for ideal sports digital photography, so what about any external equipment? If you have been thinking about this you’re spot on. You can take as much time with your settings but there’s not much point if you can’t get close to the action. There’s no point having a picture with perfect lighting and perfect action if the players are like dots on a sheet of paper. You need a good telephoto lens if you can’t get close up. A telephoto lens brings you closer because of its long distance capability. It will get you closer to the action but will need a faster shutter speed.

Many fantastic sports digital photos are taken with an emphasis on a very fast shutter speed, an f stop of around the 2.8 mark to blur the background and focus in on the subject. You may find that if your sportsperson is visually separated from the background and you take the digital photograph with a telephoto lens you’ll have a more shallow depth of field which can give you a more powerful feeling in your digital photo. You can get away with a good optical zoom lens, but you’ll get far better digital sports shots with a proper telephoto.

So what about the artistic side of sports photography with your digital camera? Plenty!

Pre-emption and Emotion is the key to good art.
When taking sports photography you probably won’t find a more public display of human emotion. The emotions of a sports person range from intense anticipation to extreme disappointment or extreme exhilaration. Pre-empting when these emotions take place is they key to getting artistic and impressive sports photos. This comes with practicing your digital photography.

SO much pressure is placed on our athletes, expecting them to perform so we can enjoy the show and the investors can enjoy their returns. This is another reason why I say to get a telephoto lens so you can capture the emotions on their faces and their body language. It makes for superb photography. For ideas on ice hockey, have a look at some ice hockey images that are great study tools.

Don’t just look at these digital photos, you must study them. Take on the attitude that studying sports photography will improve your digital sports photos ten fold. You will have a style to emulate and copy to start with then eventually, when you become confident, you’ll start to adopt your own style.

Happy shooting,
Amy Renfrey

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Portrait Photography – What Should You Know

Posted by: andy  :  Category: Photography

Author: Adriana Bella

Portrait photography deals with pictures that capture a person or a group of people where the facial expressions, the mood of the moment and the special features of the personality of the subjects are highlighted. A portrait is a well composed image of a person or a group in a still position. Portraits generally are done to remember a date or a special occasion such as a wedding, a graduation, an anniversary or a reunion.

When it comes to portrait photography it can be done on the traditional lines or it can be done in a more innovative style which will express the mood of the moment with more eloquence. Striking portraits are remembered forever and treasured by many. Traditionally, the subjects in the portrait stare straight ahead at the camera which is positioned at eye level. However if you change the angle of the camera it will add a completely different aspect to the portrait. Shooting from up, down or up close can give an interesting perspective to the whole exercise.

The most important feature in a portrait is the subject’s eyes. Looking straight down the lens is the most common and traditional way which is great for establishing a connection with the person looking at it. You can also have the subject looking off camera with the focus on something outside the frame. It is intriguing to the onlooker and created interest in the portrait. This has to be handled with care so as to keep the focus on the picture and not take it totally to the edge of it. The subject can be looking at something within the frame and this second point of interest can create its own story within the portrait.

The placement of the subject is also important to a portrait. Dead center or placing them with the use of the Rule of Thirds should be done as befits each picture that you are composing. There are no hard and fast rules about this and being imaginative will ensure a great portrait.

Another aspect of portrait photography is the lighting and how the different effects are used to highlight facial features, the body or the background. The possibilities are endless and need only be limited by your imagination. Side-lighting, backlighting and silhouetting the subject can work out perfectly for portraits. Partially obscured features at times can be very powerful in a portrait.

The traditional portrait shots have nothing to show in the way of originality. If the subject is good, the portrait is good. On the other hand if the portrait can made to look more than interesting it will really stand out. So, get the subject to do something that will involve activity and the photographs that you shoot at this time will show the subject in a more upbeat light. Less posing and more candid photographs will definitely be better. This works amazingly with children.

Focusing on a prop or a body part is another way of taking portraits. Composing the photograph can be a lot of fun when you are working with a prop or focusing on one body part. Obscuring a part of the subject in the portrait can be very powerful as this creates all sorts of emotion. One other method that can be used specially when working with children is to take a series of pictures that captures a certain movement and can be presented together as a series.

With all these tips for portrait taking you can refine your techniques even further with practice. So, experiment and learn the beat way that will suit you and make it your signature style.

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How To Take Great Nature Photography

Posted by: mj  :  Category: Photography

Author: Robert

You see them all the time, fantastic photos that people have taken out in nature. So, how do they get pictures that great? and all of yours seem sort of plain? Here are a few tips to taking your own amazing nature photos.

Study. Remember in school how studying always got you better grades? Nature photography can work to some extent the same way. A few weeks before your vacation go to the library or bookstore and pick up a few books on nature photography. You don’t need a how to book; really what you’re looking for are collections of photos taken by nature photographers. Look through the book and take note of how the picture appears to have been taken. What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? Looking at what other people have done can give you ideas when your out in the field trying to take pictures of your own.

If you’re going on a trip to take pictures of a particular bird or animal, do your research on your topic. Know the habits of the animal, where you’re going to find it, and how to behave around it. You’ll be glad you did your studying when it comes time to take your pictures.

Get a manual focus camera. Sure your digital camera is fantastic, but if you truly want to take fantastic nature photographs, then you are going to need a camera with a manual focus. You can purchase digital cameras with a manual focus, but they will often cost you a pretty penny. If a digital SLR isn’t in your price range, seriously consider purchase a film SLR, you’ll be glad you did. The quality of your pictures will increase dramatically when you have the ability to change lenses, and rack the focus of your photos.

Be patient. The best nature photographs are not the ones that you seek out, but the ones you stumble upon. Take a relaxing walk through the woods, or around a lake. Go boating, have fun in the outdoors. Just happen to have your camera with you when that perfect photo becomes available.

Use a fast shutter speed. Nature is always changing. Make sure you catch the photo opportunity you’re looking for by having a camera with a fast shutter speed. The faster the shutter speeds the easier it will be for you to capture the moment, rather than miss it by a few seconds.

Experiment. A 10 year old can take a picture of a flower. Before you take the picture look around, and think about how you could make the photograph interesting. There are tons of things you can do that can dramatically enhance a nature photograph. Change the angle of your shot, change where your focus is. Maybe the flower isn’t in the foreground it is in the background of your photo.

Don’t be afraid to take chances, the best photos are the ones that take what could have been an ordinary photo and make it extraordinary. A manual focus can help make your photos creative. A fast shutter speed can help you not miss a shot. The more creative you are with your pictures, the better they often are.

Let Instinct Guide You: Nude and Portrait Photography

Posted by: mj  :  Category: Photography

Author: Lou Lynch

Different imagery appeals to different photographers. From landscape photographers to artistic nude photographers and everyone in between, the photography world is a cornucopia of different styles, processes, and techniques.
For amateur photographers, it is hard to know what you will eventually want to shoot as you’ve yet to experience the many different paths one can take, so amateurs are usually generalists – they’ll shoot anything and everything. As you progress through your budding career, you’ll quickly learn what you love to shoot and what you hate to shoot and you’ll develop your very own style.

Here is a summary of two different types of popular photography today:

Nude Photography


Very rewarding and artistic, capturing the nude has fascinated artists from all walks of life. Photographers can capture such glorious images that play with light and shadow, and that push the boundaries of everyday living. The limitless potential and taboo aura makes artistic nude photography a favourite among professional and amateur photographers alike. Yet, it takes great skill to create a beautiful nude portrait, and the technique cannot easily be taught. Instinct must guide the photographer beyond the basic principles of composition into a realm where there are no rules.

Nude photography has many cousins in the erotic photography sphere; boudoir photography is one of them. Boudoir photography pushes our limits and incorporates much fantasy and eroticism into a photograph.

One of the main jobs of an artistic nude photographer is to control lighting contrast and ensure that subtle transitions in tone guide our perception of the human form. There are great masters of this art form in all cities of the world, but many settle in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Paris. Toronto photographers, for instance, may have a different style than Los Angeles photographers because of the different climate – this plays a role in where the setting for a nude photograph will take place.

Portrait Photography


Photographing people is entrenched in the very fabric of our humanity. Since the invention of the camera, we have been fascinated by seeing ourselves outside ourselves, so to speak. Amateur photographers the world over snap images all the time, but it is the professional photographer that truly understands when you photograph a fellow human being, you must capture their spirit.

The purpose of portrait photography is to reveal in the inner humanness of your subject. What is it that makes them special, unique and interesting? The most poised and accomplished portrait photographers know that revealing this is the secret for the success of any image. You want to look at a portrait and ask “What are they telling me?” and you should be able to draw clues from the subtleties of the photograph’s composition. This is what makes a portrait stand out from a snap shot. The portrait attempts to reveal the inner character of the person in front of the camera. Many photographers spend their entire lives trying to capture the truth in their images. Travel to any major city and you’ll find some of the best portrait photographers around. Toronto photographers and New York photographers and Paris Photographers all try to reveal the secret their sitter is hiding behind the veil.

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