If you are looking to shoot better sports photos and make an impact, then you are in the right place. Sports photography gives you many opportunities to capture dramatic and sharp imagery that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re new in sports photography, these 6 tips will guide you to the next level and help you get your perfect shot.
1. The best camera is the one you have with you
My number one pet peeve is people telling sports photographers that we have wonderful pictures because of the expensive camera and the lenses. In reality, Some of my favorite images I’ve ever made have been on my iPhone. The below images are some of my favorite photos I’ve made using my iPhone and nothing but my iPhone. Use what you have in every way you can. Amazing photos can be produced with any kind of equipment.
2. It’s all about the access…or is it?
Similar to the above, I’m often told how much better someone’s photos would be if they had the access I have. Granted, I can make nice photos with the great access I have, but in reality, during Formula 1 practices, often times during one or two of the practice sessions, the professional photographers are up in the grandstands making interesting photos using the crowds, but we are very much in general admission territory. No special pass or tabard needed. Just a creative eye. The following are some of my favorite images I’ve taken from general admission areas at races. You just have to be a little more creative.
3. Change your perspective
The best way to stand out with amazing photos is to change your perspective. By that I mean, don’t only take photos at eye level. Anyone can take an eye level photo. Put your camera on the ground, hold it up high, even put it on a monopod and hold it up REALLY high. The new perspective will be refreshing, and refreshing is often what makes for an interesting photo.
4. Show the motion
Movement is what makes sports wonderful. Especially motorsport. If I only took photos that make it look like a car is parked on track, that wouldn’t be very interesting. The biggest thing is to know your camera and learn how to use it, IN MANUAL! Show that the subject is moving. Slow the shutter speed down. You’ll be amazed the kind of things that happen when you start panning the action. The colors, the lights, the movement becomes art. It takes practice and skill, but it’s a skill that anyone can master.
5. Use the light
The best photographers I know can see amazing light. Use pockets of light to highlight a subject and expose for that pocket. Shoot your subject backlit (silhouette), use the reflections, colors, sun, clouds. It can all play a role in making an amazing photograph.
6. Tell a story
If you go to a race track, don’t just shoot cars going in circles. There is so much more to a race. The fans. The details in pitlane or the people at an autograph session. With racing, or any sport, it is all about the characters that make up the story! Show us where you are, and what it was like to be there.
Jamey Price is an award winning motorsport photojournalist based in Charlotte, North Carolina. His work has been published around the globe by Road and Track, RACER magazine, Autosport, F1 Racing magazine, Motorsport Magazine, F1i magazine, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, SPEEDTV, Southern Living, QC Exclusive, the Washington Post, The Charlotte Observer and many more. You can see more of Jamey’s works on his website. You can also contact him here.