Seasonal Sports Shooting

And so it begins…

Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods. And by sprung I mean the mercury is above freezing. We hit 45 degrees today.

There is truth in my sarcasm, but that’s life in northern Wisconsin.

Despite what Mother Nature has been dishing out, spring has officially begun and so has the outdoor sports season.

My daughter is a huge soccer player. Unfortunately, while her play has improved over the years, my shots of her haven’t. This year I’ve pledged to fine tune my photo skills, so I can capture her in motion minus the blur and bad angles.

Fortunately, photographing soccer games comes with few obstacles. For starters, the kids play an open field, so you can get relatively close to the action without worrying about fences obstructing your view. In addition, since the game is played on grass, you don’t have to squat on concrete to get a desirable angle.

Reviewing the photos I took last year, I noticed that the best ones were taken from the corner of the field rather than along the sidelines. Setting up in the corner of the field allows you to shoot the action coming toward you. Plus, you don’t have to adjust to get the opposing team’s bench out of your shot. Ideally, your image should be free of background clutter. Focus on the action; particularly your player making moves that you want documented. What’s more, don’t be afraid to squat, bend, or sit on the ground to compose your shot. Just be sure that when you are doing so, the sun is directly in front or behind the players, and not coming from the side.

If you have a high-end digital camera, use all of its features to improve your shots. In addition, if you are serious about shooting your child in action, you may consider investing in a telephoto lens. A long lens will help isolate different players and shorten the depth of field. Depending on how far you are from your subject, set your aperture to f4 or f2.8, drop your ISO to around 100, and use a fast shutter speed, like 1/500 or 1/1000, to freeze the action. Finally, shoot , shoot, shoot. You can delete unwanted images when the game is over, but you don’t want to miss your kid kicking the game winner.

Related Articles:

Basic Photo Tips for Digital Camera Owners

Cameras: Knowing When To Upgrade

Telling A Story With Your Shots

Natural Framing

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.