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I am fairly new to photography but have shot at a few events for friends. I have shot events such as Grim run and Santa Dash which were running events but would like to to get some more experience/paid work with a sports events photographer.
I am based in the Reading/Berkshire area so would be grateful if anyone could give me a chance or offer me some work as I am extremely keen.
Some of my photographs of the above events can be viewed at www.aperturephotographer.blogspot.com
Thanks in advance
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It's unlikely you'll find a sports photographer who will provide work experience. You could try an events company covering sports events, covering events like a five a side football tournament or similar. Otherwise, most sports photographers start by working with their local sports clubs at the amateur level, producing images for them and the local press and working up from there. From your images it looks like you can catch the moment, after all the best sports images tell the story of the whole event, but need to work on your angles of shooting (aware the ice hockey is limited by being in the stands, but some of the runners could have been taken at a lower angle to isolate them from the crowd better), focus accuracy (several of the images weren't sharp enough on the main subject - use a single focal point and tracking if you aren't already), freezing the action (some needed a higher shutter speed to prevent movement blur on faces etc) and lighting (some of the faces were in shadow and needed repositioning or fill flash). Also you may find that you need to invest in better lenses, from the images posted on EPZ, it looks like you have just the kit lens and Tamron 70-300, typically for sports you'll need f2.8 or faster lenses for .
I really appreciate the feedback and angles of shooting is something I have been trying to work on as when I looked back at the images I also recognised the runners would have been better shot at a lower position.
I am currently looking at the canon L series 70-200 usm is lens as the 2.8 is too expensive!
On your feedback I will be practicing lots to improve my angle choices and my tracking to get better shots. Would you recommend single AF point with tracking than all AF points selected?
Again thank you for your help and taking time to comment.
oops just re-read and saw your point about single focal point and tracking! sorry!
No worries, it takes a little practice to keep the centre AF point on the subject. A good way to practice is beside a busy road (staying out of the traffic/danger etc), tracking the approaching cars and keeping the AF point on the number plate - but don't distract them you don't want to cause an accident.
Another good affordable lens to consider is the Canon EF 85mm f1.8 which has fast autofocus, shallow depth of field and low light performance from the f1.8. It is good for the indoors events, and should also be good for the running. You will need to work with the constraints of the focal length, so pick your spot carefully making sure you have a clean background etc, and wait for the action to come to you and fill the frame - good for practicing your timing.
I will try with the cars when I next get out with the camera - great idea.
I have the canon 50mm 1.8 lens which I haven't tried for sports due to the focal range (or lack of!!) - obviously the 85mm would give me more range.
Would you say try the 50mm (until I get a lens like the 85mm) and compose my shots by waiting for them to fill the frame or do you think it is the wrong lens for this? I guess it would only be worth thinking of if it is low light/poor light/indoors and you are close to your subject?
Thanks again for your help!
Single point is best, use the one where your subjects head will be in the frame, that way you will get the faces clear. Also, don't discount the f2.8 as too expensive, if you are serious about sports work, at some point you will need the low light capabilities so it's worth saving up for.
Again, it's probably unlikely that anyone would take you on to shoot with them for paid work, so you are best as LensYews says, starting at local events and working up. Approach the teams about photo's and the local press, but with local press, unfortunately don't expect them to pay.
I've not tried the 50mm, so don't know how quick the AF is on it, but it certainly works for depth of field and low light. I would say it it try, and you can always crop the final image a bit for the final composition. It's not going to work for a sport where you are a long way from the subject, for those there is no option but to use a long focal length lens (so cricket, surfing, football are probably out), but for the ones on the blog you should be able to get good results with a shorter focal length. It means you have to work harder on the planning and reading of the way the action is unfolding, by working out where the action will be and to be there ready for it.
Thank you whipspeed.
I feel I may have to start saving!! I think I will do as you both say - start at local events and build a portfolio (hopefully with that 2.8 lens!) and work up.
I agree with approaching teams rather than local press to begin with as this would be an easier way to get in.
Some great feedback and advice so thank you both
Quote: I've not tried the 50mm, so don't know how quick the AF is on it, but it certainly works for depth of field and low light. I would say it it try, and you can always crop the final image a bit for the final composition. It's not going to work for a sport where you are a long way from the subject, for those there is no option but to use a long focal length lens (so cricket, surfing, football are probably out), but for the ones on the blog you should be able to get good results with a shorter focal length. It means you have to work harder on the planning and reading of the way the action is unfolding, by working out where the action will be and to be there ready for it.
This is true. I will try it at my next running event and see how it works out unless I get VERY lucky and end up in the photobooth/press box for the hockey!
A lot to consider and try in coming weeks - if I get some good shots I will let you know!
Well, all the best, it's quite a saturated market out there, so practice, practice & then practice a bit more until you know your settings automatically.
If you want paid work as a sports photographer you really should have all technical and equipment matters done and used. You need to be on top of every aspect of technique without giving it a second tought. There are highly experienced photgraphers out there who cannot get work.
You just have to be better then them.
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