Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Sports Photo Tips From Dave Tyrrell

Photoguard ambassador Dave Tyrrell shares his sporting photography tips.

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Dave Tyrrell, Photoguard ambassador and Official Photographer for British Triathlon gives his tips on capturing the perfect Triathlon and Cycling shots.


Always look around your location before the action starts, whilst it is quiet. Assess where you want to be and remember some points of the course will be closed during the race so you won’t be able to cross the course. Don’t forget the sun will be low at the start of the race and will start moving up – you don’t want to be shooting into the sun as it rises.


Camera Kit

Always prepare your kit before the race starts – the night before is best, giving you time to charge everything. Photographing triathlons and Cycle events should not be approached in the same way as snapping football games; you don’t need the biggest lens as most of the time you can just move forward. It can be dark at the swim so you will need a flash. Also remember if you are shooting swimmers as they exit, there is a good chance your lens will get wet so have something to clear the water off.



There is no point getting a great shot of a leading competitor against the backdrop of a less than appealing line of rubbish bins, when you could have stepped six feet to the side to see green fields instead. When you are capturing these events you will probably be in a crowded space, so you may want to think about liability insurance.


Shutter Speeds

This is the most important thing when shooting triathlons. 1/500 of a second should be fine to keep most of things sharp but I would go up to 1/1000 of a second when you want to freeze water. Also work out the best speed when looking for panning shots – e.g. with bike photography, when you want good movement whilst keeping the person and bike sharp, I use 1/80 of a second. Remember to start panning with your subject long before you intend taking the shot and keep moving through the shot as participants pass.



With the rise of digital, editing is at the heart of all good photography. You may find your photography improves if you shoot half the number of photos and think more about what is going into them. Remember your flash may not keep up with your camera, so pick your shots. And if there is something in your shot that you really don’t like, there is always Photoshop which can make a good shot into a great shot and is something everyone does. Finally, take your time over editing; there’s no point having a great shot which is rushed through the edit process.

Sports Photo Tips From Dave Tyrrell: Dave Tyrrell

Shows how to use a different angle and the light in the shadow to make much more of the photo.


Sports Photo Tips From Dave Tyrrell: Dave Tyrrell

Shows how to use a slow shutter speed to keep the person on the bike sharp but show speed in the bike to blur the background to keep your eye on the bike.


Sports Photo Tips From Dave Tyrrell: Dave Tyrrell

Using the sun first thing in the morning to put lots more feeling in to the photo just before the swim start.

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