The game-winning touchdown. The kill that sends the team into a screaming frenzy. The forehand smash that makes it game, set, match. Being in the right place at the right time can make or break your sports photos.
But if you’re unfamiliar with the sport, how do you know where to stand? Or what lens to use? Some tips for fall sports:
Football – Near the line of scrimmage is a good place to start. Whether you’re on offense or defense, if you pre-focus on the quarterback and stay with the ball, you’ll get running and passing shots, and eventually tackling photos.
Volleyball – If you line up along the wall on the opposite side from your team, you’ll get great straight-on shots of kills and blocks. By standing dead center along the back wall you can pre-focus on the middle blocker before the point starts. Plays at the net, from the left to the right side of the court, will be sharp.
Tennis – With most matches played during the day, you won’t need an expensive fast lens. You will need a good zoom though, one that preferably reaches 200 to 300 mm. If there are bleachers, take advantage of that location to get great shots at the net, doubles teams’ talking and after the match handshakes. For shots at the baseline, it’s ideal to stand at the back, between two courts. This allows you to shoot two matches simultaneously.
For more suggestions, what lenses and settings to use, see our guide to fall sports photography.