Tips for shooting sports

The game-winning shot at the buzzer. The player crossing home plate for the go ahead run. The dash for the finish line to make the podium. 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 winter and spring sports:

Basketball – If you’re limited by lens length, underneath the basket is an ideal spot. With a 50 or 80mm lens, shoot layups, rebounds and passing shots. Longer lenses allow you to move to the corners, out of the referees’ way.

Softball & Baseball – The dugouts provide a safe and advantageous place to shoot from. Stand in the first base dugout for right-handed batters, base runners and home plate shots. The third base dugout is better for pitchers and left-handed batters.

Track – Take advantage of races and events during the day for better lighting and using longer telephoto lenses that aren’t expensive, fast lenses (i.e. 2.8 lenses). Stand at the end of races and field events like the long, triple and high jump to capture faces and the action.

Bonus tip: For more suggestions, what lenses and settings to use, see our guide to winter and spring sports photography. (Also, ask your Balfour representative about a poster-sized copy of this for your classroom.)