Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Shooting Sports Action - A New Course

I'm teaching a course as part of the Hudson Community Education and Recreation (HCER) program.  If you live in or near Hudson and want some tips of shooting better and more consistent sports action photos (or even school events like band concerts and plays), please check it out.  The winter program for this course and many others can be found here:  http://www.hudson.edu/hcer/.  Details for my class is on page 23.  Email me at john@slaterpics.com if you have any questions.

We'll cover lots of stuff in the course including some basics about how your DSLR camera operates and we'll discuss how to shoot different sports under different light conditions.  But mostly I'll cover what I do - how I set the camera based on conditions, what I think about while shooting including where to stand and how to anticipate the action to help you get more 'keepers".  We'll also cover what I do after the event - cropping and post processing photos to create more interesting images and sharing them as soon as possible.

I'll give you a tip right now - I shoot 95% of my images in aperture priority (wide open) at relatively high ISO.  That makes the subject pop out of the image and higher ISO allows for fast shutter speeds that freeze sticks, balls and fast moving bodies.  If none of that made sense, sign up for the class.

Following are a few highlights of the sorts of things we'll be covering in this class and the sorts of photos I'll be using to discuss various techniques or aspects of shooting sports action.

Learn to freeze action like the lacrosse ball, stick and even the rain:

Thinking ahead about what's going to happen before, during and after a competition or event helps create images like this shot of a goalie warming up before a game:

It's not always about a high speed action photo.  Once you start shooting you capture all sorts of moments including the dramatic ones like this, notice the scoreboard:

The key to shooting good images is being setup and ready to go ahead of time.  Then you're confident and able to shoot pictures that help take people who look at your images right into the middle of the action:

Your photos won't just document what happened, in some cases they will capture the spirit and feel of a time or place.  In this case a happy lax-er.  :-)

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