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Lighting Digital Field Guide by Brian McLernon

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Chapter 8. Action and Sports Photography

Of all the areas of photography, probably no other depends on the decisive moment for its power more than action and sports images. Nothing pleases photographers more than capturing the action at a peak moment with the right camera settings, whether it's at a professional sporting event or their child's Little League game. Sports and action photographers often deal with shooting in somewhat unfamiliar venues with limited access, unflattering lighting, uncooperative subjects, and unpredictable weather. Successful sports and action photography depends on working with the available light of the venue. This chapter provides useful tips, setup considerations, and special equipment ideas to help you get the images you want when shooting fast-breaking sports and action subjects.

Action and Sports Photography

At sporting events I am always on the lookout for uncluttered backgrounds to make the sports hero stand out, often not an easy task. Exposure: ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/1600 second.

Preparation and Considerations

To shoot successful sports and action photographs, choose a background and shooting location that is not distracting and makes the subject the star. The background ideally should complement the action either in color or tonality or be rendered out of focus by aperture selection. Look at the covers of popular sporting magazines, newspapers, and Web sites, and you see how important ...

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