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PhotographyNews and trends 216

7 tips for sports photographers in the making

Many parents and amateur photographers will know this problem: You’re taking pictures of your kids or friends at a sports event and later on, when you look at the pictures on your computer, you realise almost all of them are blurred or in bad quality. This will never happen to you again if you keep these seven tips in mind.

«What’s going on? Is my camera broken?», you might ask yourself. No worries, the good news is: «No, it isn’t». But how to take good sports pictures? Let me give you some advice. About three years ago, sports photography turned from being my hobby into a professional side project. This required upgrading my equipment, too. Going for the most expensive cameras and lenses is safe, but if you’re looking to take good sports pictures, you don’t necessarily need the most expensive equipment. What’s more important is to keep the following advice in mind:

1. Know your sport

You’ll miss out on the best shots if you don’t know the sport well enough. If, for example, you’re taking pictures at a duathlon and you don’t know where the transition zone is, you won’t have the chance to take great shots of athletes jumping onto their bikes. Positioning and perspective is just as important. Many photographers stand (or kneel) behind the goal. This makes sure they get good pictures of the keeper, but they’ll miss everything that’s going on in the midfield and defence.

2. Kneel down

Most professional sports photographers kneel down to take pictures. If you try taking pictures of the same game standing up and kneeling down, you’ll see that the ones you took kneeling down are twice as interesting as the others. Try observing photographers at the sideline next time you’re at a game.

3. Winner / loser

Often, you’ll only get to see pictures of the winning side or a cheering athlete in magazines, newspapers and other media. Scott Kelby, a famous US sports photographer, has some good advice: Take pictures of the losing side, too. Not to humiliate them, but because they show a lot of emotions, sometimes even more than the winning side.

Hardly anything needs more time than adjusting your camera settings if you don’t know where to find the function or button you need. Therefore…

4. Settings

The most important thing is to capture athletes’ fast movements. You’ll need a high shutter speed, between 1/800 sec und 1/2000 sec, depending on the type of sport (except for panning shots, but this is something for more experienced photographers). Choose a small aperture to make sure the sensor gets enough light. f/2.8 or even f/2 is ideal. With kit lenses, this often corresponds to f/5.6. Set ISO on automatic. This will make sure your pictures don’t turn out too bright or too dark even if the lighting conditions change. If you’re not quite sure which button adjusts which setting, go ahead and read the manual or look for advice on the internet. Photography is s complex field and it’s not possible to know everything from the start or figure it out by experimenting. Does it really need expensive, wide-aperture lenses such as the f/2.8?

It depends on when and where you’re taking pictures. It’s not absolutely necessary in bright sunshine, as there’s enough light. But it’s still nice, if possible, to achieve a clear separation between athlete and background. If you’re in a hall and there’s bad lighting (for example at a floorball game), kit lenses won’t do the job, as they’re often limited to f/5.6. You could try compensating by increasing ISO, but this will affect the image quality. Furthermore, some cameras don’t range higher than ISO 6400, which still isn’t enough to take a good picture with f/5.6 aperture in a hall.

5. Autofocus

You can trust the automatic setting here, as autofocus usually does a good job. It’s worth noting though that not all lenses have the same speed; autofocus depends on the camera, the lens and the aperture: The more light-intense your optics are (for example f/2.8), the more autofocus can see and the faster it will focus.

6. Practice makes perfect

Don’t give up if it doesn’t all work perfectly from the start. Stay at it and practice. If you don’t like a picture, analyse it and think about what exactly it is that you don’t like. This will help you know what to look out for and improve in your next attempt. You’ll become a better sports photographer with every shot and the quality of your pictures will improve.

7. Protecting your equipment

«Do I need a protective filter for my lens?». This is a good question. Imagine you’re at a motocross race and a stone hits your expensive lens. To be honest, I’ve been at many events and it’s only happened to me once that a stone hit my lens – and it didn’t even get damaged. With other sports such as floorball, duathlon and triathlon, nothing has ever happened and with sports such as football, where the ball is larger than the lens, you don’t need to worry anyway.

One thing I’d recommend though is protecting your camera from getting wet. You can either get a camera-specific cover (for example the Waliemx pro EasyCover) or simply use a transparent plastic bag. This less expensive version is a tip by Scott Kelby. It might not look very fancy, but it works and is better than no protection. To keep your LCD display safe, MAS LCD screen protectors are ideal. They scratch easily, but if you take care of your equipment, they’ll do a great job.

If you have any good tips and tricks yourself, let me know any time. I – all other readers – are always happy to learn about others’ opinions.

For all Nikon and Canon fans, I’ve added my recommendations in three price ranges below. All that’s left for you to do know is get out here and start taking pictures. And don’t forget to kneel down when you’re taking action shots!

Nikon equipment

The least expensive price class

  • D5500 Body (24.20MP, 5FPS, Wi-Fi)
  • D5500 Body (24.20MP, 5FPS, Wi-Fi)
  • D5500 Body (24.20MP, 5FPS, Wi-Fi)
Nikon D5500 Body (24.20MP, 5FPS, Wi-Fi)
A DX-format SLR that features a tiltable and swivelling touchscreen, 24.2 megapixels, 39-point AF system and built-in wi-fi capability.
7

Availability

  • Currently unavailable. Delivery date unknown.

Information subject to change.

View details

  • 17-70mm F/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM Macro [C], Nikon
  • 17-70mm F/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM Macro [C], Nikon
  • 17-70mm F/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM Macro [C], Nikon
CHF 399.–
Sigma 17-70mm F/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM Macro [C], Nikon
Compact and universally applicable lens with a short close-up limit and sufficient telephoto focal length. Perfect for your next vacation!
11

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 4 – 6 days

Collection

  • Basel: approx. 2 – 4 days
  • Bern: approx. 2 – 4 days
  • Dietikon: approx. 2 – 4 days
  • Geneva: approx. 4 – 6 days
  • Kriens: approx. 4 – 6 days
  • Lausanne: approx. 4 – 6 days
  • St Gallen: approx. 4 – 6 days
  • Winterthur: approx. 2 – 4 days
  • Wohlen: approx. 2 – 4 days
  • Zurich: approx. 2 – 4 days

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • AT-X 70-200mm f/4 PRO FX VCM-S, Nikon
  • AT-X 70-200mm f/4 PRO FX VCM-S, Nikon
  • AT-X 70-200mm f/4 PRO FX VCM-S, Nikon
CHF 926.–
Tokina AT-X 70-200mm f/4 PRO FX VCM-S, Nikon

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 4–6 weeks
    Currently 5 piece(s) in stock at the supplier

Collection

  • All locations: approx. 3–4 weeks
    Currently 5 piece(s) in stock at the supplier

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

The middle price class

  • D7200 Body (24.20MP, 6FPS, Wi-Fi)
  • D7200 Body (24.20MP, 6FPS, Wi-Fi)
  • D7200 Body (24.20MP, 6FPS, Wi-Fi)
37 of 40 remaining
CHF 799.–instead of 949.–1
Nikon D7200 Body (24.20MP, 6FPS, Wi-Fi)
The fast, versatile DSLR for passionate photographers features a wide ISO range and impressive video capabilities.
20

Availability

Mail delivery

  • More than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • AF-S VR DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4 E ED
  • AF-S VR DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4 E ED
  • AF-S VR DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4 E ED
cashback
CHF 1049.–Cashback 100.–
Nikon AF-S VR DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4 E ED
Register your Nikon product for the Nikon Swiss warranty and extend the 24-month standard warranty to three years.
8

Availability

Mail delivery

  • 8 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • AF-S  70-200mm 1:4G ED VR
  • AF-S  70-200mm 1:4G ED VR
  • AF-S  70-200mm 1:4G ED VR
cashback
CHF 1476.–Cashback 100.–
Nikon AF-S 70-200mm 1:4G ED VR
Register your Nikon product for the Nikon Swiss warranty and extend the 24-month standard warranty to three years.
6

Availability

Mail delivery

  • 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

The «I don’t care about money» price class

  • D500 Body (20.90MP, 10FPS, Wi-Fi)
  • D500 Body (20.90MP, 10FPS, Wi-Fi)
  • D500 Body (20.90MP, 10FPS, Wi-Fi)
cashback
CHF 1999.–Cashback 200.–
Nikon D500 Body (20.90MP, 10FPS, Wi-Fi)
The Nikon D500 with 21.5 MP and 4k videos is particularly suitable for sports and animal photography. Capture every moment in quality with 10 fps and a professional autofocus system.
30

Availability

Mail delivery

  • More than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • AF-S 24-70mm, f/2.8E ED VR
  • AF-S 24-70mm, f/2.8E ED VR
  • AF-S 24-70mm, f/2.8E ED VR
cashback
CHF 2399.–Cashback 200.–
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm, f/2.8E ED VR
This best-selling Nikon pro lens is equipped with image stabilisation technology for up to four stops of vibration reduction for handheld and low-light shooting.
13

Availability

Mail delivery

  • 5 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: Only 1 piece(s)
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • AF-S  70-200mm, f/2.8G ED VR II
  • AF-S  70-200mm, f/2.8G ED VR II
  • AF-S  70-200mm, f/2.8G ED VR II
Showroom
Nikon AF-S 70-200mm, f/2.8G ED VR II
17

Availability

  • Currently unavailable. Delivery date unknown.

Information subject to change.

View details

Canon equipment

The least expensive price class

  • EOS 700D, Body (18.50MP, 5FPS)
  • EOS 700D, Body (18.50MP, 5FPS)
  • EOS 700D, Body (18.50MP, 5FPS)
Canon EOS 700D, Body (18.50MP, 5FPS)
6

Availability

  • Currently unavailable. Delivery date unknown.

Information subject to change.

View details

  • 17-70mm F/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM Macro [C], Canon
  • 17-70mm F/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM Macro [C], Canon
  • 17-70mm F/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM Macro [C], Canon
CHF 397.–
Sigma 17-70mm F/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM Macro [C], Canon
Sigma SSC warranty card: Benefit from lifetime warranty and service on Sigma products.
7

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 3 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM
  • EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM
  • EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM
CHF 639.–
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM
The Canon Premium Warranty offers you added value in the form of a quality promise. When purchasing selected Canon products, you now benefit from a 3-year warranty.
2

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 1 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

The middle price class

  • EOS 80D Body (24.20MP, 7FPS, Wi-Fi)
  • EOS 80D Body (24.20MP, 7FPS, Wi-Fi)
  • EOS 80D Body (24.20MP, 7FPS, Wi-Fi)
cashback
CHF 979.–Cashback 100.–
Canon EOS 80D Body (24.20MP, 7FPS, Wi-Fi)
Easy to use SLR camera featuring fast response time thanks to 45-point autofocus, WiFi, 24 megapixels and 7 frames per second.
18

Availability

Mail delivery

  • More than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM
  • EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM
  • EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM
cashback
CHF 869.–Cashback 200.–
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L IS USM
13

Availability

Mail delivery

  • More than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, Canon
  • SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, Canon
  • SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, Canon
2 of 5 remaining
CHF 942.–
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD, Canon
4

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 2 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

The «I don’t care about money» price class

  • EOS 7D Mark II Body (20.20MP, 10FPS, GPS)
  • EOS 7D Mark II Body (20.20MP, 10FPS, GPS)
  • EOS 7D Mark II Body (20.20MP, 10FPS, GPS)
cashback
CHF 1349.–Cashback 100.–
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Body (20.20MP, 10FPS, GPS)
With 10 frames per second, responsive autofocus and a variety of AF settings, the 7D Mark II is made for sports photography.
30

Availability

Mail delivery

  • Only 4 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
CHF 1779.–
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
The powerful lens can be used for landscape, portrait and travel photography.
17

Availability

Mail delivery

  • More than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: Only 1 piece(s)
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: Only 1 piece(s)
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: Only 1 piece(s)
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
CHF 1999.–
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Robust professional lens with image stabilizer and for highest demands. Excellent for sport and animal photography.
31

Availability

Mail delivery

  • More than 10 piece(s)
    in our warehouse

Collection

  • Basel: tomorrow at 12:30
  • Bern: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Dietikon: tomorrow at 13:30
  • Geneva: tomorrow at 14:00
  • Kriens: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Lausanne: tomorrow at 12:30
  • St Gallen: tomorrow at 13:00
  • Winterthur: tomorrow at 12:00
  • Wohlen: tomorrow at 11:00
  • Zurich: tomorrow at 12:15

PickMup

If ordered immediately.
Information subject to change.

View details

This might also interest you (in German):

9 Tipps für schöne <strong>Hochzeitsfotos</strong>
PhotographyNews and trends

9 Tipps für schöne Hochzeitsfotos

5 Tipps für angehende <strong>Landschaftsfotografen</strong>
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5 Tipps für angehende Landschaftsfotografen

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User mp8.8tv

ein guter Artikel, ich konnte mich zum Autorenfotografie vorbereitet (Formel E in Zürich) und paar Fotos machen: plus.google.com/collection/...

14.06.2018
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User manuelbachmann82

Sehr schön, das freut mich natürlich. Sind ein paar gute Bilder darunter. Vielleicht etwas mehr Perspektiven Wechsel, und evt. ein paar "Mitzieher" damit das Tempo besser rüber kommt. ;-)

Viel Spass und Erfolg beim weiteren Fotografieren ;-)

14.06.2018
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