Summer sports

So on warm sunny days, when you shoot summer outdoor sports…. hey wait. It is -23.5 C outside, here in Mono, Ontario.

But yes, I thought this would be a nice time to give you a walk-through of an outside summer sports picture, like this Rugby shot from July 4, 2010:

Rugby game

So how do you shoot outdoors sports?

  • Perhaps S/Tv mode with a fast shutter speed, or A/Av mode with a wide open aperture. I prefer Av mode, wide open, so that I can be sure that the fastest possible speed will be selected. Manual is also possible of course. In the shot above, I used Aperture mode at f/3.2.
  • I used an ISO setting of 200 – just a little faster than 100.
  • This gave me a shutter speed of 1/3200 second.
  • The lens was a 200mm lens – namely the 70-200 f/2.8 at 200mm on the 1D, meaning 260 effective mm.
  • Use AI Focus/AF-C focusing mode!
  • And use one focus point.
  • Look closely at the background: looks like turbulent air is making the background look, well, a little turbulent. This is normal on artificial turf, and this will limit what you can do in terms of distance.
  • As a wide aperture I try to shoot groups of people in the same plane of focus, as in this image – either that or single players.
  • Obviously you will be using continuous shutter: click click click click click.
  • To enable this, use a fast memory card.
  • Position yourself so that you catch players with the sun coming into their faces – not on the back of their heads!
  • Try to catch expression/emotion if you can. Quite a lot of that in there I think.
  • Sports like Rugby are also colorful – all good.
  • I shoot RAW, but sports is the one occasion when sometimes I shoot JPG – smaller files and faster clicks.

I thought a quick outdoor sports picture would be nice for today’s belated post – I remember sweating on that day.

A distant memory now that it is -23.5 C! Almost time to drive to Scarborough to teach “Travel Photography” at 1pm (there’s space!).

2 thoughts on “Summer sports

  1. Michael,

    Who Makes “fast” Cards and How do you know that you are actually getting one and not Marketing Hype? Also when shooting Outdoor Winter Sports (skiing/Outdoor Hockey) what is the preferred method of acclimatizing your gear to the outside?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *