Sports photography is one of the most exciting fields to cover as a photographer. Who would want to miss an opportunity to capture the action, the winning moments, and everything else in the thrilling world of sports? To manage to accomplish one such feat is an honor and privilege in itself as you get to see your photograph and the moment it captures, preserved for posterity and the appreciation of those who get to see it.
Considering the importance of sports photography, it is important that as a photographer, you should have the right equipment to do the job well. Admittedly, choosing the right equipment is a challenge in itself, especially if you have little idea as to what you would need in the first place. To help you make the right choices, here are some things you should be looking for in your sports photography equipment
By default, your camera should be a DSLR type so you can capture high quality images, not to mention make you look more professional. But you should not be looking for just any DSLR. A sports photographer should have a high-speed DSLR, one that can capture fast moving objects, in this case like the ones we see at many sports events. It is recommended that your DSLR should have a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second or higher.
In addition, your camera should have a fast servo motor that will let your camera solely focus on a certain subject even if the subject moves constantly, like a basketball player or football player during the game. Also, your camera should have a continuous shutter motor that allows you to take multiple frames per second, making sure every part of the action is captured and not miss what could be a winning shot, literally and figuratively.
If you can, try to invest in a second camera body that would be able to do the job in case your other camera is having issues with battery life or other issues that may arise in the middle of the job you’re doing as a photographer.
Depending on the sporting event you will be covering, the type of lens you will need would vary. Chances are, you will need one type of lens for some sports that will allow you to be near the playing area like basketball, volleyball, or other similar sports, while another lens for other sports that would require you to be at a safe distance from the playing area like football. In these cases, the lenses should a focal length of at least 50 mm and can be zoomed up to 300 mm or more.
In any case, as a sports photographer, you will need a wide variety of lenses for various events and situations that may arise. Try to invest in different lenses as much as possible, ranging from wide angle lens to a telephoto lens. Also remember to bring not just one lens with you at your photography work.
A good photographer is someone who is well-prepared for any occasion. And there are those moments when you find yourself having little battery or storage left in the camera that would have caused you to panic. It is always a good idea to bring spare batteries and memory cards in your bag in case of such emergencies so you will be able to capture every moment.
Also, if the situation calls for it, bring a sturdy tripod with you to be able to capture the action better with the benefit of stability the tripod provides. Alternately, you can use a monopod to do the job if the tripod would be too bulky for you.
You may also need to have speed lights, as well as everything to hook them up, if you are covering big games or games being held indoors for some better lighting.
Never forget as well to have a rain cover to protect your gear if in case it rains at the venue. It is always better to be on the safe side than be sorry later with the expenses you would have to spend in fixing your equipment that got soaked in the rain.
Knowing the equipment you need and having them at your disposal at whatever sporting event you will cover is very important for sports photography. As long as you have the proper equipment for the game, you have at least taken a step forward in becoming a skilled sports photographer.