Conventional wisdom doesn't always rule

March 14, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Conventional wisdom for sports photography are things like:

  • get down as low as possible to get faces and athletes more prominent
  • find a sweet spot / sector in the field where your lens is at its best and stick to shooting in that sector
  • get the background as clean as possible so that athlete / action stands out
  • shoot from the outside of the field to the inside to eliminate a busy background
  • Get the light behind you, except when the sun is high 11 - midday, when you should rather shoot into the sun and adjust exposure for the face - this will remove the raccoon shadows in the eyes (Peter Reid Miller)

But sometimes using shadows and light in a different way can produce unique images that will make your images stand out from the other photographers

With the sun setting earlier as Autumn approaches and the north western pavilion a bit lower in height than the main pavilion next to it, about a third of the northern section of the field is covered in sun for about 30 minutes in the first halve, set against the northern stand already in shade producing a dark background. Instead of shooting soccer with the convention option of a 200-400mm lens, I decided to shoot with a 400mm f2.8 with a 1.4TC which would give me reach to the far end of the field into the strip of sunlight. Then it's a matter of anticipation to get the prerequisite "2 faces, a ball, feet off the ground"

PG_NJ_179_FBPG_NJ_179_FBPerth Glory vs Newcastle Jets during A-League round 22 on Monday 7th March 2016 at nib Stadium, Perth: Image by Johan Schmidt Photography


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