Sports photography

Sports photography

Sports photography refers to the genre of photography that covers all types of sports.

In the majority of cases, it is a branch of photojournalism.

The main application of sports photography is for editorial purposes; dedicated sports photographers usually work for newspapers, major wire agencies or dedicated sports magazines.


The equipment used by a professional photographer usually includes a fast telephoto lens and a camera that has an extremely fast shutter speed that can rapidly take pictures. In general, monopods are used as well, in order to support the weight of the camera and heavy lenses. In addition, it may help stabilise the camera.

Camera Bodies

Common bodies for the modern sport photographer are those with an excellent focussing ability, and a high shutter frame rate (usually 8 frame/s or faster). The two main camera bodies uses by professional sports photographers are the Nikon D3 and the Canon 1D-series. Current trends indicate a preference towards Nikon due to Canon's current autofocus problems.


Sport photography requires long fast lenses. Apertures of f/2.8 or faster are usually used, with the most common lens being the 400mm f/2.8. A sports photographer may also use 15mm Fisheye, 16-35mm, 70-200mm and 300mm lenses. For larger field sports such as football and soccer, a 400mm f/2.8 is used for about 99% of the pictures. Golf photographers may use a 500mm f/4 as opposed to a 400mm f/2.8 as it is a lighter lens to be carrying around all day.

Such wide apertures are required for a number of reasons:
* The background is put drastically out of focus, resulting in better subject isolation.
* The lenses can focus more quickly due to the increase in light entering the lens - important with fast-moving action.
* Faster shutter speeds can be used in order to freeze the action.

Remote Cameras

Sports photographers may use remote cameras triggered by Pocket Wizards to photograph from places they could not otherwise be, such as on a basketball basket, or to be in two places at once, such as at horse racing. These remote cameras are usually secured in place using Magic Arms and Super Clamps.


Unlike some other photography fields, location is very important, in order to get the best possible shots. At big events, professional photographers usually have VIP spots with the best views. These locations tend to have the best scenic background and to be near to the subjects as well, allowing them to use medium sized lenses. A sport photographer has to be able to stand, sit, kneel or lay down for long periods of time, and always have to look for some kind of action and be ready to press the shutter. Because most of sport events are held outside, light conditions change frequently. A sport photographer must be quick enough to change the camera settings on the fly before shooting.

ee also

* Photographer
* Photography
* Photojournalism
* Sports Illustrated

External links

* [ - Dedicated Sports Photography Website]
* [ Examples of sports photography]
* [ Photography Homepages - More Sports Photography Links]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Photography — is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light sensitive material such as photographic… …   Wikipedia

  • sports — /spawrts, spohrts/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to a sport or sports, esp. of the open air or athletic kind: a sports festival. 2. (of garments, equipment, etc.) suitable for use in open air sports, or for outdoor or informal use. [1910 15; SPORT +… …   Universalium

  • photography, technology of — Introduction       equipment, techniques, and processes used in the production of photographs.  The most widely used photographic process is the black and white negative–positive system (Figure 1 >). In the camera the lens projects an image of… …   Universalium

  • Sports journalism — is a form of journalism that reports on sports topics and events.While the sports department within some newspapers has been mockingly called the toy department , because sports journalists do not concern themselves with the serious topics… …   Wikipedia

  • Sports day — Sports days are annual events staged by many schools in which children participate in competitive sporting activities, often with the aim of winning trophies or prizes. They are usually held in the warmer seasons, either at the beginning or… …   Wikipedia

  • Sports Afield — was founded in 1887 as a hunting and fishing magazine by Claude King and is the oldest outdoor publication in North America. The first issue, in January 1888, was eight pages long and printed on newspaper stock, from Denver, Colorado.The “Journal …   Wikipedia

  • Photography and the law — A No Photography sign, commonly placed in properties where the owner objects to or it is illegal to take photographs (though in some jurisdictions, this is not a legal requirement). Photography tends to be protected by the law through copyright… …   Wikipedia

  • Photography in Denmark — Peter Faber: Ulfeldts Plads (1840), Denmark s oldest photograph on record …   Wikipedia

  • photography — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ black and white, colour/color ▪ digital ▪ flash ▪ infrared ▪ aerial, satellite …   Collocations dictionary

  • Candid photography — is photography that focuses on spontaneity rather than technique, on the immersion of a camera within events rather than focusing on setting up a staged situation or on preparing a lengthy camera setup.DescriptionCandid photography is best… …   Wikipedia