Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ten things to know before shooting lacrosse.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to spend the day shooting Nike Elite Lacrosse Camp for ESPN Rise in Denver.  The temperature was 101 degrees and I spent almost 5 hours outside shooting.   The camp worked it's way up from stretches and training exercises, to 3-on-3 competitions.  There's many things that I learned in the process of shooting, that really would have helped to know from the start!

That's just the way it works sometimes.....

Here's the top 10 tips I have in no particular order:

1. Shoot as much as possible.  You may have to spend more time on your edits and narrowing down the top pics later, but it's always better to have too many images instead of too few.

2. Keep your ISO as high as possible to capture the quick action with a higher shutter speed.  The ball is always moving a million miles per hour and players pass faster than you would believe.

3. Try and keep your aperture above f/8 to increase your chances for sharp images.

4. I found that it worked very well to choose a fairly closed aperture and set my focus in the middle of the field about 20 feet in front of the goal.  Most shots are taken from this area so I would have more in focus.  Trying to follow the athletes with the ball using auto-focus is tough since it moves player to player so quickly.  Pre-focus was my best friend.

5. Choose angles that allow you to have the most uncluttered background possible.  With too much clutter, you can't tell what's going on with the action.

6. If you aren't coming up with any great images from a certain angle (or sharp images)  move to a new angle and change your approach.

7. Talk to the coaches.  They know the sport better than anyone and will help you know who to follow and what angles you will see good action from.

8. As always, capture other elements beside the game.  Lifestyles are always in high demand and some of the best (most salable too) shots come from shooting the sidelines.

9. When using continuous auto-focus, narrow down your focus point selection so that you can have the fastest auto focus your camera allows.  9 points is faster than 51 because the points are wider.

10. Zoom and go wide.  Both are very different and will give you a far more diverse set of images for your client.  Also, vary the height of your angle, stand up and hold the camera up high if you must, or lay down!

That's the BUZZ for Today!  Please check back soon for more.


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