If you want to capture fast-moving action subjects like soccer, both you and your camera need to be on the ball – just like Rod Lawton
Great action shots need teamwork. Not the sort you find on the soccer pitch, but between you and the camera. The camera needs to be able to keep up with speedy subjects, but you also need to hone your shooting skills, practising smooth camera movements to keep players in the centre of the frame as you shoot. A good knowledge of the sport is important too, so that you can predict where and when the action is about to happen. Don’t just blame the
You need to hone your shooting skills, practising smooth camera movements
camera for dud shots – it might be you who’s letting the side down!
We went to Bath City Football Club to shoot all the action. Low light is a challenge for sports photographers in the winter. Kick-off was at 3pm, when the daylight was starting to disappear, so we needed to keep the shutter speed high enough as the natural light faded and the floodlights came on.
There are three key settings for this kind of sports photography: continuous shooting, autofocus and shutter speed. It’s also worth thinking about ISO, and how high you should push it to get faster shutter speeds.
High ISO settings bring increased noise, of course, and this leads many photographers to shun them and risk camera shake instead. This is a mistake. Most of us can accept a noisy but sharp sports shot – if anything, it adds to the drama and atmosphere. But a blurry shot is no good to anyone, however noise-free the picture! What’s more, the image quality of Nikon D-SLRs at high ISOs is improving all the time, and the kind of quality you get from a new Nikon at ISO6400 is as good as you could get five years ago at ISO1600. It’s a real gamechanger for sports photographers.
So don’t be scared of using high ISOs with your camera. Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised at what it can do in difficult conditions.