Shoot professional-looking images in a few simple steps
01 Put it in Manual
Use manual (M) mode so you have total control. Start with a shutter speed of 1/60 sec and increase it if there’s too much motion blur in the image. Set the ISO to 100 and underexpose by one stop by controlling the aperture. Ours read f/16 in our ambient light conditions.
02 Flash forward
Fix your flash onto a stand, and place as close to the tennis player as possible without being in their path. Point the flash head at the player so it lights them from the side. Keep your camera in viewing distance of the flash’s sensor.
03 Sync it in time
We’re going to use our pop-up flash to fire our external Speedlight – if you set the Speedlight to SU4 mode, it will be triggered by your camera’s flash, and you don’t need one with Commander mode. Set your flash to the rear curtain sync setting, so it will fire at the end of the exposure.
04 Get down low
Think about composition. It helps to get down low, and shoot from a dynamic angle. Look for distracting elements such as posts coming out of your player’s head. Take a cushion or mat as the hard surface can be wearing on your elbows.
05 Pre-focus As we’re shooting from a wide angle and with a narrow aperture we’ll have a lot of leeway with our focusing range. Move the focus point so it sits over your player’s face, and focus. Now as they move, track to keep the focus point on their face.
06 Time it right
Now get your player to serve and volley lots of balls. Try to take the shot just as your player is hitting the ball. Communicating with your model is essential for this shoot, and you’ll need to fire off a few frames to capture a keeper.