Having covered quite a few local matches now, I thought I would share some of my thoughts and some lessons learned. I suppose it breaks down into two areas; (i)Equipment and (ii) The photographer’s eye.
Technical stuff first then:
- High Shutter Speeds will freeze the action and keep everything nice and sharp, you will probably need to the shoot in bright conditions or raise the ISO a little. I usually leave ISO in Auto mode – sharp & grainy beats blurred every time.
- Aperture-wise I tend to stop down one or two stops to keep enough depth of field in the subject whilst keeping the background sufficiently out of focus.
- Check the camera histogram and be prepared to under-expose a little using the exposure compensation dial – the white clothing can easily burn out!
- Focusing is usually handled by selecting an expanded single point focus and using the focus tracking mode of the camera.
- I often set the shooting mode as ‘single frame’ but sometimes use ‘high speed shutter’ release to capture the sequence which may include a catch or stumping.
- At local grounds I use a 100-400 lens which gives enough flexibility from wider shots to isolating individuals.
The Photographer’s Eye:
- Select a vantage point that gives a good view of the batsman / bowler / fielder so that the moment of action can be captured clearly.
- Try to position yourself so that the light falls on the front of the player and look out for deep shadows under helmets (this can be fixed to a degree in post-processing).
- Try to avoid figures in the background causing a distraction in the image.
- Look out for advertising boards or other equipment encroaching on the view.
- Capture other moments in the match, such as discussions, throws and runs.
- Shoot a mix of close-ups and some wider views.