PROJECTS: SPORTS & ACTION
Whether you’re shooting a major sports event or documenting local action, you’ll want to get those winning shots and be creative. Try these projects out for size…
1. CAPTURE THE MOMENT
USE HIGH-SPEED SHOOTING TO FREEZE A MOMENT IN TIME
Whether you’re shooting for a client or just for fun, you’ll want to make sure you bag those super-sharp shots of decisive moments in your chosen sport. The best way to do this is to freeze the action using fast shutter speeds. You could choose to shoot in Manual or Shutter Priority mode, depending on your preference.
In sports photography you may find that you have to remain in one position so it’s a good idea to have a variety of lenses. A lens like the M.ZUIKO 300mm f/4 IS PRO will allow you to shoot action that may be happening at the other end of the pitch, for example, while a lens like the M.ZUIKO 45-150mm f/2.8 PRO will allow you to shoot wider shots and zoom in; this lens also offers a super-fast aperture of f/2.8.
Aim to shoot with the lowest ISO as possible and a fast shutter speed. Your shutter speed will need to be fast enough to freeze the action without leaving blur, so keep an eye on your exposure. The key to creating epic action images is to keep focused, follow the subject and anticipate their next move. The 60fps Pro Capture mode of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II can be really handy in situations like this, as it enables you to select the perfect moment from a sequence of images. Look out for diving players, energetic jumps and celebratory moves.
2. GET CREATIVE WITH BLUR
USE A PANNING TECHNIQUE TO CREATE MORE ARTISTIC SHOTS
Panning is a great technique for showing movement in your shots to really bring the action to life. Your subject will need to be moving across your peripheral from left to right or vice versa. As you’ll want to frame your subject in its surroundings, using a lens such as the M.ZUIKO 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO is a great option as you can shoot wider shots, while still having the flexibility to zoom in if needed. If you are at a further distance then the M.ZUIKO 300mm f/4 IS PRO may be a better choice.
For this technique you’ll need to use a slow shutter speed and it may take some trial and error to get it right. Start at around 1/30sec and then increase or decrease the speed depending on your desired effect.
It’s worth considering that while one setting might work for one subject, for another it may be different; for example photographing a racing car will need a different speed to a cyclist. Once your camera is set up, focus on your subject and move your camera in the direction that your subject is moving while the exposure is being taken, keep pivoting even after the exposure has been taken to ensure a smooth shot. Review your shot and decide if you need to adjust your shutter speed. It will take some practice so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the shot straight away.
3. LOOK FOR ABSTRACTS
CAPTURE DETAILS BY GETTING IN CLOSE AND FILLING THE FRAME
Details can be almost anything: a close-up of a badge on a sports car, a player doing up their trainers or even a line of motorbikes. While opportunities for detail shots will appear almost everywhere, you’ll want to capture them in a creative way and one of the best ways to do that is to get in close. It may feel odd to not include a person’s face but choosing to focus on a different area such as their feet can evoke a different feeling. Look at your subjects and think of the different elements that you can focus on.
Make sure to also look out for lines and patterns that will grab people’s attention. For these types of shots you may need to zoom in from a distance so a zoom like the M.ZUIKO 45-150mm f/2.8 PRO will be ideal.
If you’re getting in close to a subject that is near you, then a macro lens like the M.ZUIKO 30mm f/3.5 MACRO or M.ZUIKO 60mm f/2.8 MACRO will allow you to focus in really close to capture intricate details.