SPORTS YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU’D PHOTOGRAPH
Want to get into sports photography? Try taking up some of the world’s less obvious competitions.
Read just about any “get started in sports photography” guide and you’d be forgiven for thinking there are only a handful of sports in existence. Have a look online and you’ll see the same: football, athletic events and motor racing are all very well represented by those keen on shooting sports but it doesn’t have to stop there. The UK has a rich sporting scene that goes way beyond those covered regularly in the newspapers. Want inspiration for sports events to shoot next? Read on…
More than just rugby with big pads, American football is fast, furious and photogenic: from athletic quarterbacks and receivers to bruising defensive tackles and fullbacks, you’ll find a wide range of athletic styles and looks. What’s more, you’ll find it in your own backyard, as you’ll see from the British American Football website. With any luck there’ll be a club near you.
You want personality? They don’t come much bigger than a boxer’s. No surprise; climbing into the ring to face off a mountainous opponent with giant fists requires as much mental strength as physical. You’ve got loads of options when it comes to shooting a boxing match, from up-close frames of gritty facial expressions to flowing long exposures that reveal the grace and fluidity of a sometimes brutal sport. There are boxing leagues all over the UK with all kinds of possibilities for sports photographers at the start of their careers. Try negotiating access to particular events, or consider following an individual club or boxer through the highs and lows of a season.
Sure, Formula 1 has the glamour, the glitz and the eye-watering corporate hospitality packages, but good luck getting near enough to the track to produce anywhere near the kind of image the pros are capable of. Banger racing, Formula 1’s distant, muddier cousin has meets all over the UK all year round and you’ll find you can get much closer to the action. Hit the Saloon Stock Car Association website to find some automotive destruction near you.
Britain’s rather blustery weather finally makes itself useful, giving windsurfers something to rave about. This rather under-represented sport has plenty of adherents around the country, and as the weather gets worse, sorry, better, through autumn, there are more and more events to visit. Consider taking decent-length glass – like the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40‑150mm 1:4.0‑5.6 R, which will give you enough reach and aperture to keep shutter speeds up when the light’s low. Don’t forget to look out for strong personal portraits as surfers drag themselves back to land.