Thread: Request Football
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Old 22nd April 2015
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Re: Football

I don't know much about football either, despite doing a fair bit of sports photography.

Best bit of advice to start off with comes from Eamonn McCabe - stand with your back to the sun and make sure you can see the players' faces. Of course, that may not be possible if they are coming out of the sun at you. You really need to be beside the pitch to get decent shots.

As for infringing agreements with local press or the stadium - it all depends what sort of agreements are in place. Unless it's high level stuff (i.e. professional) I imagine it wouldn't be a problem, but it would be wise to check first. Apart from anything else you might need some sort of pass to get down by the pitch where Joe Public is not normally allowed, and that is likely to be much easier to arrange in advance than on the day.

As for photos - for the nitty-gritty stuff long lenses are what you need. Do you have an EC-14 converter for the 50-200? Would worth trying if you have. If it unusual for the team to play in a stadium like this it will also be good to get some atmosphere shots of them playing and showing the setting. Quite difficult to do though - if you use a wide enough lens to get a lot of stadium in you will need the players to be close to show up any bigger than ants.

I'm not sure whether the 75mm would be very useful - lovely lens but in this context it's neither fish nor fowl. Have you got anything in the "normal" range between the 7-14 and 50-200? If you have, and want to limit the amount you carry, I would be inclined to take it rather than the 75.

In general for sports action, I shoot aperture priority and wide open. That give minimum depth of field (to blur the background) and fastest shutter speed (to freeze the action). Of course you can always try some slow shutter speeds and hope for artistic blur, but it is very hit-&-miss and you might miss a lot of otherwise good shots. I'd suggest trying to keep the shutter speed up around 1/1000 if you can, specially with a long lens.

Don't use a tripod, you will want to move around. Even a monopod can be a bit of a burden, but if you struggle to hand-hold the long lens you will have to figure something out.

If it's a cup final there will probably be some sort of presentation afterwards, so don't forget to get some shots. If your team wins, these will probably be the most popular ones!

Good luck, for the photography and to your son for the match. I hope this helps a bit, I'm sure there will be plenty of other good suggestions.

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