Thread: Request Football
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Old 24th April 2015
Anne Anne is offline
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Re: Football

Over the years I've taken photos of my daughter playing football; its a lot harder than it looks. I would second all of what John has said. I had to ramp the ISO up to keep a high shutter speed but I also shot wide open to try and blur the background. Realistically a long telephoto will compress the image and keep the background blurred which makes the players stand out. But you will want the players at a fair distance. Standing on the sidelines I found that they would literally come within feet of you which meant a wide angle zoom worked well...until the play moved off and then they became ants! I used the 12-60mm and the 50-200mm but I got a lot of mediocre images amongst a few reasonable ones. Usually being winter the light was poor and it was hard to keep a high enough shutter speed; I got a lot of blurred shots through movement. Hopefully at this time of year it shouldn't be a problem though.

I try and take my camera to Watford even though you are not allowed to photograph the game, although they are not bothered about phones or compact cameras. I have been spoken to a number of times....I assume they constantly scan the crowd for trouble, see the telephoto lens and send over the steward! The only times I get away with it are the games between Watford and Reading when my brother's company sponsor a box and I am not quite so visible. Then I used the 50-200, a fast shutter speed and continuous shooting. Generally I've been near the goal, side on and quite high up...not ideal but I've managed some good shots.

We've also had a sports photographer come and talk to our camera club a few times. It won't help you much but they set up one camera behind the goal mouth and fire it remotely. They then tend to sit at the side of the pitch with their 500mm lenses shooting wide open. I'll often watch them (jealously!) and some do use a mono pod.

I'm not sure if any of this will be of help but I would definitely recommend going down to some Sunday league games and practising. They might be quite happy for you to photograph their game especially if they get some images out of it.

The only other thing that it might be worth considering is to hire the EC14 converter from Ian; its not too expensive and it would give you that longer reach plus allow you to isolate players from the background. I hope it goes well!
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