(Last Updated on : 06/01/2016)
The term sports photography actually refers to that characteristic of photography which covers all forms of sport activities. Sports photography in India is nowadays growing by leaps and bounds into a fruitful professional field. Sports photography is actually a different genre of photography and requires excellent and sophisticated lenses and other items. The genre has gradually earned popularity in the ongoing years, and Indians have started to look beyond sports journalism, by taking photography to scaling heights. The lenses used in sports photography are normally long and are of the length ranging from 200 millimetres to 600 millimetres. These long lenses are used for the intention of getting the perfect reach for objects to be photographed. The photographs, which are clicked, are always taken from outside the field and that is the reason why sports photographers require long lenses.
The clarity of the high rate successive shots actually depend on the digital and single lens reflex cameras. The cameras used for these purposes of sports photography are normally able to take at least five pictures in a second. Monopods are also used in the cameras. The monopods are used in sports photography because the equipments used in sports cameras are very heavy and large and monopods are essential to support the camera and the heavy lenses. The use of monopods also minimizes the shaking of cameras. However, such kind of advanced and sophisticated equipments needed to enhance for better viewing was sadly not available in India during the 20th century (the time when sports events rose in India). Almost every company had to import them from overseas. As a result, sports photography was plainly restricted to the journalistic profession only. But with passage of time and technology, advancements have enabled photographers to become more concentrated in their intellectual pursuit.
In other branches of photography one does not require to look for or lay much importance on the location from where the shot is to be taken. But in the field of sports photography, in order to get the best possible shot the perfect location needs to be selected. This is not a big problem when the sports event is a huge one. If the sports event is really a big and reputed one then the authorities generally arrange for VIP spots for the sports photographers to get the best shots from the best place. These VIP locations usually have great scenic backgrounds around the field and another thing good about these locations is that the locations are close to the subjects to be photographed. This facility allows one to use medium sized lenses. One can take the example of an excitement-filled cricket stadium in the country, where the view of cameramen are suddenly flashed to television viewers, who are then engrossed to capture the most crucial shot to make everyone wonder in awe.
A sports photographer unlike photographers of other genres are expected to be fit and strong, because their profession demands tedious physical exhaustion - to kneel, sit, stand or even lay down for a considerable long period of time. The sports photographer is also expected to be very alert, as he has to always look for an action in the field, which is worth being photographed, and he or she should be always ready to press the shutter. Most of the events related to sports are organized in open air which results in frequent changes in light conditions and thus the sports photographer must be able to change the camera settings fast so as to take the best picture irrespective of the light conditions prevailing in the field or anyplace where the concerned sports event is taking place. Sudden movements should be avoided, because even a small movement can spoil an otherwise brilliant photograph.
Sports photographers usually focus on the following settings of their sports camera which enables them to take good shots:
The servo focus of the camera should be activated continuously.
The centre focus sensor of the camera should be locked.
The centre weighed metering should also be looked after.
Sports photographers also focus on the aperture priority that is frequently wide open.
Professional sports photographers also use a small amount of negative exposure value which is usually not more than - 1.0. This is used for the purpose of avoiding the blowing out jerseys or specifically white jerseys in the photographs.