Shooting Sports and Live Action Photography


For those that knew me growing up, I was the man child. I was 6’1″ when I entered the 6th grade. Thank God that I quit growing shortly after that! But needless to say, I had an early advantage in every game Basketball.

I recently had a chance to shoot a basketball camp with ScoutFocus. It featured some of the top talent in the upper-midwest. So naturally I was excited to shoot it!

Shooting sports and live action vs. shooting a composition portrait or wedding photos are completely different types of shooting. Where a portrait is all about composing, and understanding the composition (Focus, exposure, and aperture etc.) to shoot live action photography indoors you have to have good gear.

It’s all about shutter speed

To shoot this, I got to try out the new Tamron 70-200 F2.8 G2 and it’s 1.4X extender tube. Shooting live action requires fast shutter speeds. Most of the shots I took was somewhere between 1/1000 and 1/2500 of a second. It takes a very fast shutter speed to isolate motion, especially of faster athletes. If you have little kids you are taking pictures of playing basketball it can be slower (around 1/800). The faster the shutter speed the more light you need to let in and the more sensitive of an ISO you have to use. For example, if you use a lens with a max aperture of F4, and you go to a lens of f2.8 you can use twice the shutter speed and still collect the same amount of light.

You’ll also want to get a camera body that can handle at least 5 FPS. Nikon and Sony, which have been dominating the camera lines these days. This type of equipment is able to capture a high FPS when shooting sports photography.

Check out some of these live action shots I took from the ScoutFocus basketball camp.

This was nearly perfect timing on the dunk!

It’s quite something to see a 6’10” sophomore jump over a kid in a dunk contest!

Using the extender tube, you get right up close!

Check out more of these photos at ScoutsFocus. If you need any live action shots taken at your next sporting event, contact me.

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