When you spend the money to actually watch your favorite sport up close and personal, you want a memento. Namely, you usually want to take a photo of your favorite athletes home with you. And if the venue allows you to bring a camera in, you want to use it to the best of your ability.
So what are the chances that you can walk away with a sweet picture of your favorite superstar? It depends on the sport ... and how savvy you are about taking advantage of your chances to shoot the stars. Here are a few tips to get your money's worth.
Before I get started, a warning: check the rules before you go anywhere! Not every venue allows photography, and there's nothing more annoying than hiking a mile and a half in from the parking lot only to be told you have to take that camera right back to the car. Also, find out if you can bring in a camera with changeable lenses (don't be surprised if it's point and shoot only). If you can, do it, because a zoom is going to get you closer to the action and improve your photos!
- Going to a baseball game?: Get to the game early. Most stadiums allow you to get closer to the field during this time, and you can catch shots of the players during batting practice, when they're more relaxed and more likely to walk to the side to sign autographs (even if you can't actually get that close, you'll get a better shot of their face).
- Hitting a hockey game?: The good thing about hockey is there is no "one" spot of the arena where the action is focused. But that big panel of glass between you and the players is something you'll have to work around. If you're using an autofocusing camera, make sure your focus is not on the glass but on the person on the other side.
- Basketball game basics: The hardest sport to shoot because of its speed and the awful lighting in every arena, there are a few tricks to get around the basketball difficulties. Shoot the bench! The players aren't moving ... eliminating half the trouble in a stadium.
- Autograph spots: Scout out the best locations for autographs, and you also have your best spots to get a photograph. Because of the sheer number of people trying to get their program signed, you may not get a signature, but you'll get closer to the player and have them in a spot where they're not moving, making for an easier photograph.
- Football tips: Football is another hard sport to shoot because you're unlikely to have sideline access, you'll have to forgo tailgating time to get into the stadium early. That will get you up closer to take photos of the warm-up session.
What are your favorite tricks for getting a shot of a favorite athlete?
Image by Jeanne Sager