Sports Photography Tips with Press Photographer Seminar with Quinn Rooney of Getty Images @ michaels

June 05, 2017


Quinn Rooney is an Australian based staff photographer with Getty Images.

It was our pleasure to have Quinn present a free lunch time seminar on sports photography in this Facebook Live broadcast from michaels camera on June 1, 2017.

In recent years, Quinn has covered a number of national and international events including four Olympic Games, 12 Australian Open Tennis Championships, two FIFA World Cups, two Commonwealth Games and four World Swimming Championships.

Quinn’s expertise in sports photography has been recognised widely throughout the photographic world. He has been awarded a number of major international awards, including twice being awarded the NPPA Sports Photojournalist of the Year, winner of the 2008 AIPP Australian Press Photographer of the Year and the 2013 AIPP Australian Professional Sport Photographer.

As well as being one of Australia's best sport photographers he also has the ability to makes his sport shots look like art.

Apart from giving a detailed background and tech specs into a number of his shots, Quinn also gives an insight about the road that he took to get into Press Photography.

Proudly sponsored by Nikon.

Watch our follow up interview with Quinn Rooney

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See what is coming up in our free series of lunch time seminars at michaels. Many of these will be Broadcast Live on Facebook and the recorded version added to our YouTube channel.

Script :



Firstly, I just like to start by saying thanks to everyone for coming!

Of course, thanks to michaels, and Julie Kimpton from Nikon for asking me to come and present to you today.

I’ll just start by checking: can everyone hear me up the back? Is that volume all right? Everyone is ok?

Great, thanks.

About Quinn Rooney

I was going to introduce myself but it’s been handled, so I’ll skip to the next slide.

Just to give you a bit of a history about myself; I studied photography at the Melbourne School of Art and Photography which is no longer around, but a similar college to PSC.

My final year was spent specialising in sports photography.

From there I worked at the Melbourne Football Club as their club photographer, and I got into freelance photography work for sporting magazines; so shooting a load of triathlon, motocross, extreme sports, that sort of area.

Getty Images was always the dream job I wanted to have, but it took, to be honest with you, years of persistence to break into it; and I think probably, that is because it is such a great job, not many people leave so you have to sort of bide your time a bit.

But, over that time I sort of never gave up on the dream and I worked various jobs from working photo labs, shooting real estate, shooting weddings; I was even digging holes for a while: landscaping; all those sorts of things just to keep money coming in and keep that dream going.

In 2004 I got my first freelance shift with Getty Images and I was lucky enough in 2006, they offered me a full-time position.

A lot of the work, when I first started with Getty, I might get the occasional football game, but a lot of the work was at sort of major events: the Australian Open tennis, or the F1 World Superbikes; Spring Racing Carnival; and a lot of it was shooting corporate events.

So I might be shooting signage, the corporate marquees, and all these sorts of things.

It wasn’t exactly a sport, but I guess I tried to use that.

I was in the venues, and I tried to watch what the other photographers were doing.

Definitely, I guess yeah, seeing great photographers; seeing how they use light; where they went in certain times of the day; it definitely really helped me when I got to the point where I was shooting sports photography, I knew where I wanted to go for certain events.

An Insight As To How Quinn Shoots Sport

Today I guess, I’m going to just to run through some of my favourite shots and discuss what I look for when I’m shooting a sports event.


You’ll probably hear me say a lot of the same things, but I think preparation is really key. A lot of planning goes into shots; they don’t just happen.

I like to try and use light, and I think backgrounds are a really major important thing to look out for; and, along with that also being creative.

Again, just going to say for this slide: probably the two or three years before I’d been doing all the corporate marquees at the motorbikes down in Phillip Island, so I knew when I finally got to shoot the action I sort of, knew where I wanted to be for the start of the race; which were the main corners where the incidents happened.

So it definitely, although I didn’t like that work so much at the time, it definitely was an advantage once I got to have that opportunity to shoot sport.

I thought I’d just start with: this is basically my office. [Time-lapse of Quinn shooting at an event outdoors]

My Computer

So I thought I’d show you that not because I like taking photos of myself, but just to give you an idea of probably the second most important piece of equipment I have these days is my computer.

That is the digital world these days, everyone wants photos instantly.

So quite often now, the first shot out is the one that gets used, so it’s quite critical I get those pictures up on the site as soon as I can.

That I guess, creates a problem in that probably any event I’m shooting I probably spend half the game with my head in the computer, and not watching what I should be in the action.

So I think that’s probably one of the real arts these days, is to know when you can take your eye off the action and try and get some pictures out.

AFL Footbal Planning

I, wherever possible, if it’s broadcast on the radio I’ll have a radio on, and then that at least tells me where the action is when I’ve got my head in the computer.

So for example, I’ll just go over, when I get to a venue for if it’s football, whatever it is, I’m usually there two hours before the event starts.

And the first thing I’m doing is going out and looking at where all the photo positions are, and I’m trying to predict where the action is going to take place.

So some sports it’s obvious, others it’s not. AFL football can happen anywhere, but as a general rule for AFL, I’m sitting around the 50-metre line; that way I can get all the (Jubail) and excitement if they celebrate.

Hopefully, some big marks by the forwards.

I’m also looking where the best background is.

I’m trying to get the clearest background I can, if possible; so trying to use the light. I don’t really want the light beaming on the crowd, I want, you know, non-distracting backgrounds; and I’m also if it works out, I’m also looking at trying to stay near the bench side. So I’m covering all my news angles; I’ve I can get the coach’s address; any injuries that come off.

Yeah, working for a picture agency we’re supplying images to so many different sources, so you’re going to be on top of what the news angles are, and try and cover all those bases.


This is just a small take from last year’s AFL Grand Final.

Just out of interest, for a normal AFL game, I’ll probably shoot between 2000 and 3000 frames a game.

For this Grand Final, I think I was around 7000 frames; that’s partly because, for the finals, we unfortunately only get one AFL pass, so I’m covering the whole event by myself.

So that means; crowds arriving; pretty much all the action; the celebrations after the game; in the rooms; and then even the team being presented on stage that night.

So, for me, I think I was at the ground about nine o’clock, and I probably filed my last photo about midnight.

So, it was about a 15-hour shift.

[Photo of the football team walking through a crowd, touching hands with fans]

This probably ended up being one of my favourite frames from the night. From the day, initially it was the team being presented on stage that night and it was something I was a bit reluctant to cover, just because I knew I’d be so busy filing pictures from the game.

As I said, we only had the one pass; we decided it was an important thing to cover, so I went did it.

And I guess it just shows you that a picture can come from anywhere, so you shouldn’t turn your nose up at any opportunity you get.

[Slide showing two football players leaping for a ball and colliding – with a blurred security guard sitting against the side line]

The Background Is So Important

Again, I’ll talk about backgrounds a lot, but this is an action shot I really like, except for one little element; and I’m not sure if your eye does, but my eye goes directly to this security guard in the corner here.

I don’t know it’s the angle of the foot pointing down, but for me a great photograph has no distractions, and so that one little element just stopped that from being a really good photograph; but, I mean it gets harder and harder these days with security guards in fluoro vests and things, but I’m trying to look for a really clean background, so the only thing you’re concentrating on is the action.

World Swimming Chamionships

[Slide of a swimmer upside down with water drops spraying off her hair and body]

This is one of my favorite pictures from World Swimming Champs a couple of years ago, and I probably put this down to working for two main reasons: One, I noticed there was a really black corner in the venue, where the light really dropped off, and so that was my opportunity to use that as a background, but also I was lucky enough to able to watch rehearsals so I was able to put in the preparation and watch the routine. This was Team Russia, and I knew they did this really dramatic start where they all went underwater and they push this one girl out of the water and she did a flip.

I knew that was the key moment, and that was the moment I wanted to capture; so then it was about trying to isolate that bit of action with that background I’d seen.

So it was positioning myself to get, I’d sort of marked a spot in the pool where I knew they were going to do it, and then positioning that black corner behind.

So to the left of this is signage; to the right is a crowd. I had a little bit of signage on the pool edge as well, so I ended up laying basically laying on my tummy with a 400, I guess like a like a sniper almost - completely lying flat - I couldn’t really see what was happening in the pool once they went under, so I was sort of shooting blind if you like, and waiting, just waiting for the first sign of her to pop out of the water and I was trying to pick her up with my autofocus.

Yeah, this was shot on a 400.

I’ve shot this at 2000th/second, to really freeze the action, and on that 3.2 was my aperture.

Yeah again, if I was a bit to the right and I caught this in front of the crowd, I really would have lost all these water droplets and things, so I just wanted to illustrate the importance of trying to get a nice background to work with.

The Australian Open

[Slide of 360-degree image of a tennis court]

Ok. I just thought I’d give you a bit of  - this is a – hopefully, this loads for us - just wanted to show you a 360.

This is a 360 from the Australian Open this year.

So, we’re in the photo positions here; we’ve got the coaches boxes behind us; and just to show you what we’re working with: so, this year they put in all these great neon signs, which really glowed in the background, so we’ve got ball kids you know; linesman; a clock here to work with. I’m always looking for the cleanest background, so it’s the same thing at the other end; lots of signs.

So, this year I was really trying to work these little black corners here.

So there are a nice little, couple of little black spots just there.


[Quinn has a few issues with loading something on his laptop]

Just one sec. Sorry, John, I might need you to… [Asks John Warkentin to help out with the laptop]

Sorry, excuse me guys, I’ve just recently changed over to a Mac, so I’m still finding my way around.

[Slide changes to a woman playing tennis]


So anyway, I was using that little black corner; I was illustrating and especially on the backhand return of serve, we could isolate the action with this nice clean black background; no distractions in the way; and so that’s where I was trying to get my stock.


[Slide of tennis player throwing her racket, standing in front of signage]

So, just to show you the difference with some signage in the background. Obviously, I’m still concentrating, so I’ve always got the subject matter in focus when they’re around the court, and I’m trying to pick spots where there are no distractions in the background. Obviously, I can’t control where they do things; sometimes there’s signage and things and so I’ve got to be ready to fire away when something happens; but ideally, I’m trying to get that little sweet spot in the black backgrounds to really get a nice picture.

Transmission Of Images

[Another slide of a female tennis player with a bright green tennis ball]

And the same thing on the other side of the court. Again, another little black spot, so I’m getting the backhand side.

So, if we’re shooting the Australian Open, I’m trying to get five shots of every tennis player; so whether it’s two forehands, two backhands, a serve, or a couple of forehands, them celebrating, and a backhand, we want to give full coverage.

Also, going back to what I was saying before about getting the first picture out; so, in the first game of every match, I’m trying to get something out, no matter what it is, I’ve got to get something out just to have something for the sites.

As soon as the game starts someone wants a picture to go along with that story.

So ideally, I’m trying to get something as clean as I can, but often, it may be just the fact that I have a little bit of signage in there; and also with tennis or football, I’m also always trying to have the ball in the shot.

So when I am in the first set, we’re sending with a wireless transmitter on our camera. So for the Nikon, it’s the WR-6, or WT 6 I should say. Obviously, we can’t have laptops and things with us on the court, so I’m sending the photo back to an editor who’s waiting downstairs, and they’ll put the picture up on the site as quickly as they can.


Yeah, just back in the old days, we’d probably wait until the first change of ends, and we’d have a card runner come in and take the cards back, but if we can get something out within the first couple of minutes, we’re one step ahead.


Rafael Nadal

[Image of close of up of male tennis player with sweat dripping from his nose]

So again, once I’ve got a bit of stock, I can play around with some other shots.

So, this one, (Nadal’s) a prolific sweater, so this time I went to a 600 mm lens, again I’m trying to isolate him on this black background I’ve got, and I’m shooting at 2000th of a second to really freeze that sweat drip off his nose.

I should also mention that I always work in manual exposures, I would encourage everyone to work with manual exposures get to know your camera, and have full control of things.


So yeah, 2000th of a second; I’m at f/4 - really trying to isolate things.

Again, I should say, like looking at this, if I was shooting into that neon sign, the white signage behind would really, I’d lose that sweat drop as it’s just isolated against that plain black background.


Where To Position Yourself

[Image of female tennis player with mouth open]

And again, the other reason why we’re sitting in that position is we’ve got the coaches boxes behind us.

By nature, most athletes will turn to their support crew, so it’s a good thing to always think about.

If I am covering a swimming event one, of the first things I’m looking for is: where is their family sitting? Where is their team sitting? and I want to be positioned there for the finish of the race; because they’ll generally look that way to celebrate.

Same thing with cricket for instance, if someone’s getting close to a century, I’ll go and try and position myself in front of where their team is sitting because they’ll generally, as a rule, celebrate in that direction.


Research Is Important

[Black and white image of a runner going by a reflecting pool of water with trees in the background]

Yeah, just wanted to touch on: a lot of research goes into every shot.

We’re not just turning up and shooting blind.

So, for instance, this was a triathlon race I did in Thailand. I was there two hours before the race started, and the first thing I did was I went for a hike along the race track a few kilometres and tried to pick out a few spots I wanted to shoot from.

Often, you don’t have the time to do it once the event starts, so just to touch on, for example, the Olympics; we’re always there about ten days before it starts, and those whole 10 days are just going to every venue and trying to work out where we want to shoot from.

For example, the road course, we will actually drive the whole course and try and pick out the best spots that will make a picture; same thing with the triathlons.

So, for example, this triathlon I did, I picked out two or three spots; I worked out exactly what lens I needed to have with me; again, I might travel a few kilometres, I don’t want to be carrying excess gear if I don’t need it.


Yeah, so I was finding this great puddle; I could get this nice reflection; it sort of gave me a feel of Thailand, but again I’d also picked out another spot, because it may have been the chance, I came back here and there was you know, some crowds standing there or something that may have ruined the shot.

So I picked out two or three spots I know I can use once the event starts.


Sports Portraiture

[Image of table tennis female player]

I just want to touch on, obviously, we do a bit of sports portraiture as well, as part of the job.

I, I guess, try and make these as graphic and as different as I can think of.

So for example, this one I was trying to think of an idea to make the table tennis a bit more exciting and things, and I ended up buying this great big mirror from Bunnings and a bit of gaffer tape to keep the ball on the bat, just to get this bold image.

Often, when we’re doing portraits, we may only get the athlete for you know, a couple of minutes; so you really need to know exactly what you’re going to do.

I will have practised this a few times; I know exactly how it’s going to look, and often I’ll even have a print, even if it’s me doing a portrait of myself, but just to show them what the end products going to be.

I might be meeting them for the first time; I want to get their buy-in, to show them what the end product, and hopefully, once they see an idea of how it’s going to look, they’ll be a bit more into the photo as well.


[Image of male athlete in speed skates]

So, the same thing with this shot. I had this idea, I wanted to have this feeling of looking up through the ice, this is Daniel Greg before he competed at the last Winter Olympics.

So I went through a whole process of how this is going to happen, and it was probably over a month’s worth of work before the actual shoot. You know, I was trying to think how could I do this with glass; with these sharp blades and things, and then I sort of worked towards a thick piece of plastic, and then I had to build a frame to get underneath; and then I had to work out the reflections that were coming through.

So there was a whole heap of work before this took place; so again, I’d done some test shots with myself or my partner, whoever I could get, to make sure it worked, and again I’m taking a couple of examples along, because I’ve met this guy for the first time, and I’ve got this box with a weird piece of plastic and some lights, so I wanted to sort of show him what the end product was going to look like, and to get him involved to go along with it.


Shooting Underwater

[Image of underwater female swimmer upside down with reflection]

This is another portraiture I did underwater, which was probably the most challenging one I’ve ever had.

Yeah, it took - I usually use an Aquatech underwater housing, I like doing a lot of water stuff, but for this one I needed to, I had an off-camera flash which I put underwater, so I’d used PocketWizard - so I had a PocketWizard, and I ended up using one of those waterproof plastic bags; because it had room for a flash, so I put my pocket wizard on top, and then I had another flash underwater, with a transmitter, and that was just in a simple little waterproof nut bag, and I was sending a signal to the flash.

But, because of the denseness of water, the signal won’t go through, so I had to sort of position myself so I was underneath the water but just the top trigger of the remote was out of the water, to send a signal to the flash to get it to fire.

So, it was countless times of popping out of the water and trying to synchronise ourselves and get the timing right to get this to happen, but I was really happy with the end product, and yeah, pretty dramatic image.


[Image of multiple bubble shapes filled with an athlete’s face wearing swimming goggles]

This is another example - it’s actually the same girl I shot a year later - and I guess wanted to touch on originality.


Get Inspired By Others

We all get inspired by seeing other people’s work, and I think it’s important that a, you do get inspired, but you don’t just go out and copy it exactly the way it is; you try and put your own twist on it.

So, I think we’re probably all seen in different magazines, where they look at say macro photography and they show a flower in a water droplet so I saw that and thought, well why can’t I do those as a portrait?

So, again, I put a lot of practice into it; same thing, another, had to show examples, and I also had to have the athlete’s trust, because I was basically getting her to lay under a thin piece of glass with a camera above, and the last thing I want to do is injure one of our athletes before they go to Olympics or something like that! So I have to make sure everything works, and there are going to be no malfunctions.


Use Of Light

[Image of runner splashing water on their head]

Yeah, I guess I want to touch on a bit about using light.

Triathlon is probably one of my favourite things to shoot, probably because of the time of the day it happens.

I love you know, that great early morning light.

I guess, to sum this up, this was sort of three elements came together here: I noticed, this was up in Queensland, was a very hot day, and I came across this water station, and I noticed because of the heat some of the athletes were throwing water over themselves, so I thought, that could make a shot.

But, there was also this little sphere of light coming through the trees, so just one little patch.

The rest of the course was pretty much in darkness, so there were some nice big dark green trees in the background, with no light on them, so I knew there was about six stops of light difference between that little bright bit of sunshine I had and the trees in the background, so I knew I could get that to drop to black.

So then it was about trying to position myself; again, I’m down really low, and I’m trying to get the athlete in this little bit of light, to isolate them against the black.

Look, I was probably there for 20 minutes, and I think this was the only athlete that did what I wanted them to do in that little patch of light; but that’s all I needed: one shot.

I thought I was pretty lucky to get that one.

So it all came together.

Again, I’m shooting in manual, so I’m exposing for that one bit of light, so if they do that, do this you know, four steps behind they’re in darkness; it doesn’t work for me, but I’m just yeah hoping, they do that in that little bit of light.


[Image of two cyclists with dark shadows]

Again, another triathlon shot.

Again, nice early morning light and dramatic shadows.

This was shot from an overpass.

I guess, again, I’m trying to work with nice clean backgrounds, so what you don’t see outside of the frame, is there are line markings and witches hats, and arrows, and things like that; but again, I had to be sort of patient and wait for the riders to go in the right area.

But, I’d sort of framed it up in my camera, the spot where I was hoping that the riders would go into.

[Image of the shadow of a tennis player with the ball set in the shadow of the racket]

This is afternoon light at the tennis last year, so this is (Kei Nishikori) serving, and I’m up on the catwalk here.

I guess I was watching this shadow come across the court, and I noticed on his second serve when he did a kick serve, that the ball was actually coming near the shadow of his racket.

So I thought, let’s try and position something with the ball around there.

So I was down, I’ve put a converter on my 400, and tried to crop in nice and tight on the shadow.

I think this was the second serve I tried to do this, and when I looked at the back of the camera, to be honest with you, I couldn’t believe where the ball had ended up.

So, it’s great when a plan comes together, but I couldn’t have dreamed of it to be right there, but I  knew I could stop straight away; that I wasn’t going to get any better than that, and I was very pleased to see that image on the back of the camera.


[Image of a high jumper going over the top pole]

Again, just another example of using light.

This time I’m again exposing for the sky. I just had this really nice cloud formation come around, so, yes I’m, again, exposing for the cloud; and I sort of saw this blue patch in the middle, I thought that’s where I want to isolate the action; so again, it was about moving around, and trying to you know, silhouette the action in that little spot.


[Image of speed cyclist with bright light silhouetting them]

So, sometimes I guess you’ve got to make your own light; so this was an indoor track cycling event.

I decided to put a flash mounted on the inside of the track, and I had a PocketWizard to fire it off.

And so then I went to the outside of the track, and I was trying to line it up.

I think it was a 4000 individual pursuit, so I knew they’d do several laps; I’d have a good opportunity, but again it’s all about getting that line right.

Yeah, I’ve put my flash on, sorry I’ve set my camera to f/22 to get the flash to give that star effect; and obviously the steepness of the tracks giving that great shadow; but yeah, it was all thanks to a PocketWizard.


These days you could use the WI-10, I don’t know if anyone has seen them? But they’re a little device you can just mount to your camera, and that gives you full control onto a flash, which makes it a lot easier than a PocketWizard.


Shooting Stock Photos

[Image of running athletes in motion with motion blurred legs and lots of colours]

This is an example from the Olympics.

I just wanted to I guess, touch on being creative and when’s the best time to do it.

An Olympics, for us, is a lot about shooting stock.

So if I’m at the Athletics during the heats, we may have four of us there, and I might be looking after lane six, seven, and eight; and of those forty heats, 38 of those heats, I might have to get lane seven, or lane eight, just because we’re covering work for the Australian Olympic Committee, the US, Japan, England, we’ve got to get a shot of every single athlete.

So, a lot of what we do is shooting stock; we must get a shot of them, and preferably in the heats.


So, anyway I’m doing that for said 38 heats of the 40. The two heats I don’t have a request is my opportunity to try something creative.

So it was about trying to do it, yes just do a pan - I think this is at a 15th of a second – again, trying to find a nice background where I had a bit of colour to work with.

It works for me because I’ve got the sharpness in the face, but great movement in the legs.

Again, I think for a slow shutter speed you want to really try and get, see something in the face.

You still want that eye contact with the athlete.


Underwater Sports Photography

[Image of a swimmer entering the water]

Swimming is another great passion of mine.

I love swimming, but the thing I like most is underwater photography.

To me it’s like a different world under the water; there are so many reflections and magnifications, and things to work with, and it also probably makes me concentrate more on what’s happening above the water.

I’m sort of always looking at where they rise out of the water, and their techniques, and sort of wondering how that’ll work under the water.


[Time lapse image of Quinn under the water in scuba gear, setting up camera etc.]

So, just to give an example of how this is all done; in between the heats, obviously, I’ve got a, yeah, AquaTech underwater housing.

In between the heats, I put on my scuba gear and get in the water, basically; and it’s about you know, trying to work out all these angles for - my main sweet spot is usually where they, when they dive in the water, and where they’re going to rise to start their stroke – but, yeah, I had this mounted on the floor; I have some weights on it to make sure it’s not going to move, and then I have a cable running all the way outside of the pool, and I can either have it with a little trigger, or I like to have it plugged into a PocketWizard - and then that way I can still work my way all the way around the pool, and I’m still shooting what’s happening above the water, and then I’m firing the PocketWizard to shoot the underwater stuff.


Tennis Photography

[Image of male tennis player in motion blurs]

Yeah, just to touch on some creative stuff at the Tennis; again, you want to pick your right time to do things.

So if it’s five-all, or in a tie-break of the set, it’s not the time to be playing around with things, you want to be concentrating, trying to get the reaction when they win the set.

So I often find the best time to, if you are going to have a little play, is say, the beginning of the second set or something like that.

The first game, usually there’s not too much drama going on; it gives you a bit of time to have a quick play.

Yeah, this is just you know, working with a slow shutter speed.

[Quinn gets his camera and super-Tele lens on monopod]

I’ll grab my camera.

So I think this is a quarter of a second, and I’m basically getting the start and the finish of his action. I’m just pulling my camera side to side. So hopefully, I’m catching the start of his action, and then over to the other side, I’m catching the end of his action.

Yeah, that’s what I’m working with there.


[Image of creative lighting behind a tennis player serving]

So another example of some creative shots at the tennis.

Again, this time using, this is up from the catwalk, and I’m just using the actual handrail of the catwalk here; just to create almost like a sphere of light coming through.

I am manually focusing on where he’s serving, just because I’m shooting with a 400, so I can’t really focus in there, it’s a bit blurry; but then I’m stopping my aperture down to f/8, just to get a bit more of a stronger line in the rail.

Because it’s so close to me, if I was at 2.8 it would just be a hazy line.

So to get a bit more of sharpness I’ve gone down to f/8.


[Image of a tennis player serving with motion blurs]

This is another example; this time it’s from the pool position at the tennis, behind the glass.


Pool Position

I’m not sure if everyone knows what the pool position is, but basically it’s a spot where there’s not enough room for everyone to be, so they actually allocate one photographer to shoot from there, and then he has to share it amongst the other agencies; so everyone gets access to the images.

It can be a great shot if they turn your way. Some games you can get not much.

This is one of those days, but I decided to - just below this is a bit of signage - so again, getting down on my knees, trying to isolate him in the crowd, and this time I thought I sort of saw all the colour in the crowd, I thought let’s try and use that, so I went for a bit of a zoom blur.

So yeah, this is an 8th of a second.

So with my 70-200, I’m starting at 200 at the start of the exposure, and then zooming out to a 70th, just to get the effect from the crowd.


Gymnastics Photography

[Image of rhythm gymnastics athletes]

Just some other examples from gymnastics - another favourite sport of mine to shoot – again, other things I talked about but again, nice clean background; so there’s nothing to distract you.

Again I was playing around with this a lot during this event, but trying to get the perfect exposure so I’ve got the sharpness in the face, but the ribbons are actually alive with movement.

So this was a 25th of a second.

Yeah, I just I just love the, as I said, the movement in those ribbons there.


[Image of gymnast above parallel bars with motion blurs]

Another example: so I think this time I’m at ¼ of a second.

Again, this works for me, because I’ve got the torso and the face is held together, but the arms and legs are almost like wings to me, and show the great movement.

I’ve kept in the bars of the parallel bars there, just to show I guess, where he’s come from and where he’s landing; but yeah it’s got real energy for me, this image.


Swimming Photography

[Image of male swimmer underwater in black and white with window reflections on the water]

This is, yeah, another example from swimming.

This was over in in Adelaide, and I think it was the third or fourth day.

Obviously, indoor venue, but they had some, just some small lights in the roof, and it had been overcast up until then, and I was shooting on the pool deck, and just the sun came out, and I noticed these strips of light coming across the pool; and thought jeez that could really work well from up in the roof.

So, the next day, myself and another photographer, (Fidelio Carr) managed to get access to a catwalk, and luckily for us the sun was out again; and again, it was about lining up the action of when the swimming was, the swimmers were going to rise through these lines on the pool, and just that I guess, the ripples from their movement just created these amazing patterns.


Golfing Photography

[Image of golfers with a sunrise or sunset in the background]

Yeah, this is going to be my last slide, so I’m just going to open up if anyone’s got any questions; but I guess as you walk away, if you take a few things from me, I think it’s really important to put the preparation in before you go to shoot; try and use light where you can you know, and really create a mood; and just, yeah, really think about clean backgrounds that you know, the viewer can’t help but just look directly at the action.


Right, yeah, thank you very much for your time.


Questions & Answers

And yeah, open up if anyone’s got any questions.




(Audience member)

Would you have pre-focused, or autofocused and how many frames would you shoot in a burst?



For any shot in particular?

I’m usually autofocused, for example, that one I did up in the catwalk with the black theme; because I couldn’t really focus properly, I was manually focusing, but usually autofocus.

I mean, autofocus these days is so good; and even that example of the synchronized swimmer coming out of the water, I pre-focused on where I thought she was going to come out, but I was relying on my autofocus to pick her up when she actually came out of the water; but as I said, yeah I’m sort of pre-focusing already, so hopefully, my focus point is close, so it doesn’t have far to go. You know what I mean; I don’t really want to focus here, because it’s going to take a while to get there.

So yeah, but autofocus these days is pretty amazing.


(Audience member)

(Do you use like, centre spot autofocus, or do you have a (___))



I generally use, yeah, centre focus. I don’t like to try and confuse my camera too much with having too many focus points. Yeah, I might occasionally move it across if I’m trying to put something to the side of the action, but yeah, I tend to stick to a single centre point focus, that’s what I use.


(Audience member)

(Cannot hear)



Well, if I was doing something that was off the side, I’d move my focus point over, but I’d still only have one point;

I wouldn’t have you know, you can get the rings, and I stick to one point for me, yeah.


(Audience member)

If you’re shooting sports photography, you know what your editors want, and usually it’s an image (even so the speed of it is like, we’re talking about say cars moving and things like that) where, your image is sharp, and (then should other people) that are just sort of into sports photography, not really understanding what’s involved, what’s expected, they’re saying oh, it’s standing still, there’s no motion blur – so, there’s that sort of (___) between what your editors want, since you know, it has to be sharp, and regardless of whether there’s no motion blur, has to be a sharp image.



Correct, yeah. I think probably, especially race car photography is a bit different, because A, like you said, you want to see movement: I know some of the race photographers won’t shoot at really high ISO because then it looks like the car is parked for instance, so, sometimes you want that bit of movement. Other things, like, if you’re shooting motorbikes, I think, like for example motorbikes because you can see the guy riding it, whereas the car you can’t see the person – and you’ve got that angle.


(Audience member)

But what I was getting at; editors – well, not necessarily cars is probably a bad example, but – say, for instance, an athlete running, he has to be pin sharp; you don’t want his arms flailing around if it’s a stock shot.



That’s correct, yeah.

And that’s what I guess I’m trying to say: Like, when I had the opportunity, you have that opportunity to do some creative shots, but you first want to get that stock picture.

I had someone ask me once about the Olympics and if I’d get in trouble if I didn’t come up with you know, a really creative shot, and I look at those as bonuses. The time I would get in trouble is, as I said if I didn’t have a clean stock picture of every athlete that they requested.

So I’ve got to get those first, and you know, that’s the key part of it; so once you get that, then you’ve got the opportunity to do some more creative things.


Any more questions?

(Audience member)

On one of your earlier shots, you had the security guard in the background in the way, is there any reason for what you did, why you can’t just Photoshop him out?



Yeah, I should have touched on that: But yeah, we have a thing called editorial integrity. So basically, the only things we can do to an image is crop, do the levels, and if needed, a little bit of sharpening; just because we work in the editorial world, we can’t take things out as much as we’d like to; it’s going to be as you see it.

So you’ve got to try and position yourself in the right spot.

I don’t know if I touched on this before, but yeah we work in JPEGs, so I don’t work in RAWs; one for speed but yeah, same reason - I can’t manipulate photos.

There’s you know, there’ve been stories overseas where people have manipulated things and they lose their job.

It’s just got to be, yeah, you’ve got to show it how it is; and the only way I guess you can create things is like darkroom techniques, so if you’re over, or underexposing in the camera, but it’s got to be all done in the camera.


Yeah, sure.


(Audience member)

Oh hi! Thanks, great presentation thank you.



Thank you.


(Audience member)

Do you do anything to do, do you have anything to do with social media, and do you adjust any of what you do for social media?



I’m a bit behind the eight ball with social media, so for a while, my company was against Instagram and things like that, but we’re now slowly getting on there.

I think most people sort of accept for Instagram and things, people might tweak them a bit more, but again, I’m trying this of a show, I guess I’m sort of using social media to advertise what I do so.



So, what’s your Instagram handle?



My Instagram handle is QuinnRooney13 if anyone’s interested.


[Julie Kimpton speaks from out of frame]

At that point, I think it’s time we thank Quinn for his presentation!

Thank you!



Thanks a lot.




[Someone out of frame]

Quinn will be here for a while, so any questions you have, especially really, really, really tricky questions...

[Camera shows a gentleman speaking to the crowd]


Quinn will be here for a while.



Yeah, yeah, if anyone’s got any other questions.

Thank you!


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