Photographing football games can be a challenge at times due to the combination of the fences, limited close access and the often uneven pace of the game. That said, football is also a winter tradition for many, and with a few tricks in your toolbox, you can grab those stellar action shots you’re hoping to capture. Here are some of our favourite tips:
Go Wide: Wideangle lens, that is. A wideangle lens will provide better ability to take in the entire field and keep proper perspective when including players, fans and other objects in the field of view. A wideangle lens is particularly valuable in those instances when you are a fair distance from the field and want to encompass the overall area of play. That said, you’ll also want to include a telephoto lens, if you have one, so that you can better capture close ups of specific plays and players.
Go High: Sometimes a grand stand view can be the ideal vantage point from which to capture the action. While it’s fairly easy to stay close to the field in an amateur match, an AFL game poses some unique challenges, including one of access. In this instance, taking to the higher plane and shooting down can provide benefits, including a more unobstructed view and some flexibility with angles.
Anticipate Action: Football is full of quick bursts of action and quick movements. Having a working knowledge of the game helps in this circumstance because it better positions the photographer to capture action. Keeping the camera at the ready and anticipating the movement of the game is essential, which leads us to the next point...
Go Mono y Mono: Combining action with camera shake can result in blurred images, so make sure to bring a monopod for stability. A monopod will also help keep your camera balanced and ready while waiting in between plays, which can sometimes take awhile. The support and stability of a monopod can mean the difference between a shaky shot and a spectacular one.
Our ProMaster line of quality monopods are popular and with very good reason:
One of our favourite monopods is the ProMaster Professional Monopod with Head MPH528 (7204). The ProMaster MPH528 Professional Monopod represents the highest standards of form and function. It is constructed from rugged anodised aluminium and features a comfortable rubber grip, fully adjustable leg and closes to a compact size for carrying ease. The precision head allows for precise vertical or horizontal alignment along with ultra smooth panning.