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How to take sports photographs – hockey photography and football photography

It has taken me ages to get decent result from sports photography. I would regularly check online photography communities such as The key for me is a high ISO, fast shutter speed (as much as light will allow) and a short focus, particularly if you have a lower end lens or not much light.

To begin with I had a Sigma 70-300 APO zoom lens which was a decent lens, however around 5 months ago I purchased a Canon 55-250 IS (image stabilisation) and the results in comparison have been phenomenal. How to take sports photographys - football photographyAdmittedly most of the photographs I have taken you couldn’t make huge prints of, but they are very good for web/on-screen viewing.

The best type of lens for sports photography is an f2.8 in my opinion (they come with a price mind!), one whereby it will let in a lot of light throughout the whole focal range. Mine is f4 – f5.6 which is why I can’t zoom in far when the lighting conditions are poor. Nevertheless at the memorial game that I attended, at lower focal lengths I managed some decent photographs with a high ISO (ISO 1600) and as fast shutter speed so that the sports photographs were slightly under exposed. I brought the exposure up in my RAW processor though. I would always suggest using Av mode particularly in low light conditions otherwise you’re constantly changing your exposure depending on your focal range. If you are sticking to one focal length then use the manual mode (M).

I would like to be able to take more floodlit football photographs, or floodlit hockey photographs, but unfortunately my lens won’t allow for decent enough results. One thing that would be interesting is indoor sports photography like badminton or table tennis, although my lens would have to be far superior.

Anyway, you can see the results of my new lens and the way in which I take my sports photographs by viewing my flickr account and looking at some of the more recent sports photographs, below are a couple of links that are good examples: (remember the photos have been reduced in size and saved for web in photoshop):

Football photographs 1
Football photographs 2 – night photographs
Football photographs 3

Hockey photographs 1
Hockey photographs 2
Hockey photographs 3

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