Photos / Videos

Think Outside the Action

Student section holding up keys during kick off of an Arizona State football game. Photo by Brian Lewis.

When a sports photographer enters a stadium for any sport the first thing he thinks about is where will be the best place to be to get the best shots. While capturing the action is an important aspect of shooting a game there are a lot more things happening around the action that can help tell the story in a different way.

Of course seeing a homerun, goal or touchdown is an important part of telling a story of a game but the real story comes in the emotion after the big play. A perfect example of this is during the Olympics. Whenever somebody wins a medal you can see the emotion that floods the athletes body after the even has already happened. We see this emotion because the photographers zoom in close to the athletes face so that the audience can see that emotion. By capturing that moment a photographer has captured what the win really meant to that Olympic athlete.

On top of shooting the celebration of a big play or a win another thing a photographer should keep in mind is the atmosphere around him or her. The crowd also can have a big impact on the story of the game. An example of this is a college football game. Fans of college sports live for their schools and often times their school spirit leads them to being very creative when they attend football games. Capturing those fans can show how important the game is to the school population.

“It is much more important to capture the atmosphere and what is happening around the game in video,” Santa Clarita Valley TV cameraman Cory Rubin said. “It’s hard to capture the atmosphere in a still photo but you can certainly capture the emotions.”

A difficult thing for a photographer to do at a game is to capture fans after a score especially if they are the only ones their from their affiliate. Fans are the wildest after a score, so a photographer has to be able to do a quick 180 after a score in order to show that particular emotion during a game as Photography Mad shares tips to being able to do that along with good examples.

Another aspect of a game that a photographer should be aware of is the action that is away from the primary action. Surprisingly enough water polo is provides the best example of this as the video below shows. Water polo players get extremely violent with each other when the ball isn’t anywhere around them. They tug at each other to the point where they are practically trying to drown the opposing player. By capturing that action the photographer is showing the audience what actually happens in that sport that people may not be aware of. Jamie De Pould explains ways of capturing the action around the action in this Sports Photography blog.

Video of ASU Water Polo players away from the action. Video shot and edited by Brian Lewis.

Other vital shots that can help tell a story through a photograph are team huddles, coaches talking to players and players arguing with the officials. Margaret Sullivan shares simple  tips for parents who want to capture the moment of their kids games so they can remember them forever.

Telling a story through a photo can be a difficult task but if a photographer can do it he will let athletes and fans relive the moment forever.

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