Sports Photography

I'm a commercial photographer with many years experience, sports photography isn't something I do very often. Strangely for someone who has played a lot of sport, when it comes to photography I'm more at home shooting Industrial Photography, on this shoot for the first time in a very long time I felt like a newbie.

There were a few things I didn't know, like sitting in between the sponsor boards and not in front of them when on pitch side. I won't try and sneak a picture of Paul Cook again after his side concede a goal... ... that's not true I probably will but I'll ask his permission before the game starts. I wasn't sure when I could move to a different location or what the best locations were.

There is the technical aspect to master too. I am a pretty decent event photographer, have pretty much the best camera equipment and lenses you can by and know how to use them. Sports photography required some new knowledge though. I'd read and viewed on line advice about the best camera settings which seemed pretty straight forward. I In the end I decided to go with my instinct based on what I wanted to achieve. I really like good image quality; faces exposed well, colours crisp and accurate, the subjects sharp and focused with good background separation. With this in mind I decided to shoot in RAW to allow better post production editing. If I had to deliver the images during the match I would probably shoot in JPEG. If I had a want an assistant with a laptop I might try shooting in RAW.


I shoot with a with a Canon R5, this is a great camera with the right lenses. It shoots 20fps up to 180 in one go. That's a lot of data so I really focused on timing and shot in sort bust modes. I tried auto ISO and manual, to be honest it was an overcast day and it didn't male much difference. I favoured a high ISO and fast shutter speed. The noise at high ISO with a quick tweak on post in pretty low.

I had 3 lenses, A wide angle zoom, a 70mm - 200mm f2.8 and a 800mm with a fixed f11 aperture. The 800mm wasn't much use, maybe it would me better at a cricket match. All the shots you see are shot with a 70mm - 200mm f2,8 lens. I had my wide angle zoom on another body. It was useful for shots of the stadium and contextual shots but not much else.

The auto focus on my Canon R5 was good but not outstanding. I had eye detection on, and for those who are interested I switched between case 2 and a custom setting prioritising the initial subject which seemed to work well. If I was being ultra critical it was slow at times to lock on and when it comes to a group of player close together there was an element of chance. I'm sure in a few years you will program faces into the camera and use facial recognition to focus on the player of your choice.

However things quickly fell into place pretty quickly and I'm very happy with the results though. This was a one off commission for Destination Chesterfield.

I would love to do more, if you are a professional sports club in need of a photographer get in touch! Maybe you want specific players shooting for your hospitality facilities or just for your club history.

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Call Matt on 07891 610554

We have offices in Derby and Chesterfield and provide Commercial Photography throughout the Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Banks Mill Studios,
71 Bridge St,
01332 982048

Commerce House
Millennium Way
S41 8ND
01246 387922

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