|© Quiet Leaf|
I never shot sports until last weekend, where I had an opportunity to shoot a hockey match in Belgium. Some friends were playing in the team so I could follow them during the day; it was completely free and just for fun, as I didn't know how the shoot would happen.
I was equipped with my Pentax k20d and two lenses, no more, no less: a 10-20mm and a 300mm f/4. Afterwards, I rapidly felt the need for a second body with a 50-200mm or equivalent to be able to react quickly when the 300mm began to be too long.
As the match began, I felt directly the adrenalin coming just if I were also playing with the players on the field; you know that you're part of the game by capturing the key moments of it. I was the only photographer on the field so I had to collect the best samples of all moments: goals, altercations with the referee, the cheerings of the supporters,... . If I hadn't played hockey before I would have been completely lost in the match as the players move very quickly and the succession of actions can be very disrupting when you try to build your sequences.
I sat with the public along the middle of the field but it proved to be a bad position as I shot mostly backs, some sideways and a handfull of "good" pictures. So next time, I'll be in the corners and changing when needed. Another big problem was that I had only a 300mm (... 450mm on APS) which was way too long for 60% of my shots but also because it was extremly difficult to follow the players with such a narrow angle of view; at that moment I would have said that a 200mm would have been more adequate and easier for interesting croppings. But a fast tele (e.g. a 70-200 f/2.8) will be even more better as the players can come really close to you.
Shutter speed always above 1/800, and at least f/5,6 if there is more than one player in the viewfinder, otherwise one of them will always be out of focus (thanks to Pentax for his very usefull TAv mode).
At the end of the game, the 10-20 is THE lens to have as the supporters invade the field to greet their players so that it rapidly becomes overcrowded and distances are so tight that only an ultra wide lens can capture the spirit of the team (that's the word; the team!)
To conclude, it was really fun to shoot it and gives you more than "just shooting"!
So, at the end of the day and after reviewing all the images, some tips had to be pointed out.
- two bodies minimun to avoid changing lenses and losing actions
- three types of lenses; an ultra wide angle (10-20mm), a fast tele (70-200 f/2.8) and a fast fixed focal (300 f/2.8 or f/4)
- fast cards with enough space (8Gb min)
- a monopod (especially with heavy lenses)
Where to place yourself?
- at the corners during the game (never in the center)
- in the center at the end (when players are shaking hands with the other team)
- protect your gear with tape; when moving rapidly or laying gear down, it can be quickly scratched
- if you look at the game as a spectator, you'll miss the shots!
This list of tips is incomplete, so don't hesitate to share yours!
|© Quiet Leaf|