21 Football Photography Tips

Football Photography Tips

football photography

The aim of football photography is to capture drive, emotions, and opposition. You need to be attentive during the match, because events develop very quickly. Take advantage of the following football photography tips to get great photos.

21 Football Photography Tips

Football photography refers to sports photography that take place outdoors. But the main goal differs from other sports. In football photography, a shooter should capture the most difficult and dangerous moments of the game. Also, you need to be attentive to all the little things.

1. Learn More about the Game

american football photography

To take pictures of football games, you need to know what and where to shoot. That’s why visit the field in advance. A big advantage is the knowledge of all football rules. Memorize where the judges should stay. Also, learn interesting facts about the teams and players. If it is a children’s league, visit several training games to prepare the basis for your pictures.

2. Pick the Place for Shooting

I suggest arriving at the stadium earlier when the teams come on the field to warm up. That’s about 1-1.3 hours before the game starts. The players warming up will give you a good opportunity to take qualitative shots. Use this time to take a few test pictures and pick a convenient place for photographing. Depending on the passes and the game, change your location.

3. Use a Professional Camera

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The camera should capture the emotions, energy and movements of players that they demonstrate during the game. The continuous focus mode will let you track the movement when the active AF point is enabled. Also, a fine noise reduction system provides excellent football pictures. Select a camera that can shoot up to 10 frames per second.

4. Use a Telephoto Lens

how to shoot american football photography

If you want to capture football players in more detail, you should use telephoto lenses. In general, lenses from 200 to 600mm are the best ones for professional football photography and, depending on the focal length, you will define the shooting spot.

However, I suggest taking a lens with a focal length of about 50mm for good shots if you are staying near the place where the action happens. The lens should have an optical stabilization system. There exists a special movable lens unit, with gyroscopic sensors installed.

The sensors detect vibrations, and the lens unit suppresses them due to movement in the opposite phase. As a result, you get a picture without blurring.

To capture dynamic moments happening near you, I suggest using Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens. To capture regular game moments in different parts of the stadium, you can use Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L.

5. Take a Monopod to Free Your Hands

tips for shooting football

One of the main football photography tips is to bring a monopod since the average game lasts at least for an hour. In this way, it will be easier for you to focus on the important moment without tiring your hands. Moreover, if you shoot with a telephoto lens, it will be easier to keep hands stable prevent blurring in the frame. Otherwise, if the weight of the lens with the camera is about 4.5 pounds, your hands will get tired after a while, and it will be impossible to take clear and crisp shots.

6. Bring Only the Most Necessary Items

As in any kind of sports shooting, an important thing is to have all the necessary items at hand. For football game photography, I suggest having spare batteries, lens wipes, and a raincoat to keep you and your camera dry.

7. Pick a Fast Memory Card

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In general, the higher the recording speed of the card, the faster your camera will save shots, and the smaller the delay between saves is. When shooting with a camera, firstly, the pictures get into the buffer and only then are recorded on the card. In order not to miss cool football action shots, I suggest using a fast memory card.

8. Set the Appropriate Aperture for Definite Lighting Conditions

tips for shooting football

When shooting in good daylight, set the aperture to f/2.8. This value won’t let much light hit the sensor of the camera. Also, setting such a value will be useful if you want to capture a definite sports moment when a player is alone. In case you need to capture a more complex moment of a match like that featuring several people, I suggest increasing the aperture value to f/4.

9. Change ISO when Shooting in the Evening

low light sports photography settings

Since the game takes place outdoors, the lighting will be changing during the match. What starts with great natural light before sunset will end in darkness with not perfect stadium lighting. That’s why you have to increase the ISO. If the ISO 400 value is OK at daytime, then for football photography in the evening, you will need to increase the ISO up to 1600.

10. Adjust the Shutter Speed for Better Shots

football photography tips

To capture the most interesting moments of the game, I suggest setting the shutter speed to at least 1/160. As soon as it starts to get dark, reduce the shutter speed to about 1/800, and let the camera pick the aperture. If the shot is blurred, increase the shutter speed gradually until you get the desired visual effect.

11. Experiment with Burst Mode

football pictures

In football, there are moments when all players run away fast in different directions. In such situations, use the tracking burst mode – this will help take as many quality frames per second as possible. By using just the burst mode, you won’t get a decent result. With the tracking burst mode, the camera is bound to take the necessary number of pictures.

12. Don’t Forget About Autofocus

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To photograph many players during the game, I suggest using autofocus. With its help, you will be able to track players while they are running. Also, your camera will follow the player you are watching. Adjust the setting across the frame so all the participants of the action look clear in the shot.

13. Capture the Beginning of the Game

football team photography

It is one of the most popular football photography ideas. You need to take the right place for the proper perspective. Stand at a perpendicular angle to the players to achieve the effect of the opposition. In this case, I suggest setting short shutter speed and using the burst mode.

14. Take Pictures of the Stadium Arena

good football pictures

Photograph the arena, stadium or grandstand with a large number of fans. Use the break after the second quarter to take these shots. In this way, you can capture the fans and don’t miss the highlights of the game. For such shots, a wide-angle lens of 30mm or even less will work perfectly.

15. Take Pictures of Original Fans

best football photography

Football wouldn’t be so popular without the game’s devoted fans. They will greatly complement your American football photography. Photographing them is one of the easiest ways to take a unique picture.

16. Capture the Referees’ Actions

football photography ideas

Football is a contact game, which means that the referees’ actions are very important. These people are responsible both for the result of the meeting and for the mood of all the spectators. Sometimes the captured emotion of the referee can look quite interesting.

17. Take Pictures of the Cheerleaders

football support

When the game has stopped, take advantage of the opportunity and photograph cheerleaders. As a result, you will get amazing photos where the support group sets up the team to win. At such performances, they turn to face the main stand, and I advise you to get as close to it as possible. Shots of the support group are especially appealing when they are taken straight and full-length.

18. Photograph Tough Football Moments

football action shots

To get good football pictures, shoot controversial moments of the game, where the players have to use force towards the opponent. Such shots will reflect strong emotions.

19. Take a Team Photo

american football team photos

One of the greatest football photoshoot ideas is to take a team photo. The best time to do this is during training or meetings. If you follow the game closely, you will have several opportunities to take a shot that will convey the unity of the team.

20. Focus on One Player

individual sports photography

Another excellent idea for football photography is to focus on a particular football player. You need to find out about the leaders of the team in advance. Individual actions of high-class players, where a player of the same team is surrounded by opponents, may give you uniquely beautiful results.

21. Photograph the Moment of Triumph

football team photography

A very important photo football game is the one that reveals emotions of the winners. For such a photo, you may shoot both the team’s celebration after the match and the first seconds after the final whistle. Remember that the more feelings you capture, the better shots you will get.

Freebies for Football Photography

Enhance your football shots with the help of these free tools. As a result, football photography editing will become easier and faster.

Dramatic Effect

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By applying this action, you will make your football shots more qualitative and appealing. It will bring more dynamics and color to the shot.

Grunge

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Adjust the saturation of the picture with this overlay. It adds bright and contrasting tones to dull shots.

Kodak Look

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This preset helps quickly edit shots by adding colors and visual appeal. Apply it to both dynamic and static football photography.


Ann Young

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