How To Shoot More Like An Olympic Photographer

Aug 9, 2012

Whether you're shooting an Olympic event or just a neighborhood ballgame, the right techniques can help you capture exciting sports images. Below, we've collected some advice from blog posts around the web by veteran Olympic photographers who have covered sports' biggest events. Here are some of their tricks of the trade:

1. Get the background shot.

The enthusiastic and colorful crowd in the stands paints a powerful backdrop. When covering other sporting events, you might take measures to dull out the crowd, said Jeff Cable at Photography Blog. That's not the case here. "The Olympics is one of those rare times in sports photography when I want to include the background. The great colors, huge crowd, and Olympic rings on the walls add to the visual impact." Discover what is happening both on and off the court.

2. Get close.

At other times, though, you'll want to focus directly in on the athletes themselves. Their bodies and bends are what draws us in, and photography can highlight both. "You don't need to show the whole scene or an entire athlete's body to make a great sports photo," said Chris Wilkins at The Dallas Morning News. "By shooting incredibly tight, you can often increase the storytelling value of a sports photograph." Figuring out whether to go wide or tight for each picture is key.