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Game, Set and Match!

Top Tips for the best sporting photography from Venture Studios...

On July 1st the London suburb of Wimbledon will once again host the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon since 1877. It is now the only major tennis tournament still played on outdoor grass courts.

If you are lucky enough to have coveted tickets for Wimbledon this year, then you will probably be planning to do some photography while you are there. If so, there are some golden rules to follow - most of which also apply to any other sporting event that you may want to photograph this summer.

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Live in the moment
Yes you want to get some great shots but remember to enjoy the event itself. It is a waste of time going if you are going to watch the whole event through a lens. So remember to live in the moment and enjoy every minute. You will still be able to do some cool photography along the way, but don’t become so obsessed with it that you forget to enjoy the game itself.

Be aware of others
Just as you don’t want to watch the game through a camera lens, nor do the people around you. Wimbledon are not specific about the equipment you can and can’t take into the event, but they do stress that “the use of photographic equipment must not inconvenience any other person in the grounds”. So don’t be that person that everybody hates! Be discreet.

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Don’t flash
Many sporting events do not allow flash photography. Wimbledon advise spectators that “the use of flash photography from the stands is strictly forbidden”, and many other sporting venues would say the same. It makes sense: flash can be distracting to players and other spectators, so even if you think it would get you the best shot ever, don’t even try.

Be in the right place at the right time
The best photos are often dependent on you being in the ideal position to take them. Sadly at a sporting event this is not always possible: you are either allocated a specific seat, or for unreserved seating or standing have to take what is available on a first come, first served basis. So in terms of your position you may well have to make the best of what you have. But within those constraints you can then do your best to anticipate where the action is going to be, and when the best times are likely to be for you to get the shot of your dreams.

Point and shoot
In a fast-paced sports game you have to take chances to get that brilliant shot. So sometimes it’s literally a case of point and shoot. With a digital camera or phone you can take many more shots than you need and delete all the ones that don’t come up to scratch. If you are using a digital camera then use the continuous shooting option if there is one: this will enable you to shoot a rapid sequence of pictures and hopefully at least one of these will be what you’re looking for.

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Light up
Given the above rule that flash is unlikely to be permitted, it’s important to do anything else you can to get the lighting right. Many cameras and phones operate solely on autofocus. However, if you have more manual control over your device then you can experiment with “the exposure triangle”. This is the combination of three elements of lighting: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO:

  • Aperture controls the amount of light coming into the lens. The lower the setting, the more light will come in.
  • Shutter speed controls the length of time that you allow light to enter the camera lens. The faster the speed, the sharper the shot.
  • ISO - formerly known as film speed - controls your camera’s sensitivity to light and how much your camera can capture in low light. The higher the ISO setting, the more light sensitive it will be.

#memories forever
Last but not least, some of the best photography you can do at any event is to take meaningful photographs of the people you are with. Being realistic, you are unlikely to get prize-winning shots that rival those of the armies of professional photographers with prime positions and high end kit. But what you can take away from the day are photos of the people that mean a lot to you with the environment of the event as background to those shots. It is this kind of photography that creates #memories forever.

So whatever spectator sports you plan to enjoy this summer, we hope that the above tips help you to get some great action shots whilst still enjoying every minute.

And if this whets your appetite to have some amazing photographs taken of you that reflect your passion for sport then why not book yourself in for a photography experience at Venture Studios? We have a range of photography experiences available that include a fun photoshoot of you and whatever/whoever you want to bring with you. Whether it’s sports kit, equipment or even your teammates - the choice is yours!

Have a great summer of sport - and let Venture Studios help you create #memories forever!

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