If you like sport and strong emotions, you will need the knowledge of the photographic equipment, the analysis of the different sports and the appropriate technique.

This discipline is about action and recording movement.

Sports photographers must be competent in their field and have very fast digital cameras.

To accomplish this goal, you will have to master the camera thoroughly.

Following an object, focusing, anticipation or techniques such as sweeping or long exposure are the tools that are part of a sports photographer’s job.

Below we will explain a series of recommendations for your sports pictures.

Best settings for Sports Photography : Capturing Action, Anticipation and Movement


Remember that your top priority in sports photography is speed, so always keep your camera set to a fast shutter speed.

Once the machine is ready, anticipate what’s going to happen.

One of the characteristics of sports photographers is that they have the gift of knowing what is going to happen in the game.

It is a mixture of experience, patience and photographic vision.


A very high speed freezes the action but you can also reinforce the feeling of movement by extending the shutter speed, such as smooth background sweeps.

Try techniques such as Sweep, Motion Blur or long exposure to achieve a more artistic result in your photography.


The Motion Blur is the trail left by moving objects that have been captured by the camera.

It’s it is necessary to resort to various techniques to capture the dynamism of a scene.

Sometimes you can achieve this effect by using the shutter speed, but other times you will need specific techniques such as sweeping.


It consists of capturing the static subject or object of interest while the background is moving.

It is one of the most popular techniques for photographing moving objects as it manages to convey the movement and dynamism of a scene very effectively.

In these cases, the necessary speed is usually between 1/80 and 1/50, slow to capture the movement but fast enough to make the subject look quite sharp.

Then it is very simple, it accompanies the movement and direction of it as stably as possible to prevent it from moving and shooting.

“The photograph was taken of my daughter while she was competing in the Andalusian U20 Championship in Antequera.

I used the scanning technique with my Nikon D3100 camera with aperture priority.” METADATA; ISO 800, Speed 1/80, Aperture f 5.6, Focal Length 55 mm and Nikon AF-S NIKKOR Lens 55- 200 mm 1:4-5.6G COMBINE SWEEP AND FLASH Combining the flash with the sweep technique will allow you to freeze the movement at the same time.

It will also bring clarity to the movements of the image.

Both will reinforce the sense of movement.

Note that the flash is an addition of light, uses speeds between 1/30 and compensates the measurement with the aperture.

Do more than one test to compare the results.

Slow Shutter Speed

Long exposure photography consists, as its name suggests, of leaving the camera for a long time to capture the light and movement of the scene in question.

Do your calculations, to set the speed and aperture of the diaphragm to avoid overexposure.


I advise you to use the manual mode for sport photography.

This allows you to make the necessary speed and aperture adjustments.

If you find it too complicated you can select some of the semi-manual modes on your camera giving priority to speed or aperture.

“The photograph belongs to a series of images taken during the Tour of Catalonia in 2017.

Normally I practice with very low speeds, between 1/20′ and 1/60′′, but in this case, when working with a medium focal point, I used a higher speed than usual, which I considered sufficient to obtain a result with some dynamism and at the same time obtain a clear result of the main motive.

Antoni Fernández says, you can manually focus on a point where the element to be photographed will pass and then press the shutter at the right moment.


Sports photography is a particular subject in this sector.

Normally photographers move in this field with very low light conditions, requiring great handling with shutter speeds and ISO sensitivity.

The ISO sensitivity will depend on the location.

For indoor sports, lighting conditions will be poor.

Requires working with higher ISO range sensitivities, 400 or 800 ISO.

Keep in mind that it will freeze the movement and you will have to sacrifice sharpness in your image.

You can always use the flash when the environment is not bright enough.

We recommend using the flash mode on the second shutter release button.

The light from the flash will fire at the end of the exposure.

With this option you will capture the movement and at the same time the illuminated and clear element.

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Composition for Sports Photography

On the one hand our main concern will be to capture the object in movement and on the other hand, the action of the photograph I recommend you to leave space in front or behind depending on where the movement is developed.

In this photograph by Cameron Spencer, taken of tennis player Angelique Kerber, he anticipated the movement of the ball leaving the space in front.

The more you can predict where the subject or object of interest will pass by, the easier it will be to frame the picture and the better the results will be.


The background should be as neutral as possible, the aim being to focus on action and not on what is happening in the background.


One of the main problems you’re going to face is the approach.

You’ll see that even if you activate the autofocus, it doesn’t always work.

To do this, camera companies invented a system that detects the moving object and keeps it in focus as long as you hold the shutter down halfway.

When you want to take the picture, press the shutter all the way down.

On your camera you will see this setting as AF-C or AI Servo.


Not all sports photography should look the same.

When you shoot, be original and try something different.

By putting your creativity to work you can achieve unique and special images.

Lucy Nicholson has photographed stories that include seven Olympic Games, World Cup football, and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

She was featured in the International Olympic Committee’s video, One Shot.

Photographing the Olympic Games.

All sports have one element in common and that is frequent movement.

You know that as a photographer you can’t miss a second of the action.

Most sports photos are frozen but, as you can see in these two examples, the action is not completely frozen leaving more freedom for creativity.

If you have already mastered some of the techniques I propose and want to go one step further I encourage you to try a photo sequence.

It’s simply adding all the tips you’ve been offered and completing the movement with a burst of multiple photos on equal terms.

You will need your editing program to merge photos into one.

Best Equipment for Sports Photography

The 70 – 200mm zoom lens is a good lens for general use, but for sports events choose a focal range of 200 – 400/ 600mm.

Telephoto lenses will offer you larger apertures, are somewhat more expensive but, much faster even using a full zoom.

You have teleconverters to increase the focal length of a lens by 1.4x, 1.7x or 2x.

Always talk to a professional for information on models and compatibilities.

There are targets with VR (stabilizer) system that reduce vibrations and extend the speed range.


Telephoto zoom lenses are large and heavy and you’ll need a tripod.

There are lenses that count on a tripod mount that balances the weight.
You can choose to use a monopod to support the weight of the lens and have much more stability than hand-held.


If you use prolonged exposures, bursts or any technique that involves considerable battery drain, the battery will soon run out.

You can extend its autonomy with the battery handles.

In some cases, this accessory can even increase the continuous shooting speed.


It will protect the camera, fit almost any equipment and usually have a hand opening.

Add your experience and creativity and you will achieve great images.

Many consider that sport is life, because it turns that into a memory through photography.

Inspiration :


online classes :


Best Books about Sports Photography 

Now Your Turn

Now I would like to know, do you have any question ?

Or maybe do you have some information to add ?

Either way, let me know in the comments below

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