As an aspiring sports photographer I get to combine two of my passions, and whether I am at the gym or on the field I always have my basic point and shoot camera with me. Since I do use a point and shoot camera I always seem to be asked if I can really take great pictures with it or do I have to spend hours in the studio touching up each image? My answer seems to surprise everyone.
I can and frequently do take great stills and action shots with an average point and shoot camera, and often my photos look just as crisp and clear as those taken by a professional with an expensive DSLR model. As I’ve followed football teams around Europe I’ve learned a few tricks, and there are three that I am convinced are what have enabled me to take professional looking sports photographs. They are experience, timing and the ability to frame my subject. With time, patience and a lot of practice anyone can master these simple tricks, I did even though it took me a couple of years.
Experience comes with time and practice, it is not something that you can rush. Even professional sports photographers will tell you their first shots were blurry and unfocused, especially when their subject was moving. Experience and practice will also help you master timing and the ability to dramatically frame your subject, and this is what will enable you to take great pictures with an average point and shoot camera. Knowing where to stand during the action will dramatically improve your chances of getting a great shot, whether your subject is moving or standing still. This also comes with practice and experience. If you are lucky enough to have friends active in sports don’t be afraid to use them as “guinea pigs”. Tag along with them to football practice or join them at the gym or skate park. Chances are they won’t mind posing and showing off their skills for you to photograph. Who knows you might even get lucky and get a shot of a burgeoning sports star.
All I’m trying to say is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive DSLR cameras and interchangeable lenses as long as you have the experience you need to frame and time your shots perfectly. It also doesn’t hurt that point and shoot cameras now come with plenty of advanced features that make it even easier to take a great picture.