I have always admired the work of sports photographers but it wasn't until I started practicing sports photography myself that I realized exactly how difficult this genre of photography can be! My friend Ricky plays soccer for FC United Manchester here in Santa Barbara and after I shot a game for them previously, he asked me to come back and shoot a group photo for their team and I was more than happy to oblige...even happier that I was asked! I stuck around to take some action shots of the team too because I wanted to practice and because I wanted to give them some awesome shots. All of my photos were shot with my 55-200mm f/4 lens with my camera set on the Sports mode. I took over 700 photos and only picked about 70 that I thought were great. Here are two of them:
It was a very cold, cloudy day, not the sunshine I was expecting. In sports photography, timing is everything and I've definitely been working on my timing. My Nikon D40 only captures 2.5 frames per second so I'm limited as far as continuous shots and the maximum aperture on my lens is f/4 which in my research, having at least a f/2.8 300mm lens is probably what I should shoot with for better sports photos. However, I decided for the time being to just use the equipment I have and position myself around the soccer field to optimize my len's capabilities to capture some great shots.
To me soccer is a very difficult sport to capture because the action is all over the field and the pace is so fast but that's what makes it so exhilarating to me! With sports photography, you have that one moment to capture an action that cannot and will not be repeated. I love to capture the expressions of determination, hard work, and athleticism of the athletes. I can't wait to get back out there on the sidelines.