This talk on Sports Photography during the weekend was organized by CANON PRO CENTRE. The speaker for the day was Zainal Abdul Halim who makes a living working as a photojournalist for Reuters.
Zainal shared his knowledge and experience by showing us his best collection of pictures taken through the years and providing more details about the shots like how was it taken, what made him decide to compose the shots in a particular way and even camera settings for those shots.
It was enlightening to know how a photojournalist does his job, from gaining understanding of the task at hand, to preparation, to what they carry around all day long, to capturing the moment, to processing the pictures and finally sending the chosen shots over to the management – it’s not an easy task.
So what does he carry around? We’re talking about multiple EOS 1D bodies, with lenses like EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, and those that are beyond 400mm! – Certainly not something any of us hobbyists would be having unless we have nothing else better to spend on.
Zainal was friendly and approachable person, he had an informal chit-chat with the crowd (a rather passive crowd….) after the talk ended.
I’d like to quote what Zainal mentioned on his site which I think pretty much sums the detail of the talk.
Sports and Action photography is all about timing. It’s about reacting. Its about being in the right place at the right time and its about execute. These are all qualities of the athlete and those of the photographer as well. Each sport has predictable and unpredictable moments. Understanding the timing of these predictable actions allows you to capture the peak moment, when the action is most dramatic. – Zainal.
Are you interested in attending such talks? The EOS Pro-Talk is held on a monthly basis so do drop by Canon‘s website from time to time or subscribe to their RSS feed just so you don’t miss out any updates. 🙂
Being a Sports Photographer
Not owning expensive telephoto or zoom lenses doesn’t mean you’re not able to do sports photography. A simple 70-300mm lens could actually work quite well for hobbyists on budget. Even the kit lens could get you quite some nice shots if you know how to use it.
I’m actually a sports photographer too! It’s just that I’m doing PAINTBALL photography most of the time, and I’m doing it with my team (Team Heatwave) for organized events.
Skill-less am I, only good enough to give newbies some pain(t)full lessons for a few rounds but they’ll probably kick my sorry ass after a few more sessions. Don’t blame me, I spend time holding a camera in the paintball field more than markers. I shoot people but they never get hurt.
Paintball photography is challenging. You can’t glue your eye to the viewfinder since you’re wearing a protective mask so your eye is literally more than 10cm away from the viewfinder, and to make it more challenging – you actually do get hit once in a while and it hurts! And your camera could get hit too, or even smeared by paint 😯 (it’s only called paint but it’s actually made of vegetable oil).
And how about the idea of shooting motor-sports? Here’s a shot taken by my friend Orlson during the Super GT 2008 held in Sepang just about a week ago.
Alright, so maybe paying for the ticket, travelling all the way to Sepang, getting caught into the crowd and basking under the hot sun or whatever weather isn’t what you have in mind. How about trying shooting more simple stuff, like say a bunch of friends having a basketball game?
As you can see, though the kit lens is limited, it is not incapable of producing pictures that captures the heat of the action. 🙂 As what I mentioned earlier – the kit lens could get you quite some nice shots if you know how to use it.
All in all – while the professionals are doing their job in bringing us great pictorial coverage of many great sporting events, you could have a piece of sports photography of sports just by know where are the local events held and make your way there – even if it’s just a bunch of kids playing in a field just behind where you stay. 🙂
Try It Out!
So have you given sports photography a try? Do you plan to do so?
Do share your experience.