Sports photography


TPF Noob!
Jul 11, 2003
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Im particularly insterested in taking action shots of sports. I was just wondering what you guys use as far as film ISO/ASA is concerned for these type of photos? How about aperture and shutter speed settings? how much of an effect will the weather have on this? I have a regular 28-90mm f4-5.6 and a 75mm-300mm f4-5.6 telephoto lense for these type of shots, will they be sufficent for my needs?

I am mainly gonna be taking photos of golfers so its not exactly a high speed sport. But once i have gained enough experiance in handling the camera, I'd like to progress towards more faster paced activities such as motorsport and ball sports (like soccer and rugby, if you guys have ever heard of them!).

I heard that 400 is probably the optimum film but i probably think that i would like some reassurance :)
I'd go with the 400 ISO. It should work out well for you if you're trying to capture a golfer’s swing. A faster shutter speed will also be necessary to stop the swing, but a slower shutter speed could make an interesting motion shot.
If you do get into photographing motor sports you will need a faster film, however I've had no experience with it so I'm not too sure how fast you'll need to go. Keep in mind the further you are from the subject the slower the speed of the film/shutter speed you can get away with, especially if you're panning.
Many thanks for your input TwistMyArm. I got a round of golf tomolo so i think i'll try out a few shutter speeds and focal lengths to see what sort of results i get.

TwistMyArm said:
Keep in mind the further you are from the subject the slower the speed of the film/shutter speed you can get away with, especially if you're panning.

Would it be possible to explain this concept further? When you say "get away with" you mean by the amount of blurring that may occur? So you are saying that it is preferable to be as far away as possible from the subject? :)
Hello JGG

welcome to the forum!'s not for me to say what TMA meant by that phrase - but think of it like this:

Shooting motor sport, for example, and a racing car travelling 100 mph at right angles to your lens will need a fast shutter speed to freeze the action (i'm only guessing, but probably in the vicinity of 1/4000th of a second, maybe less) - if the vehicle is just a few feet in front of you

The same car, same speed/same angle - but 200 feet away from the lens, could probably be frozen at around 1/250 to 1/500

This is one of the simple rules to learn and understand when shooting "motion" ... another example would be, that, if this same vehicle was travelling straight toward your lens - you could probably freeze the action with only 1/125

When panning (following the vehicle's movement) to get your shot - a slow shutter speed will blur the background and freeze the vehicle's action. This takes a bit of practice to perfect

Best wishes with your endeavours!


A few questions:

Are you shooting friend and family or professional golfers?
If professionals will you have a press pass or just a fan with a ticket, most places today don’t let fans in with mono or tripods.
They thing you may try to hit Tiger Woods over the head with your monopod. LOL
If you have to hand hold the camera, weather is going be facture, you will need very good light.

What are you going to do with the photos?

I shoot baseball, got a lot of good 8x10 for autographs. With similar equipment Canon A1, 200mm f2.8 and a 2X
As for the film I switch from Fuji 800 to Kodak 400VC about 2 years ago. Better results when shooting at dust, and fewer grainy prints.

Hope that help

Hey JGG, sorry for not explaining myself. I think e_ explained it better then I could anyway. Hope it all goes well and we get to see some of the photos.
Many thanks e_ for your best wishes. I got the idea now :D

Jeff - Thanks for your advice, im only gonna be shooting friends and family, i dont really have much opportunity to go to professional events so i just stick to watching it on TV :p

Im just hoping to get somereally nice photos so that i can give them to friends and family as gifts/presents, im not planning on using any of my future portfolio for monetary gains.

I got the photos back this week. Can i put them up on here? If not then let me know and i will take them off here and put them in the gallery forum.






The contrast is a bit low on these pics probably cos of the scanner that i am using (but they did come out quite nicely in proper photo card) so next time i'll have to remember to get a photo CD of my film and do it that way :D
Nice shots.

Did you use a mono or tripods?

What type of film did you use?

How many rolls did you shoot?

What percentage can out as well as these in fraction form?
Ello Jeff,

All shots were taken with no monos or tripod, just with my steady hand!

I used Fujicolor superia ISO400

I shot 2 rolls of 24 during the round of golf.

Probably about 60-70% came out as well as these. I had a few focus problems mid round but they were nothing too severe and i was able to switch to manual focus when things got slighty out of hand.

I didnt take too many shots that were done "mid-shot" I was focusing more on the facial expressions of the players afterwards. I got another round of golf on friday so i'll see if i can fine tune and relay back any potential hiccups that i may have.

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