Editor's Blog: Rik Shares His Sports-Photography Tips (with Photos)

Editor's Blog: Rik Shares His Sports-Photography Tips (with Photos)

Image of editor Rik Myslewski

My elder daughter's rugby team just landed a spot in the national collegiate championship Final Four, so it'll soon be time for me to again break out my trusty Nikon D70 and try to capture the perfect sports shot.

 

No, I'm not an expert photographer - not by a long shot - but I have learned a couple of things in the past three years of sports photography that you might be interested in hearing. And as a bonus, I've dolled up the following pages with photos of beautiful women: the Stanford University Women's Rugby Team.

 

Get the Right Equipment

 

This is, of course, in the "well, duh..." category - but what exactly is the right equipment?

 

The right camera: First of all, a digital SLR is highly, highly recommended (today I found Nikon D70 bodies going for under $400 on eBay). Get a digital camera because you're going to be shooting a lot of images, and digital photography make a 200-photograph day affordable. And an SLR gives you the ability to swap lenses, which brings me to my next point...

 

The right lens: A "long" (aka telephoto) lens is also highly, highly recommended. Good ones cost an arm and a leg, but since I live on an editor's salary, I picked up a relatively inexpensive Nikon 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 G lens for less than $150; I've seen them on eBay for around $120. It's not a world-beater of a lens, but I'm not a world-beater of a photographer. It suits me fine.

 

If you're stuck with a point-and-shoot camera, get an inexpensive teleconverter for it to increase its lens' focal length. In fact, if you're shooting baseball, with its long distances and lack of easy close-up access, you might consider a teleconverter for your SLR, as well.

 

The right accessories: To keep you camera's precious lens protected, you gotta get a UV filter. They're only twenty or thirty bucks, and they'll keep your lens from getting scratched when that middle linebacker comes crashing into you.

 

I always carry extra batteries and an extra storage card - even though I can shoot around 250 images on my D70's 1GB CompactFlash card, I often fill it up in the course of a game. Finally - and this may sound silly, but it's saved this hypercaucasian more than once - pack a tube of sunblock in your camera bag. You won't regret it.

 

More...

 

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Paul Nielsen

Hi Rik

Great article...enjoyed the humour and take on the game of female rugby. Nice that you are pursuing a hobby as well as spending quality time with your family. Best of both worlds!
After two years of landscape /travel photography I am now moving on to the sports photography side of things....should be fun. My 100-400mm lens is going to be working overtime.
Keep up a really good blog.

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Jason Whong

I've been taking quite a few sports photos myself lately. I have to say my favorite lens is the Canon 200mm f/1.8L. But it's probably a $6,000 lens.

Anyway I loved the entire article except for that bit about the clone tool at the end. But then, I am always going to be opposed to altering photos.

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Khurt Williams

Read why here:http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

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Will Howarth

Rik,

Are you embarrassed to be working for this magazine? The switch to a new format is a disaster. I don't care about the loss of the old raffish and zany tone, but this new version is all design and white space and NO CONTENT, aside from your columns and those by Nikki.

I just spent some time reading through the Forums. Every time a subscriber wrote in to complain about the new magazine, the Topic was closed! I mean, that really troubles me. If we can't make a comment and express our opinion about what the New Order is doing, then why bother to subscribe?

I'd like to hope that things are going to change, but I don't really see that. When my subscription runs out, I'll let it die. I have a collection of issues that goes back to the beginning, and I'd like to give it to a library. That topic is also forbidden to discuss on the Forums, by the way.

Good luck, Rik. I hope you find a good job somewhere else.

Will Howarth, Princeton University

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Alex

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derekm

Great blog Rik. Not a lot of blah, blah, blah. It's a lot of pages, but very much to the point with a lot of pics. I've only seen one women's rugby match but I'll never forget how that changed my perspective on quite a few issues.

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Jamie Berry

Your blogs are always so useful, Rik! I loved the recipe edition too, that was a great piece. I find pieces like these set your site apart from all of the generic Mac news sites, as much as I enjoy them as well. You've inspired me to look into a D70. Thanks!

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Ben

I too have realized how much better a good wide [vertical or horizontal] crop can be. A good content rule to keep in mind [with any 'artwork'] is that objects that extend beyond the edge of the [paper, screen, print] creates additional interest in an object. By using cropping methods as stated above and in the article, you can bring more attention to the subject of the photo.

Good Tips, Rik!

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GB

Go Bears!

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rmyslewski

When the Stanford women played the Cal women at the beginning of this season, the Cardinal routed the Bears 60-5. Check it out here. But thanks for the compliment on the article.

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Paul

Excellent and very detailed article - please feel free to submit this to www.photographyvoter.com

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