Sports & Action Photography For Beginners: Part 2 | Don McPeak | Skillshare

Sports & Action Photography For Beginners: Part 2

Don McPeak, 'That Guy' with the camera...

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28 Lessons (1h 27m)
    • 1. Promo Video For Class

      2:25
    • 2. Access To Venues - Overview

      3:36
    • 3. Access - Start Locally & Network

      3:17
    • 4. Access - Safety Talk / Ground Rules

      4:08
    • 5. Access - Get A Credential

      3:09
    • 6. Access - Get The 'Inside Scoop'

      2:15
    • 7. Access - Know The Venue

      2:40
    • 8. The 'Secret Sauce'

      3:09
    • 9. The Six Questions

      2:31
    • 10. Creating Your Plan

      4:23
    • 11. Your Subject: What To Shoot?

      2:44
    • 12. Shooting With Purpose

      4:10
    • 13. Trigger Your Brain To Hunt

      1:37
    • 14. Challenge Yourself / Create A Vision

      2:18
    • 15. Learn In Chunks

      2:25
    • 16. Think In Layers

      3:17
    • 17. What's Your Motivation?

      2:52
    • 18. Adding Dimension - Three Elements

      4:45
    • 19. Adding Dimension - Backgrounds

      5:16
    • 20. Adding Dimension - Environment

      4:38
    • 21. Adding Dimension - Sense Of Place

      2:49
    • 22. Merging Artistry & Sport

      4:18
    • 23. Tight Is Right

      2:51
    • 24. The Windows To The Soul

      1:46
    • 25. Tight & Bright

      2:24
    • 26. Into The Shadows

      3:34
    • 27. Rugby Shoot Review

      2:19
    • 28. Part 2 Wrap Up

      1:32

About This Class

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This three part series is a beginner level tutorial on how to take great sports and action photographs. It is taught by Don McPeak, a semi-retired pro sports photographer with over 10,000 publication credits.

Part Two is a series of lectures about the basics of adding dimension to your photography: about understanding your plan / goals, motivations, and composition. It begins with some fundamental concepts about your plan (For what you want your pictures to be) and ends with an in depth discussion about the three elements that infuse 'life' into your photos. 

The goal of this second section is to give you tools to use while creating your 'after' mini portfolio. 

Transcripts

1. Promo Video For Class: What if I told you that for about the price of a nice lunch, the generous tip thrown in, I could teach you how to take photos like these, you know, in spite of what the name says. This is not about just sports. It's a course about how to take pictures of people engaged in dynamic activities. I'm Don McPeek and I am a summer retired sports photographer with over 10,000 photo credits in popular sports magazines and major sports websites, and I accomplished all that without so much as a single minute of formal training. That's right. I was just a dad with a camera on the sidelines of my son's football games, and I basically learned by doing and watching and observing some of the best pro sports photographers in the business. So not only do I have the knowledge to be able to teach you, I have been where you are. I have been who you are. I know very well what it is that you need to learn from this and future courses. The vast majority of tutorial videos about sports and action photography will teach you about settings and gear, but this course takes you well beyond that. I'm gonna give you the insights in how to take photos like these. And you can take photos like these, and I'm gonna teach you how. But before we learn how you have to learn what and why, I know that's new thinking, but that's what separates this course from so many others. You know, it's not enough to know how to turn on the wipers of the defroster. At some point, somebody's got to teach you how to drive, and I'm here to teach you how to drive. The course is designed in three major sections. The first section is around technical mastery. It's understanding the camera as a tool. Second section is more of the artistic composition, peace and understanding what it is. You want a photograph and why we're going to train your brain, how to think like a pro so you can get better shots. The third section combines the technical mastery from the first section with the understanding about what it is you want and why, from the second section and combine those into understanding how to get the shots that you're after. So, while I can't promise you that you'll have cover shots on Sports Illustrated. I can promise to make you a better photographer, so I'd love to have you in my class. Grab your gear and let's go shoot. 2. Access To Venues - Overview: will. You made it through section one. Hopefully, the technical part of the Siri's wasn't too boring for you. I wanted to make sure that you had a good, strong foundation around the settings and what they do and how they work, so that we could use that knowledge to move forward and figure out how to get those good shots that you're after in this lecture. We're gonna talk about access because really, it all begins with being able to get on the court on the field rink, wherever the stage really is. I'm found of saying sports and action photography is not a spectator sport. You have to be right down where the action is going on. And there are some things to consider along those lines, not the least of which is safety. So I thought what I do in this lecture is kind of walk you through the process from how do I even get on the court or the field or the stage to What do I do once I get there? And what are the things that I need to consider beyond just photography around being at a venue where you have to consider things like safety or other people, not just concentrating on your photography. So this all starts out with getting permission to be in the venue, and that's gonna very depending on where you are in your journey. So if you're just starting out and you're looking to take pictures of your Children on Saturday morning in the local park, access really isn't a problem. You're there anyways. On the other hand, if you are looking to go from shooting high school to maybe college or maybe from pro sports, there are some gatekeepers involved. There's some qualifications that you have to have. There's permission that you need to seek before you can shoot in those venues. I know I mentioned in the initial promo video for this that I had never had any formal training and photography. And the same thing is true. Along the lines of getting access to different venues, I started and continued my journey in much the same way that most of you are going to starting small. I started in the recreational world, worked my way up through high school, eventually shot some small college games, which led to opportunities in major college and pro sports. In order to do that, there are some critical steps that you have to take along the way one of them has to do with building your portfolio, and the other has to do with networking. This journey around sports photography is as much around building relationships as it is building your portfolio. The path that you take is gonna largely depend on what your motivations are. I have a YOUTUBE channel, and along with this platform, I do posts and videos on YouTube, and I'll leave either some links on the class information or I'll actually post the videos there. And a lot of that information is around. You know what you're shooting? Why, what's motivating you? And it's gonna be different for everybody. So how you decide to progress through the different stages of your photographic development is really gonna be a function of why you're doing it. If your only motivation is to shoot nice pictures of your Children and you have no aspirations of going any further than that, then some of this won't apply to you. On the other hand, if you someday want to progress into shooting pro venues than a lot of this is going to make sense, 3. Access - Start Locally & Network: Unless you're already in a college curriculum or an environment where you have ready access to events, you're gonna have to find a way to be invited or granted permission to get into a sporting event or a concert venue are or whatever it's not. It's hard to do as you might think, and you probably have to start locally and start small. There are no shortage of things to shoot in your local community. Many local sports and recreations parks departments have well developed sports programs for youth, and you should have ready access to them. My advice would be to go talk with the people at the Parks Department. If that's the route to decide to take and let them know what you're doing, let them know who you are. You may have to pay a fee for the season to be there. Photographing people every every municipality is gonna be different. But I think it's really important that you also let the coaches and the parents know who you are and what you're doing, especially if you're a man. I know this is kind of a touchy subject, but it's the reality of the situation. If you're a grown man and you're hanging around a park with a camera taking pictures of Children. You should have either a really good reason for doing it or at the at a minimum, let somebody of authority know whether it's parents or the coach or the parks commissioner somebody that you are there and and why you're there. But the whole purpose would be to start building your portfolio in along this way, each rung on the ladder, each step in the process. You are probably gonna have to start building a portfolio to show somebody to gain entrance to the next level of sporting event or or whatever type of event you might be shooting. So that's an important part of this is that you want to be continually building your portfolio, and hopefully they'll be getting better. So for many of you, gaining access on the very beginner level is a simple is just showing up at the venue. If it's at a park or even approaching ah middle school or high school coach, or maybe some of the parents and just let them know what you want to do. In some cases, you will be told no that they already have photographers and they don't need anybody else. And, uh but don't be discouraged. Keep trying and keep building your portfolio. Find different ways in approach her local newspapers. I mean, there's any number of ways that you can try to gain access, but I think the most effective way in the way that I did it was that you have to continually just keep letting people know what you want to do, and eventually somebody will try to help you. And so it's in typically again. I can't. I can't speak for parts of the country that I haven't been to. But I have shot high school games in different parts of the country and the The Protocols air very similar you just if you respectfully approach the athletic director or the head coach of the vice principal or whomever is responsible for granting access, just let them know what you're trying to do in, I would probably say, nine times out of 10 somebody's gonna let you command in photograph ah, high school game. It's it's probably not gonna be that difficult 4. Access - Safety Talk / Ground Rules: now. One thing that we should talk about is if you are new to this. If you are a beginner, there is a safety concern. You you need to be dialed into the dynamics of what's happening in the event. Not so much a concert or a parade, but I'm talking specifically about sports now sidelines of a football game. Ah ah, hockey game. If you're shooting from the bench, even a basketball game, these air opportunities to get hurt there, There's some people have been. I have actually seen people seriously injured at sporting events. I've been injured at a sporting event, and I'm very careful. So you have to be very mindful off the fact that when you step onto a football field and there are 202 £150 even high school kids running at full speed, if they hit you, you're going to get hurt. So there's Ah, there's an element to this that you have to be very mindful that thistle is not. You're not taking Senior Portrait's. You're not taking landscape, those players air moving. They're moving fast. In some cases, there's projectiles. You have to be concerned about a hockey puck, a lacrosse ball, a baseball softball. So that's a dimension to this that if you haven't considered that you want to be very mindful of. So once you do gain access to the event, to the venue to the game, to the concert to the reenactment, the parade what whatever it happens to be, it's a theatrical production. What are the ground rules? This is something that is very probably overlooked and neglected by a lot of photographers is that they don't take the time to find out what are the ground rules. Who are the gatekeepers who were in who, who is in a position of authority to grant you access in the immediate environment of the venue. So by that I mean, there are security personnel. There are officials. There are people if it's at a school venue who have the ability to either restrict or grant you additional access than what you might get normally. So a good practice when you're showing up at a venue once you've been given access, The first thing to realize about it is that it is a privilege, whether that's at a middle school, theatrical production or an NFL game, it is a privilege to be there. It's a privilege to have been given access and granted the right to be somewhere other than a spectator to be allowed to take pictures. Never forget this. Also, be mindful that the people who are working in those venues can make or break your experience. One of the things that I found the most helpful throughout my career is that as soon as I showed up in a venue, wherever it was practical, I would seek out the people of authority, let them know I was there and find out what I could and couldn't do. And I got their permission if I wanted to do something. That was maybe a little out of the ordinary. Good example of this is I've shot high school basketball games in several states in venues where I didn't know anybody. I was just asked to shoot the game and I showed up and I didn't know a soul. But the very first thing I did was I found the head coach of the home basketball team and so I would talk to the head coach and I would find out, you know, one of the things I like to do is get shots of the players coming off the bench in pregame , and I would just let him know exactly what I wanted to do and find out if he had any problems with it. And no, I never did so It's always a good practice. Another thing, too. If you are lucky enough to get into a college venue of some kind, find the security people, find out what the ground rules are, where you can be, where you can't be, and your experience will be a much better one if you enlist the help of the people who are in a position of authority at these different venues. 5. Access - Get A Credential: on a local level. Your goal is to get one of these or maybe a couple of these. These are credentials or press passes that will give you access to different venues. Now I'm going to give you some secret sauce. It's one of the ways that worked for me, and I think it works for a lot of people, and it's it's actually fairly a foolproof. So in addition to seeking permission directly from coaches or athletic directors in various venues, typically, high schools may be small colleges. You can also start a website, and again, I'm speaking more about the sports and the things that maybe the concert and theatrical different types of venues like that. But it could potentially work for that as well. But as far as gaining access to sporting venues, you could start a website, and you can apply to a state association of high school sports in your area and apply for a credential, or at least be recognized as a sports media outlet, so that when you're approaching different uh, papers, small local community papers, you've got the credential that says My website is recognized by the State Association of High School sports as a sports media outlet and that venue maybe more apt to let you come in and shoot, especially if they don't know you or who you are. But if you have a credential, somehow your elevated to a different status and you have a better chance of being allowed into the sporting event in the website doesn't even necessarily have to have a lot of traffic. But it has to look legitimate, so you might have to invest a little bit of money in creating a website that kind of looks like a media website. It's something that somebody looking at it, who is from an association or maybe a local paper, could look at it and see that you have a presence and interpret that as a media outlet. Another thing you can do that is again in the early days. Worked for me is look at the various schedules from different teams that are coming in from out of town, especially if it's in high school. If the traveling more than a couple hours, contact the local paper in their hometown and see if they'd like coverage, offer to do it for free if they'll just call ahead to the school and say, Hey, I've got a shooter coming out there and I want them to cover the game for me. Would you let so and so into the game? Same thing with small colleges or maybe even major colleges. Find out who's traveling. They may be coming 1000 miles or from across the country to play your local team, and they might want some pictures from the game, but they don't want to go through the expense of sending somebody contact them. Tell them what you're doing. Say I'm just trying to break in. If you can get me a credential of the game, I'll take some shots. If there's half a dozen you can use. Great. You didn't spend any money, you know. So there's different things. You can try that would that would help you gain access 6. Access - Get The 'Inside Scoop': another thing around access and understanding. The venue is talk to people who are setting up for the event, whether it's a game or a concert or a theatrical production. Whatever it is, there are usually, you know, the worker bees who are setting up. So it a football game. It could be cheerleaders. They could tell you what they're planning to do, so you'll have a heads up about special presentations or ceremonies. Or maybe they're gonna break out a new banner or something. I mean it. It never hurts to know in advance what's gonna happen. Same thing with events if it's ah, if it's a speaker, if it's ah, maybe it's a concert. Go talk to the lighting people. They're the ones who are going to know specifically what's going to happen, who's coming on stage at a particular time. That's really valuable information and maybe even go for broke, you know, with without without breaking the rules. Uh, talk to the stage manager. You never know. Worst they can do is say no. I'm showing you some pictures now of my being right on the stage with the band. You know, it is purely because I just went and asked, And many times they'll say no every once in a while. The same Spanjers. Really cool is Hey, all right, going out there. Just You know, you got two minutes. Go get you go get it done, and then get get out of there, That's all you need your on stage. So be respectful. Be polite. Talk to people. Another thing I will mention in all seriousness, be considerate to those people who are making a living at the venue, whether they're camera operators or their professional photographers. If you're just a beginner and you're trying to build your portfolio yield to those people who are trying to make a living who have a contract who are there to produce a certain content for their clients. Give them the priority. Your your time will come. Your day will come. You'll be that person someday with any luck and, uh, you'll you'll want the same consideration from somebody coming up from behind you as well 7. Access - Know The Venue: a couple last items. Once you have access, once you're there in the venue, walk the venue. Get there early. Know every inch of that field of that court, that arena. No understand what's in the background. Know the different aspects of the lighting. Is it dark in one corner? Is the lighting coming from two different directions? What type of lighting is it? And then also look for different vantage points that will give you a unique shots. And if there's time, go talk to someone who has jurisdiction over that venue. Find out what's possible. I asked the silly question one time if I could go shoot from the ceiling and they said Yes , sure, go ahead. You won't know till you ask. So really, this lecture was all about just kind of creating that mindset about the venue, trying to get access to it. What are some of the ways that you can kind of build your portfolio by working your way up through the ranks of the different types of of events? Going from the comes lower echelon, easy to access events all the way up to the ones that you have to have be credential for. It's a process, and for most of you it's going to require that you build on it, step by step, build a portfolio at the park, then show it to the coaches at the high school said, Hey, you know, I could take these pictures for your team and then once you've done that, then maybe approach some of the newspapers in the area. Hey, you know, do you need a freelancer? Just you have someone covering the game on Friday. I might be able to do that for you and so on and so on, and virtually that's how I came up through. That's exactly the process that I used until the point where I was shooting a college game and somebody on a national level saw my pictures and approached me to work for them. So I know that's really hard to wrap all this up into a 10 or 12 minute video lecture. But I'm really trying to get you thinking about creative ways that you can not only build your portfolio but understand that this is a much about networking and building relationships as anything else, and never be afraid to tell people what you're trying to do and ask for references. Asked for referrals. If the cultures of the parents or whomever likes the job you're doing, ask him to say, Hey, you know, do you know anybody else? It's coaching a team that might need someone and just that that's how you do it, so I hope that helps and, uh, see you in the next lecture. 8. The 'Secret Sauce': my teaching styles a little bit different than most people. So in traditional classic sense, you're going to sit through a bunch of lectures. You're not really going to know what the point of the whole thing is. You're gonna have random information shoved at you, and hopefully you'll retain that information. By the time you find out what that of course, is all about, I kind of do things in reverse. I give you the answer and as I give you additional information, hopefully you can bolt that information onto the answer that have already given you and will make a lot more sense. So you can imagine if you've never heard of a car you didn't know the car was or anything about it. And you are sitting through a series of lectures about tires and brakes and clutches and mirrors and you know you name it drive shafts and at the end of the course, the professor says. By the way, all of this is used to make a car, and the car is used for a B C D. Etcetera. My style is essentially to describe to you what a car does, what it's used for And then, as we get down to the detail level and Aiken describe to you metaphorically, of course. You know, here's a tire. Here's the brake pedal. Here's what they're used for. That makes a whole lot more sense if you know how that all rolls into the higher solution. So here it is, right out of the gates. Okay, There are many things that separate pro shooters from amateur shooters on a sort of tactical level. But on a higher level, at the 30,000 foot level, there's one critical thing that separates pro shooter from an amateur. You ready? Here it is. Okay, I'm I'm looking at you right now through that little that little camera right above the screen, I can see it on your face. It's the disappointment many of you were expecting some kind of secret code access to secret pro equipment that only prose could get at the camera shop that somewhere at the top of a mountain, you gotta have a membership card to get in, or there's a secret password that gets you into the codes that the secret settings inside the cameras, none of that exists. Okay, there's nothing like that I use the same equipment that you do, or at the very least, we all have access to the same thing. So it's It's not about the settings. There's no formula. Okay? It's all about planning and technique and positioning and having a plan. So this is the foundation. This is everything. Okay? This I'm giving you the keys to the kingdom, and it really is that simple. Don't make the mistake of confusing simple with easy. Okay, if you want to be the heavyweight champion of the world, all you have to do is get in the ring with the current champion and beat the hell out of him. That's it. It's that simple. That's not really that easy. It's the same thing with sports photography, at least going into it. You know that from Ah, high level. This is This is your foundation. This is your base 9. The Six Questions: So, as a sports photographer, your job is to tell a story through pictures. You are a photojournalist, and that is the definition of photojournalism. You're telling a story through pictures. And like any journalist, you have the six questions that you have to deal with. Who, what, where, when, why and how. You know, that's what makes up any new story, essentially, and you might remember this from school or whatever. But it's true, you know, And and these are things that you have to keep in mind when you're telling the story. And again, that's when a when a pro photographer approaches on event, these air things that's going through his or her mind. So the good news is off those six. You don't have to worry about three of them. You don't have to spend any time trying to manage them whatsoever. So the who, where and when have already been defined okay, that the team's air defined the people who are gonna play have already been defined, and you really didn't have any say in that the where and the when you know those air spatial and temporal coordinates you just need to show up at a certain place at a certain time, and that part's done. You've got the 1st 3 tackles without any problem at all. The flip side of that coin is the things that you do have to manage our the what, why and how. And when I talk about what you know to a certain degree, I'm saying, you know, there's a There's a who aspect of that. So I'm taking a little bit off licence here. And so the what is kind of dehumanizing, dehumanizing the players, the players become part of the what? OK, so the, uh, their subjects at this point, and we consider that in terms of this lecture, that's that's part of the what. But you have to be certain determine what am I gonna shoot? Okay. And then maybe with a deeper dive, we'll talk about the why you know, it's an important part of the equation. But you have to understand why. Why do you want that shot and and you, you know, to the extent that you have a good reason, normally your shots will get better. And then there's the how you know this. This is the magic. This is really the secret sauce, and it's all related to the rest of it. So again, these are the basic building blocks of how we move forward. 10. Creating Your Plan: So can you show up at a sporting event and just start taking pictures and hope something good happens? Absolutely. I mean, a lot of your good sports photographers. You you're pretty good at shooting and something will happen. You'll capture it and you'll be happy with your photos. And life is good, but your photos, the quality of your photos will improve dramatically and in direct proportion to your understanding of thes three elements. So we're gonna have just little mini lectures on each one of these three. What to shoot, Why you're shooting it and how to shoot it. But we'll just do a little bit of a fly over what to shoot is typically an action. You know, there's, ah, it's obviously you're gonna identify a particular person, OK, But it's it's typically not just a picture of that person that you're after. You're after something that that person is doing. You know, in this picture right here, this is L S U Coach and the and the L S U team, and they're just about ready to run out on the field at Tennessee. And, you know, this is kind of an iconic picture. This is kind of a tradition for him and that team, and so that was my motivation. You know what? What I wanted to shoot was that moment. That is sort of a tradition for that team, and that's what was motivating that photograph and to extend this a little bit. The why I wanted to shoot it was because it's tradition, because that's what they do. And so to complete my storytelling, that had to be an element, an element of it and the How am I going to shoot it? You know, there was only one place that I could be to shoot that picture. If I was standing in any other place, that photograph would not have the same impact. It would just it wouldn't look the same. I would either be behind them or I couldn't see the players faces or I would be in the way . So you know, all three elements went into that picture. Now here's another picture that wasn't so much what I wanted to shoot. But the why I wanted to shoot this was more important than kind of the actual picture. I got itself these air to players that had not met for a year. The last time they played together, the player on the right was laying underneath the player on the left whose neck was broken and he could not move. And somehow the player on the right instinctively knew that something was horribly wrong and he didn't get upset or try to push the player off of him. And had he done so, the player on the left, number four from Auburn would would have certainly died. And so this re union was the first time these two players had seen each other. And that's the Auburn players Mom hugging the young man that saved her son's life. So obviously, there's a there's a huge why element to this picture. The motivation really wasn't about what they were doing. It's why I wanted to photograph these two players together. And then this last picture is an example of how I was going to shoot this. So I knew I wanted to shoot down onto the volleyball court so I could actually see the players faces as they're hitting. And, you know, they're really you're very limited as to how you can do that. So, you know, in understanding how I needed to shoot this. I knew that I was going to have to go up into the ceiling of the arena. And so, you know, logistically, that created all kinds of issues around access and having to get permission and talk to the right people. So it was really involved process to get that shot, but that all rolls into How the heck am I going to get that shot? And so that's all part of the planning process. So, as I said, You know, I've given you the secret sauce upfront. There's a lot to think about in here. I will create three little mini lectures that will pertain to the what to shoot, why you're shooting it and how to shoot it so those will be broken out into different discussions. But think about what I said. Consider how that applies to the way that you approach your sports photography. If you are a skeptic, that's okay. I hope you'll stay with me because I fully intend to change the way you think about your sports photography. So I'll see you in the next lecture 11. Your Subject: What To Shoot?: in this lecture, we're going to explore a little further the whole notion of what to shoot. I know that's a broad topic. In fact, given the nature of the different types of potential students that might come to this course, it's almost impossible to try to cover everything in one lecture, especially one that's just a few minutes long. One important thing to consider is that in terms of what, why and wind the what the why are very connected. They're intimately related, and you almost can't have one without the other. So up kind of be cross pollinating between the two and the how is almost an output. It's almost becomes an equation where, what to shoot Plus, why you're shooting it equals how you're going to shoot it. So that's a little easier to address once you figure out what it is you want to shoot and why, Then it just becomes an issue. It becomes a tactical, almost ah, physics equation to figure out how you're going to do it. But to kind of kick this off. What you're shooting is gonna depend largely on why you're there. What what are you doing at the event what's motivating you. So we'll look at this from a standpoint of ah, spectrum or a continuum on one end. You probably have a very large number of people who are beginners who may be looking to photograph their child at a sporting event. So there on the sidelines, at a soccer game or a football game, and their scope is very narrow. Okay, they're really only interested in taking pictures of their child, and that's it. And that's what they want to take pictures of. The other end of the spectrum is maybe not so much beginner level. But maybe it's a novice or intermediate level where, you know, maybe there's someone on a yearbook staff or maybe a school newspaper, college newspaper or maybe even shooting freelance. For local newspaper, there's a different scope. It's not so confined in that situation that what to shoot is probably opened up too many more players, many more different positions, different types of plays, different activities. So you know, you have this spectrum of Ah, very narrow and defined focus of one subject and maybe even one or two types of shots versus having to cover an entire team. Maybe you landed a gig to shoot up a football game. For a team, you can't focus on one player. You have to open it up. You have to consider all the different moms and dads who might want pictures of the child playing in the game. So you know there's a There's a variety of reasons that would dictate what it is you decide to shoot. 12. Shooting With Purpose: so I'm going to show you some pictures to describe what I'm talking about. In this particular case for another video platform, I was trying to demonstrate that you don't really need tohave professional equipment to take good sports photos. It helps, of course, but you know, I wanted to prove that point. So I went over to the local park, and within an hour I used a camera body that was four years old, that you could buy for about $200 and I rented a I guess what you would call a pro Sumer lens. It was aftermarket Tamron lens, that was, I think I rented it for $75 for the week, normally retails for a little over $1000. So the point was that I could take that gear and produce some fairly nice photos. So I was after pictures on a couple different levels. I wanted to show that you could take reasonably good pictures with amateur gear, but then, on another level, I wanted to take a particular type of picture or a couple of different types of pictures, and I always like to focus in on the player's eyes. So What I was after that day was pictures of players engaged in dynamic activities. But also I wanted to get expressions, especially around the the eyes and the different looks that they had. So in this series of pictures, you can see that it's very defined. You know, I was after a certain thing When I got there, I had a plan. I was looking for baseball and softball players, primarily pitcher's and batter's, and I wanted to get close ups of their faces, their expressions, their eyes so that, for me was very well defined. Now, if you're on the end of the spectrum where you are just trying to take pictures of a particular subject, maybe it's your son may be true daughter. It's a brother who knows what a neighbor, but it's It's a very narrow focus. You can look at this from a couple different levels, so I'm going to use the example of a mom or dad trying to get a picture of their son or daughter playing soccer. So if you're ah, mom or a dad and you're at your son or daughter's soccer game and you're trying to decide what to shoot, you're gonna have to sort of dip into the Why would I shoot that bucket for a little bit? So I will give you an example. A. Ah, Mom wants to get a picture of her daughter playing soccer, and her daughter is a midfielder. And so she wants to get pictures of action pictures of her daughter playing the sport that she loves, and she wants them to be good pictures, and that's fine. But I'm trying to take you one step further to another level that says it's not enough to just want to take better pictures of your daughter playing soccer. What's the rial goal? And so, in this fictitious example, this hypothetical mother going through this process finally comes to the realization that she actually wants a picture of her daughter heading the ball. That's what she really wants. So with that understanding, now we can figure out okay, where does she need to be? What types of scenarios need to happen for her to get that shot? And then why does she want that shot? Are there clues as to why she wants that shot that would help her understand what she's looking for? And when it unfolds, she'll recognize it. And so in this example, the reason she wants that shot is because she's 17 now. But when she was 10 and first started playing soccer, it took her four or five years before she would head the soccer ball. She was afraid of it. She wouldn't do it. And now she's overcome her fear and she is fearless. She's out there button heads and heading the soccer ball with the best of them, and that's a testament to her will to get better. So again, a fictitious example. But it's it's the thought process that counts here. So if you have that level of understanding about not only what you want a photograph, but and but why you want to photograph it, then you can really narrow your focus. 13. Trigger Your Brain To Hunt: Here's an exercise for you to engage in over the course of the next week or so, and it really relates to what I'm talking about here. When you approach a an event and you have no idea what it is, you want a photograph. How will you know it when you see it? There's a lot of things that happened during the course of the game that air flashing by and the in your subconscious. You're really not aware that they're happening because you haven't triggered your brain to look for them. Once you've triggered your brain what you're looking for and you've got that motivation and as to why you're looking for it now, all of a sudden your brain will start hunting and I'll give you an example. And once you do this, you'll understand what I'm talking about. For the next week, be aware of how many burgundy colored or maroon colored pickup trucks or SUVs you see out on the road. You will be amazed how many you will notice. You will be equally amazed at how many you didn't notice until I mentioned it. That's the trigger that activates the part of your brain told. Look for that. So if you go into that soccer game and you have no idea what you want to shoot, there's a whole bunch of stuff that's gonna happen that you aren't going to recognize. If you into that game and you're thinking I want a shot of my daughter heading that soccer ball, it's gonna happen a lot more times than you think. And as it does as it unfolds, you're gonna have a better shot of recognizing it and capturing it when it does. 14. Challenge Yourself / Create A Vision: the way your brain works can either be an enabler or an inhibitor to your progress. It's an interesting scenario. You have this thing called a ridiculous, her activation system within your brain that allows you to expand your worldview, I guess, to create a replacement picture for yourself. Most people tend to gravitate toward what's their comfort zone. Most people don't like change. They don't like to stretch our challenge themselves. So I guess that's my message. Here is that if you want to challenge yourself to get better than you need to create a replacement picture for your own photography. And one of the ways to do that is to create an image or a vision of what the shots look like, what you want them to look like. So sometimes that's possible, and sometimes it isn't. You're probably not going to get a shot of a five year old upside down doing a pale A type kick back into the goal. That's probably not gonna happen, but you can envision what that shot might look like of that five year old dribbling the ball up the field. And then from there you can decide from where you want to shoot it, what that needs to look like, even the facial expressions. So the point is envisioned what you want, the shot toe look like beforehand, and you will have a much better chance of recognizing it when it unfolds in front of you. If you have no idea what you're looking for, then you have really no chance of recognizing. You have no idea of recognizing what that shot looks like when it happens. So getting back to our spectrum, obviously there's going to be different motivations for different people as to what they decide to take pictures off. So the other end of that spectrum is you're on assignment for a local paper or you're shooting for a football team or whatever. But the point is, you've got responsibility to cover a wide range of subjects or players or different types of plays. That's a lot more challenging. That requires a lot more dynamic thinking to capture all of the different elements of the gain, and in many cases that's reserved for the more experienced photographers. But you have to start somewhere 15. Learn In Chunks: So my advice is, if if you're just beginning, if you're just starting out with this, do not try to boil the ocean. Don't take on the responsibility of trying to photograph an entire game or or represent an entire team. You two weeks after you bought your camera gear. Learn how to use it first, of course. But then secondly, pick a few aspects of the game. If it's a football game, spend an entire game. Just photographing the quarterback learned the different ways that a quarterback does his job. Maybe it's baseball. Maybe it's softball. Just concentrate on photographing a picture or a batter or just the first baseman. The shortstop. Whatever it is, you know, master something you'll continually learn no matter what you apply yourself to. But don't try to do all this at once. Just take a chunk, just little bite sized chunks. And then eventually, when you feel like you've gained a certain level of mastery over that one particular portion of it, move on to something else, and it doesn't mean that it's got to take three or four games. You might master photographing the quarterback in 1/2 or 1/4 great kudos to you that move onto the next would concentrate on the running back or the linebacker or photograph the linemen blocking. Or maybe it's the center in a volleyball game where it's the point guard in a basketball game. But taking in chunks. Learn as you go. And don't overlook the pregame warm ups to hone your skills. There's lots of great activity that takes place there. That's that's There's no pressure. You're not. You're not missing anything in the game, but they're certainly going through the same paces, the same activities. That's a great opportunity to to learn how to photograph in a non stress environment to prepare for those moments during the game when you when you really do have to be sharp. So anyways, I hope that helps you a little bit around what to shoot again. This is a beginner level. So Trent, just trying to get you to think, maybe beyond just showing up at a game and hoping toe to catch something interesting. If you have some idea before you get there, what you're looking for your ah, whole lot more likely to recognize it just before it happens and you'll have a better chance of capturing it. I'll see you in the next lecture 16. Think In Layers: This is just gonna be a really short lecture on connecting your motivation with your photography. One of the promises I made you in the intro was that I was going to train your brain. I was going to teach you how to think differently. How to think like a pro sports photographer. One of the ways to do that is to think in layers. So I write novels and screenplays. And when I am thinking about a storyline and creating my characters, or if I'm watching a movie, I'm reading the Bible or I am looking at a piece of art. I'm looking at it in a couple different levels. One is what you're seeing. One is the What's the storyline? What's right in front of you and which equates very nicely to the action on the field. But then there's another layer. There's Thebe backstory, and in a sporting event, the back story could be any number of things. I'm going to show you a few pictures that will demonstrate what I'm talking about. Here they demonstrate this sort of layered approach to photography. Here's a picture I took right after the end of a football game and while the on one layer the excitement around the team. Winning the game was very evident. But there was another story. There was another layer to this photograph that tells a different story. Here's another example now. I took this photo right at the time this coach was embroiled in a national controversy, and so the picture of him coming across the field was on one layer. But at the same time, there is this darkness. There's the rain falling down. Ah, bleak sort of dreary environment that he's in. That kind of at the time really reflected on a sort of symbolic level what this person was going through in the moment. So the picture was more than just him walking across the field. It was a metaphorical representation off that particular moment in history for this individual. And in that same light, here's another photo of a beloved coach here in the South that for those of you who are or international or maybe from other parts of the country, don't know Pat Summitt story. But you know this. But you know, I consider this to be one of my best photos that I've ever taken, and if you know the story behind her and her personal battles with Alzheimer's and what unfolded in this program This picture was taken wasn't her last game, but I think it was one of the last two or three games that she was ever on the floor, that that she ever was in a coaching position. She was clearly not coaching at the time. She was just merely present, and she this was her assistant coach. That was really coaching the game for her team and this picture. This photo is very symbolic of this new coach taking on her role while whore mentor is literally looking over her shoulder in the very, very final stages of her career. 17. What's Your Motivation?: so there's a layer. There's two stories being told in these photographs. And even though you might be beginners and just starting down the pathway on your journey, there is something significant to keep in mind here. So just very briefly, your motivation really comes down to two broad categories. You're either shooting for yourself or you're shooting for somebody else, and there's no right or wrong way. There's no right or wrong answer. If you're just beginning, your your motivations might be simply building a portfolio or trying to take really cool pictures. And there's nothing wrong with that farther on down the line, you may be shooting for someone else, so your motivation might be completely different than for somebody who is just trying to build a portfolio. So if you're shooting for yourself, it's very easy to examine what your motivations are and how to respond to those. You're just looking for the best pictures that you could possibly take to putting your portfolio when you're shooting for the benefit of someone else, you really do approach the game or the event quite differently, and honestly, for me, is as an example. If you go to my website. You look at some of the games that I've covered for high schools. I have photos in there that I would probably not normally put out for public display. But they are there because I am taking those pictures for some of the players who don't get to play much. And some of those photos were the only photos that I had available of that particular player and those air there for someone else's benefit. So you have to kind of way these things. Sometimes when you're making decisions about not only what to shoot but what you're going to display for public scrutiny. And sometimes you have to put you have to post things for other people's benefit for their enjoyment that do not necessarily support your own desires to have your best work out there for the public to see. So this is just a really brief discussion about not only what your motivations are, but also trying to identify and understand what those different layers are to the event that you're shooting and how you might incorporate your purpose there with those different layers that present themselves at the event. So I hope that helps and the next lecture will be starting down the pathway to how we're going to shoot these pictures. See you in the next lecture. 18. Adding Dimension - Three Elements: in this video, I'm gonna help you train your brain to think about the non subject elements of your photography and how to incorporate them into your thinking to add dimension to your photography. Now, what do we mean by that? The less several lectures we've been focusing on your subject, looking at your motivations and deciding what to shoot, what to look for specifically around your subject, which is typically going to be a person, a player. Ah, performer. This lecture is going to focus on the elements of the photograph that are going to support that subject matter. So there are three elements that will add dimension to your photography. There's background, there's the environment, and there's the sense of place. I'm gonna talk about each one of those in a little bit more detail, so you get a better idea of how those add value or how those add dimension to your photography. So backgrounds pretty self explanatory. It's literally what's in the back of your subject in the picture. And there's two kinds of backgrounds. There's the kind that will enhance your photograph, and then there's the kind that will detract from it. So in kind of breaking from my own rule sets in my tradition. I'm going to show you examples of each so you can get some idea of what I'm talking about. But we'll go through several examples here of pictures where the background is an important aspect of the quality and maybe even the ability to help tell the story. So let's go ahead and look. It's a few of these examples some of these you've seen before, and I'll just add a little bit of commentary around why I selected these for you to view in reference to the background this first picture eyes a good example of looking for good clean backgrounds when you're taking sports photos, especially if you're looking for isolation shots. This particular shot was intended to be, ah, what we call it ice or an isolation shot, where the player is by him or herself alone in the action, and you want backgrounds that are not going to detract from the subject. So in this case, even though it's not a completely clean background, there's enough what we call negative space behind her. That she is stands alone in the frame without too much visual distractions. in the background The same thing here, you know, the netting from the back of the goal makes a nice sort of buffer from the poles and the fences that air kind of behind the players. So this is not a particularly amazing action shot. I just kind of selected it because the the netting kind of creates a nice uniform background, sort of creates a visually pleasing image going back to prior lectures. You probably remember the discussion about aperture and depth of field and how we're using that, blurring the background to create separation between the subject and the background. If the background was in focus than the netting and the fences, and the polls would would certainly be visually confusing in trying to look at the subject matter in this next photo, I know sometimes people look at these types of shots and they say, Wow, how lucky you were to get that nice sunset in the background. Well, there really wasn't any luck involved with it at all. In fact, the sun was setting. I saw the sky and the the amazing backdrop that it afforded for some of these action shots at this particular football game, and I positioned myself specifically to get this type of shot with that sky as a background . So even though the goal posts are kind of sticking up in back of the players, you really don't notice that it's not a critical or a distracting part of the shot. You notice Ah, the player and the the It's a very nice action shot of the players catching the bowl, its apex. But also you're seeing this this nice sky in the background that is a nice, pleasing element to it. And then this. The next example of you know this is again using the back ground to tell this story in this case that wanted there to be a little bit more focused so that it was incorporated into the shot and to complete the story. If you're from Texas, you probably aren't that amazed by this photo. But let's say if you're from Vermont or New Hampshire, and I'm tell you that this is a photo I took at a high school football game, not the players in the huddle on the field. That's so amazing. It's the fact that you have grandstands full of thousands of people behind them that tells the story about how popular high school football is in the state of Tennessee. 19. Adding Dimension - Backgrounds: so being aware of your background in terms of it being either clean, unobstructed or having elements in there that complete the story or if there are obstacles or things in the background that air visually confusing understanding what kind of separation you're going to create from your subject in the background, using your aperture and the distance from the subject to the background to blur that and create that separation is all part of adding dimension to your photography selects. Walk through these one at a time and just explain to you a little bit about what is significant about the background and what's good about it. What's not so good about it and just give you some examples of what to look for. What to do, What not to do. This shot was taken just a few minutes after this team won the Tennessee State high school football championship, and I wanted to capture the moment of this particular player who was one of the key players on this football team. Kind of enjoying the moment. He's got the championship cap on and he's looking off into this huge crowd, probably looking for family members Teoh to engage to visually engaged and enjoy the moment . And so obviously, the the shot of him looking up into the crowd and showing the crowd was was an important part of this particular photograph. In this case, there's nothing particularly spectacular about this shot or what the subject is doing. But the school initials in the banner in the background creates a nice, pleasing visual element to this shot, and it creates a nice dimension to this particular photo and and the game action. So again, it's just using the background to enhanced visual quality and to better tell the story. Now here's a shot of a soccer player. She's going down the field and it's she's going past her bench and you could see there's a couple of the players. They're kind of Washington. One of them looks like he she's cheering her on, and you know this isn't a bad photo. It's not anything you're going to write home about, but it's, you know, it's a decent action shot. That kind of incorporates the background as part of the story, and this is the type of thing that you you want to look for and to be able to add dimension to your photography, a za contrast to it. The very next frame is an example of what not to look for. You can see there's there's a there's a garbage can. There's some, uh, looks like some backpacks and some miscellaneous wheels and obstructions. It's just it's just visual clutter. And even though if this had been a clean background, this might not have been such a bad action shot in terms of adding quality dimension to your photo, this this is not it. This is what you you want to try to avoid. So when you're walking the field before the game and you're trying to get an understanding of where things are, this is the kind of thing you're looking for. Where those trash cans, where those parked cars where those polls where are those visual obstructions in the background and you want to be aware of them. Sometimes you have absolutely no control over it, and the players are going to go where they're gonna go when you get the action shots where they're going to happen. But you have a much better chance of getting those nice clean shots if you understand where all those obstructions are. And here's a great example. As a beginner. Take this shot every time all day long. It's a decent shot. It's a guy heading the soccer ball. He's got a great expression on his face, balls just coming off of his head and in the very beginning, stages of your development. This is a great shop. As you get farther on down the line, you're going to want to figure out ways to avoid having a big yellow bus in the background . You know, again, there's not. You're not always going to be able to avoid it. But again, this. I'm showing you examples of how, as you're developing how not to shoot these photos and then, lastly, in terms of background, here's a couple of shots that I took during a girl's soccer game, and they're not bad shots there. Ah, fairly good close up shots. You can see there are background elements. Is a guy with an umbrella in the background. Ideally, probably I wouldn't want that person to be there, but there is enough separation. It's blurred enough in the background that it's by my standards. It's marginally acceptable, probably for most people who are beginners that this is gonna be a perfectly good action shot. Same with this shot here. Would I have preferred that there was no one standing behind the player chasing the ball on the right hand side of the picture? Absolutely. It doesn't ruin the shot. It just obviously would have been better if that person wasn't there. But in terms of this being, ah, an acceptable action photos. You know, this is this is up there. We have decent backgrounds, and the distractions in the back are blurred enough, So that doesn't really take away from the action in the for on the subject. 20. Adding Dimension - Environment: So the next thing I want to talk about is the environment. It's a little bit different in the background in that it encompasses a sense of what it's like to be there. So as we talked about your job, is the photographer in the Who what, where, when, why and how. Really This boils down to your job being a proxy for that spectator. For that viewer who cannot be on that field you have to take. You have to visually take that spectator in that viewer and bring them into the environment . They have to know they have to experience what it's like to be there and literally bring them right into the huddle or right into the action. And that could include what it's like to be in the event, in the rain or in the blazing heat or in the midst of chaos or up close with the the referees or the other players of the other performers. That's your job. So the next series of Slides will speak to that kind of conveying that sense of environment to the viewer. It's some of it incorporates background, and some of it's a little bit different than background. It's It's more around the the essence of what's happening in the photo, and you have to figure out a way to convey that. Okay, so is you can see in this photo the it's clearly raining, so that's part of the environment. So we're trying to capture that in pixels so that the viewer can understand what was that environment like to be on that field during the Reign? And here's another view, you know, again, go back to looking at the backgrounds. They're either nice and clean or they create great separation around that. And so then we look at this third picture from the same game, and there's a real sense of what it was like in the environment. So the girls air are muddy, their hair's wet in the background. Even though it's kind of cluttered. You can see it's even though it's it's blurred. We've created separation there, but there's a bunch of people standing around with umbrellas, so anybody looking at that photo knows instantly that it was a rainy, dreary, wet game. Another way to convey a sense of environment is to show Spectators, you know, in this particular case, you can see, it was kind of, ah, crazy environment. There were fans kind of yelling and screaming, and that's an important part of conveying that. The essence of the event is to give the viewer a sense of what was happening, even outside of the game action on the field of the court and even in terms of celebration and awards, bring the person looking at your photos right into the action. So this photo conveys to anybody looking at it that had you been on the field, had you been one of those players. This is what you were seeing at literally arm's length. That state championship trophy trophy was right there in front of them. Same with this. This was just before the Tennessee North Carolina game at the Music City Bowl. This was in the coin toss before the game. It's your job to be in the midst of that, to bring that fewer that spectator from the stands, right down into literally right in front of the players celebration shot. Same thing, my sense of environment, of what it was like to be at that particular place in time. While that award ceremony was going on while that trophy was being presented, and even sometimes capturing some of the activities that go on around a particular event it doesn't have to be. Is something as grand as a a bowl game? You know, it could be a high school football game. You could have tailgaters gonna have Ah, um, a pep rally before the game or what we call here in the South War teams. You know, just prepping for the game. There's there's a lot of activity that goes on around an event that speak toothy environment. And here's one last example of again. Before the bowl game, there were fans milling around downtown Nashville having a good time, and it's it's all part of the experience. So you come into this with the notion that you're not just photographing a game or performance of some kind. This it's an event. It's an experience, and that's what you're trying to capture. And that's all part of conveying the environment 21. Adding Dimension - Sense Of Place: The third element that adds dimensions to your photography is what I call a sense of place , and that is to essentially convey the surroundings. It's a little bit different than the environment in that the environment can be fleeting. It can change, you know, they it can start raining. It could stop raining. The crowd could be really crazy. And then everyone could leave, so the environment itself can change. But there's a sense of place that static, that's constant. And I was racking my brain, trying to figure out how I could best convey that, because I've never really had the good fortune to shoot some place. That has just really dramatic sense of place. So imagine that there is a oh, I don't know, a lacrosse game that's being played in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. OK, or maybe there's a football game being played next to Niagara Falls. Obviously, you would want to incorporate those iconic backgrounds into the photos of that event that was going on, so unfortunately, I don't have anything like that to show you, but I think I do have some examples here that might make some sense around getting a sense of place. This 1st 1 is the absolute definition of a sense of place in that. If you look at this photo, this was taken at a blues club in downtown Nashville. And you know, I I I saw the the, um the sign ege on the wall in the far end of the club. And this particular singer was singing, and I wanted to get a great shot of him performing at the same time. I had to position myself so that that background element became a part of the photo. And so it not only created separation and but the name itself, the letters created that sense of place. It's so anyone looking at this would know ai. I know where that was taken, that that's where that is. So that is Ah, very overt example of conveying a sense of place. This next picture I took at University of Kansas in this you know, this iconic venue where the Jayhawks play and it's not so much about the action that's taking place on the court is just just one of the players taking a foul shot. But there is a sense of place here that is unique to this particular venue and the national championship banners on along the the ceiling or the you know, the far end of the wall and the crowd on their feet cheering. That's that's a whole lot different than just simply taking your picture of someone trying to make a foul shot. 22. Merging Artistry & Sport: and you know you don't have to abandon your artistic capabilities. You know, while you're shooting a sporting event, you know there's there's a great opportunity for you to be creative and toe let that artistic side of your commands there. Here's example of a couple shots I took prior to a golf tournament. So sports photographers are very keen on shooting tight. Getting really good, close up action of people carrying the ball are making the play at home, and that's all good. But there's also opportunities to use a wide angle lens to get that one. That that wide angle venue shot. This is taken at the just prior to the Music City Bowl, singing of the national anthem again, a sense of place. The stands were full. Obviously, a very one sided crowd wearing orange for the tennis evolves in this particular case. And then here's an overall shot, showing again, that sense of place and getting you, Ah, pretty good flavor for where the where the loyalties lied in that particular crowd on that day, and you can see the the the buildings from the skyline of downtown Nashville in the background again, providing that sense of place, a pregame shot again with pep rally just prior to the game. And Lower Broadway, the older, older section of downtown just giving a some sense of scale of the amount of people that showed up for the pep rally. And again, you know, this is, ah, kind of an interesting shot you don't abandon. You don't have to abandon your artistic capabilities as a photographer, Teoh to be a sports photographer. This is a battle of the bands prior to the Music City Bowl and kind of an interesting shot . This is where the two bands squared off against each other in the middle of Lower Broadway , and then the stadium in the background, lit up. It kind of gives you that again, that sense of place. So now we're gonna look at a series of photos I took at an N B A playoff game, and the background is part of the story because you're in obviously a very large basketball arena. There's an environment there that is very unique. It's very uniform. Everyone in the arena is wearing white. They're wearing white T shirts that were waiting for them on their seats when they arrive so it's kind of an interesting background on an interesting environment. And then, lastly, there's a sense of place, you know, you're that you're in an N B A arena, which is different than a high school gym, which is different than a college arena. It's a different sense of place, so there's all three elements that are really combined into this series of photos. And then, lastly, we have this photo that I took at a NASCAR race and encased in. If you've never been to a NASCAR race, you can't imagine how huge these crowds are. Some of these NASCAR stands hold 200 or 250,000 people. So if you've been to an NFL football game, just imagine there's there three times, or maybe close to four times the size of the crowd, that that come to watch these NASCAR races. And although the subject of this is very interesting, there's, you know, this pit stop with this car that's been all smashed up, but it's still trying to get it back out on the track. You look at the background and there's just this unbelievably huge crowd that's watching this race and that becomes, that's That's part of the story that adds dimension to this photo. So I know I covered a lot of ground in this lecture. So there's a lot here to think about with these three elements that air, not your subject. They augment. Or they support the subject matter of your photography and, if done correctly, depending on how you use the background. Depending on how you incorporate the environment of the event or the game, it will add different dimensions and enhance the quality of your photographs. So I hope this helps you, so we will revisit some of these concepts that as we move forward in the course, so I'll see you in the next lecture. 23. Tight Is Right: Hopefully, by now, you're starting to understand how some of the concepts and information I gave you in the early lectures in this class are being used to produce decent looking pictures. In the last lecture, we talked a lot about the backgrounds and the peripherals of the picture, and I was in some way encouraging you to use a wide angle lenses and to really bring in some elements of the environment in the background to help tell your story. This lecture is going to see more like a contradiction in that we're gonna talk about shooting tight. A lot of sports photographers like to say tight is right from my own personal experience. A lot of the photos that I've had published in sports magazines have been tight shots, so there's a lot of there's a lot of merit to to the notion that tight is right. But it's very difficult. I think people who were getting into sports photography are under the misguided impression that if just because you have a long lens, you have, ah, zoom lands, that you're automatically going to get good pictures just because you have that extra reach . But most people find out very quickly how difficult it really is to shoot with zoom lens or ah, long telephoto lens. It takes a lot of practice. It's Ah, it's not as easy as you might think. However, when you do master it, there is, ah, big payoff in that your photos become a lot more dynamic. And part of your job as a sports photographer is to be intrusive. Now notice. I didn't say abusive or disruptive, but part of your mission is to be intrusive. It's to get up close and personal with your subjects Now. Obviously, there's more than one way to do that. You could actually get up close and be part of, you know, the huddle or the coin toss or or whatever. But then also your other option is you've gotta shoot from a fair distance away using telephoto zoom lens. And that, of course, has its own challenges. But the point here being that you have to be diverse as the sports photographer, you have to be able to shoot different types of pictures using different types of lenses and different subject matter, and I will be so bold as to say that sports photographers are probably the most diverse and have the most diverse skill sets of all the types of different types of photographers that are out there. And I'm going to show you in this lecture a series of pictures to support that in the see. Some of the basic requirements of my job in covering major sporting events was not just game action, but there were all kinds of different types of photos that I had to take that were really almost like Portrait's almost commercial work. So there's there's a lot more to it than just trying to capture sports action. 24. The Windows To The Soul: So as we go through these, the first half dozen or so you're gonna see some common themes here, and they happen to be football pictures. But the one thing you'll notice is that we're looking directly at the players faces and we can actually see their eyes. So that's a big part of shooting. Tight is to get in close and to be able to see the players faces. Obviously, in football, it's a lot more difficult than in other sports, where the the face is covered by a ah helmet and a mask in many cases. But the mission here is to be up close and personal with some of these shots, so you want to capture the game action. But you also want to capture the expressions and the directions of the eyes, the eyes of the windows to the soul. And that's nevermore evident than when you're shooting a sporting event. The intensity of the players, passion and emotion can come out through the eyes, so there's a lot of great opportunities to take great sports photos by getting in close, zooming in close to the players, the coaches, the fans, the cheerleaders, whomever, but to get those nice, tight shots, especially when it comes todo players exerting themselves or celebrating or expressing different types of emotions. So is your scroll through these pictures? I'll give you some insights into not only how I took them, where I took them from what I was after, and a little bit of a deep dive around the different types of metering and light levels that you have to be aware of, depending on where the sun angle or the light angle is coming from. 25. Tight & Bright: So this weekend I had the chance to shoot a rugby match sexually. First time I've ever shot a rugby game, so I kind of didn't know what to expect. But it want to kind of go through these pictures and just kind of review what I did, what I was thinking, how he shot them. And we'll start to incorporate some of the concepts that we have talked about him prior lectures. And hopefully you can start to see this stuff sort of coalesce as we go along. So as I started shooting, I noticed one thing was a bright, sunny day. So I had to make a decision about where I was going to shoot from to try to mitigate the sharp shadows, the harsh sunlight. So I decided to shoot the first half with the son of my back in the second half, into the shadows. So, as you can see from these pictures right away, it was very bright. Sun was very harsh, so I had to kind of shoot directly on to make sure that I could capture their faces and not obscure a lot of the expressions with shadows. So in these pictures is very easy to see the kind of the grimaces on their faces in addition to capturing the game action. My job, as I've said before, was to convey to the viewer what it's like to be in a rugby match or, more specifically in a rugby scrum. That's a very physical, brutal game and I wanted to try to capture that in these photos. So as you can see, I was shooting very tight in a lot of cases that want to make sure I got expressions and the the close ups of the eyes and the faces in order to do that on a rugby field, I had to shoot a lot of times at between six and 800 millimeters, which is really difficult to follow a radically moving objects. But there again, that's where the practice comes in. And as I demonstrated before, you don't have to have high end, expensive camera gear to do this. In this case, I did use my 300 to 800 zoom along with my Nikon D five and E four s, but I didn't have to you know, I because I had, um might as well use them so I was able to benefit from some of the high end features that the camera offers, but I didn't really have to use them. 26. Into The Shadows: So as you can see from these photos, hopefully I've captured not only the game action but some of the essence of what it's like to be in a rugby game. And the viewer should be able to get this notion from just looking at the faces of the players and the expressions, their grit missing the eyes and the way that the players are either looking at each other or looking around to their environment. And although you can't necessarily see the settings that I used, hopefully you can appreciate that the settings were very different from when I was shooting with sun versus against the sun. Although I tried to keep the shutter speed the same, I didn't vary. My aperture remained constant at 5.6, and I tried to keep my shutter speed somewhere in the range on the very low end of at 1000 1 1000 and at the upper end, around 16/100 of a second. And so I would vary my i s o to compensate. So when I was shooting with sun, my i s so was anywhere between 3 20 and 400. And then as I shot into the shadows keeping my 12 50 shutter speed and 5.6 f stop. I was probably somewhere in the 12 50 range for I s o here again. Not all the shots have to be action. Sometimes you can just try to capture some of the essence of the game by shooting. Ah, like a field portrait or court portrait. In this case, it's more of a field portrait. This particular player is waiting to start the scrum, so he's kind of surveying the field right now before the action begins. And as you can see, it's a much a different look when you're shooting into the shadows and you're bumping up your I s so ah, you have a much different look than when you're shooting with sun. It's very dramatic effect. I was kind of disappointed that I didn't have a cloudy day. What you shoot with the conditions that you're given and in this case, was the players were coming toward me. I had to position myself so that there were good, clean backgrounds. So what you can't see in this picture is just slightly to the left. There was ah, convenience store and some kind of other structure and a busy highway, so you don't always get to shoot all of the action or all of the game that you want to. Sometimes you have to wait until the action moves into a portion of the field or the quarter or whatever you're shooting, where you can have those backgrounds that aren't super distracting. In this case, it wasn't ideal because we've got trees in the background with leaves reflecting sunlight. But at least it's somewhat uniform and it's not commercial buildings and buses and trucks and things in the background. And then finally, this last picture. Although this is not game action, there's there's opportunities when you're shooting ah, sport to capture moments. And to me, this is one of those moments this was pre game. The rugby team was kind of going through their pregame ritual. In this case, you have a team captain or leader that's leaving them in a kind of a ritualistic chant before the game and was kind of a dramatic moment. So I was fortunate enough that this person in the middle was kind of rotating around and when he turned in my direction, he just happened to be shouting something at the team and I was able to catch it, and it's, Ah, quite a dramatic photo. 27. Rugby Shoot Review: so again, it's sometimes there's just these little snippets, these little moments that occur that aren't really high energy or high action. But they really they kind of put a capstone on the rest of the event or the game that you're shooting. It just kind of rounds it out and gives the viewer kind of, ah, a total feel for what it's like to be there. So before we get into any more great detail that will follow in. Subsequent lectures will just kind of review the take from the rugby game. So one thing to note. I did shoot most of it kneeling down, of course, with my knee pads on. But I got low, low to the ground. That's to help capture the faces in a lot of sports. When the athletes are participating, their looking down, either they're looking down at a ball or a park or or something, and so the lower you can get, the better chance you have of getting that nice expression. The shot of the face second thing to remember is that about half of the field in the background had content in it. That really wasn't conducive to good background so you can't tell from the pictures, but I was only really able to shoot about half the time. I can't to wait for the action to move into the field with a portion of the field where the backgrounds were suitable and acceptable. So always something you want to remember. So just a couple of things to keep in mind. The and the the last thing is again, Well, I think the next lecture we're gonna talk about this is how to manage that light. This is a good example of how the lighting was very harsh. It was almost directly overhead, and it was. It was a difficult task to manage that properly and to get the exposures that I wanted without having those harsh shadows across the faces. So and some of the pictures it worked in some of the it didn't mean you. It's not a perfect science. So there's There's always a lot of challenges and shooting outside and harsh sunlight. So I hope these air good examples to give you something to think about and how to incorporate some of the things we've talked about in prior lectures. 28. Part 2 Wrap Up: so hopefully by now you can see we are starting to put some meat on the bones using some of the concepts from prior lectures and as we start moving toward the end of the course, will start to plug those in. So the take away from this lecture is be versatile. Learn how to be versatile as a photographer, so we want to present that overall sense of place. We want to use that wide angle and incorporate elements in the background to tell the story . At the same time, you want to be able to get close up close and personal with your subject. Zoom in on faces. Show expressions focus on the eyes. It takes a lot of skill to do that properly and especially with fast moving targets. But the payoff is tremendous of you can learn how to incorporate your skill at getting close up tight shots of your subjects, while at the same time understanding your backgrounds and how to compose those subjects against good backgrounds. The quality of your photography will improve dramatically, so I hope at this point is it's all starting to make a little bit of sense to you and we'll try to pull it all together so that it all makes sense, so I'll see you in the next lecture.