Newer model DSLR’s have extreme ISO settings with little loss in quality. Don’t be afraid of going 1600 ISO and above. You’ll need it.
2~ Crank up the shutter speed
Keep your shutter speed as high as possible. It’s surprising how quickly performers move onstage. Especially at rock concerts. Try for a minimum of 1/250 sec. You’ll need high ISO and fast lenses to achieve this.
3~ Expose for the subject
Your meter is going want to over-expose your subject. The meter gets thrown off by the dark background combined with a spotlit subject. If you don’t under-expose you’ll get blocked-up highlights on the faces.
4~ Use the “Hail Mary”
When you shoot from the photo pit you’ll be beneath the performers. To get dynamic shots, hold your camera above your head with a wide angle lens on. Blast away!
5~ Carry two camera bodies
One body with a telephoto and one body with a wide angle. You won’t have time to change lenses. Usually you only get three songs so you have to use every second. Plus it’s too dark to see what you’re doing anyway.
Sports photography. If you can master it, you’ll improve every aspect of your shooting. Much of your success will depend on what you do before you release the trigger.
1~ Pay attention to the background
More than anything else, this will take your action pictures to the next level. I can tell if a photographer knows what they’re doing just by looking at where they position themselves to shoot. Any busyness in the background will camouflage the action.
2~ Use fast telephoto lenses wide open
Shooting wide open helps to clean up the background and isolates your subject with shallow depth of field. Sports photographers generally do not use a lens slower than f 2.8.
3~ Keep alert
Expect the unexpected. You never know what’s going to happen at a sporting event. Avoid chimping! (editing your photos in camera)
Great shots don’t happen all the time. When they do, you not only have to be there to capture it, your camera skill has to be impeccable so you don’t miss it. It takes thousands of hours to build a portfolio.
5~ Try a wide angle
Any chance you get. Most sports pictures are telephoto. They all begin to look the same. Ask any picture editor. Stay low to the ground to clean up the background.
6~ Look for something different.
Quirky is what you want. Strange things happen when you freeze action. When shooting and editing, look for unique images that still show both teams and include the puck or ball.
This is the first post I’ll be doing for those of you who want to start a career as a photojournalist.
You never know what extremes in life you’ll be facing day to day as a newspaper photog. One minute you’re photographing a 108 year-old’s birthday and within an hour you’re at a murder scene. It’s the same with the equipment you need to have. You’re going to have to be heavily stacked in the extreme focal lengths.
In order to get close to the action and tell the story in one image, you need an extreme wide-angle lens. You need to have images with impact, and you can’t rely on Photoshop in post. A wide-angle gives you this. The perspective let’s the viewer walk into the frame to feel what it was like to be there.
Canon EOS 7D, EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM~ 1/250 sec,f/5.0, ISO 500.
You’ll be shooting lots of sports and concerts. And in the darkest places imaginable. The average high school gym is as bright as your living room at night. Minimum shutter speed to freeze action is around 1/500 sec. So you’ll need a fast extreme telephoto. Industry standard is a 300mm f2.8.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, 1/1250 sec., f/4.0, 1600 ISO
Another workhorse is the 70-200mm f2.8. You’ll be using it all the time. A great investment. Stay away from the IS (image stabilizaion) version of this lens. You don’t need it and it will save you 500 bucks. Learn to hold still and use the proper stance for shooting with a telephoto. In news your subject is always moving so IS won’t help there either.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM~ 1/320 sec, f 2.8 ISO 3200
Invest in fast, extreme lenses. And lenses ARE an investment. You can use them for decades. Technology doesn’t advance for lenses like it does with camera bodies.
Try to buy new. If you have to, you can find used lenses. Get the three lenses mentioned here, you’ll be set. Lenses are expensive. But it’s a good test to see who’ll sacrifice life’s spending temptations to get into the biz. No snowboards or motorcycles for you!!!!!
Photojournalism ~ a type of journalism in which photographs are used more than words. Someone who reports news using photographs is called a photojournalist.
Hipstamatic~ iPhone camera app called Hipstamatic that allows users to digitally manipulate “lenses,” “flashes,” and “film.”
DSLR~ camera often preferred by professional still photographers because they allow an accurate preview of framing close to the moment of exposure.
One of the first shots across the bow of “traditional” photojournalism occurred in November 2010 when NYT photog Damon Winter went to northern Afghanistan to capture the efforts of the First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division.
With an iPhone and the Hipstamatic app.
His pictures subsequently won third place in the Pictures Of The Year International.
What’s happened lately?…well get this.
VII Photo Agency which represents the world’s eminent photojournalists has opened a new show_ i See The eyes of VII in the hands of Hipstamatic
Need more proof?
Legendary photojournalist Ron Haviv covered the fall of Tripoli with the Hipstamatic app.
Ron Haviv, Rebel soldiers fight for control of a pro-Qaddafi neighborhood.
There is a HUGE difference.
Instagram is a sharing app where you apply a filter of choice to the picture after it’s taken. They basically look vintage.
Hipstamatic on the other hand is much different. It’s name suggests that the images will look vintage. But in truth the name applies to the analog feel of the app. You chose a combination of lens , film and flash. The app processes the image in the phone. You can’t really do much after the picture is taken to enhance the image. Much like film.
The Hipstamatic app may have brought about the death, or eminent death of straight DSLR photojournalism, whatever that is, but not on it’s own. The move from content to aesthetics has been going on for quite some time now. Brought about by photographers of course. Also the big contests, and editors have been pushing them along. Today a Cartier-Bresson straight black and white print would never stand a chance against a vignetted, grainy, high contrast World Press Photo type image in a contest. Of course editors have chosen aesthetics over content to sell magazines.
Damon Winter, Northern Afghanistan
So what will it take to put traditional photojournalism in the grave? Time. Within 10 years it will be gone. If Apple decides to use some of it’s $100 billion to develop a stand alone camera (Oh…please…pretty please)…..maybe sooner.
News photography may take longer. Newspaper and wire images are still living in the world where realism and content are king. But this will change. Straight DSLR images that come over the wire seem tired and uninspired when compared to Hipstamatic images. As newspapers go online and the need for newsprint colour balance isn’t required, we’ll see much different news photographs. Pushed once again by photographers and contests. But mostly by editors. They desperately need to sell their product. Now more than ever.
And news photographers capture sports action images. Something that isn’t possible with an iPhone…..yet. But remember the $100 billion? If Apple comes out with an iCamera with telephoto, fast auto-focus and external flash capabilities, it’s all over.
Are Hipstmatic images accepted by readers as real and true?
The answer is yes.
What does this all mean for the young photojournalist? By all means get a Canon or Nikon kit. You still need it to break in. But keep it simple. Try not to invest too much. Get an iPhone and learn the Hipstmatic app. You don’t need a cell contract. Just get the phone.
What it means for Canon and Nikon is a much more interesting question. Let’s just say I wouldn’t buy any shares.
It seems ridiculous now.
But if you were a photographer a decade or so ago, the word on the street was, digital cameras were going to wipe out photography. Kill the craft and lower the quality. I remember standing in front of photo students, pleading with them to embrace this brave new world of digital. It wasn’t an easy sell with the first generation of digital cameras. The dot.com bubble had just burst….the jury was still out on digital..
At newspapers we never had a choice. It was do or die. And initially, digital cameras were extremly difficult to use. If you used one the first digital SLR’s, you’d wonder why anyone would want to do this as a hobby. If you accidentally shot at 400 ISO you’d be panic stricken. Exposure had to be “slide film” accurate on one of those babies. The sensors? A whopping 2 million pixels. Try cropping that.
Newspaper photographers knew that digital cameras would become faster and easier to use. We just needed to be pioneers and slog through the early days.
But now, the skill and craft required to secure an image isn’t what it used to be. Anyone can get a properly exposed image on a digital camera. And you don’t have to practice the art of loading film anymore. And who cares?
The opinions on digital photography 10-15 years ago seem absurd in retrospect. Digital arguably saved photography when things were getting pretty stale in the nineties. The biggest news at the time was the introduction of faster films and auto-focus.
The only thing we can be sure of is change. So let’s grab our phones….or whatever….. get out there and take some photos!
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe