Whether you are sitting in the bleachers of a professional sideline or little league field, you are sure to try to get at least one great shot of your experience. Maybe it is a young boy throwing the perfect pass, your tiny ballerina doing a grand jump or your favorite athlete making his touchdown dance, here are some great tips for capturing those moments to remember for a lifetime:

  • Re-arrange Your Position – You might normally shoot from the stands at eye level, catching most of the game from the spectator’s point of view. Try to think outside of the box and create different angles. Lie low to the ground and use a wide lens. Shoot from some place high. Imagine being up close or far away. Look for new ways to approach your subject and you may be surprised by what you capture. When shooting a Yankees game I was able to get a great shot of Yankees’ shortstop superstar, Derek Jeter, when I aimed from a different point of view. At a New York Jets game I got a great shot of local fireman wrapped up in the excitement of the game. These moments may not be where you are sitting or where you are facing, so keep your eyes open for opportunities.
  • Avoid Using Flash – While flash is prohibited from many sporting events, if there is no limitation of using it, check with the coaches to see if it is OK if you’d like to use it. Someone might get hurt or distracted from your camera shining in the background while they play.
  • Use Your Backgrounds – Don’t forget your surroundings, whether it is the fans cheering on the sidelines or a view of the entire stadium in disbelief of a bad catch. When shooting the horse race at Belmont Park I was able to capture some of the sideline making for a full image that shows the excitement as the race was closing. Backgrounds can make the photo.
  • Get a Good Zoom Lens – You can’t be everywhere on the field so it’s important to have a good zoom lens. Look for something that includes “IS,” which stands for Image Stabillization. A lens that zooms many meters can make for a shaky shot if you aren’t using a tripod and have an unsteady hand. “IS” helps to create clear shots.
  • Set a High Shutter Speed – With any type of action you want a shutter speed fast enough to capture the great moments. Find a balance to keep the photo from being over exposure.
  • Using your Smartphone – What if all you have is your phone, ready and able to capture the play of the game? You need to anticipate the action so you know when you hit the button and be sure to try to get as close as you can to where the play is going.

Besides your camera, make sure you take enough water to stay hydrated and sunglasses for an outdoor event. Happy shooting!

About Richard Druckman: Over the past 35 years, Dick has captured thousands of award winning images at the past 12 Super Bowls, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Championships, and Olympic Games. Many of these once-in-a lifetime photographs have appeared in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Parade Magazine, and The Associated Press, which placed them in newspapers and publications around the world. To purchase his prints visit him online at www.goldmedalimpressions.com, by phone at 609-606-9001 or in person at his shop at 43 Princeton-Hightstown Rd. Princeton Junction NJ 08550.