American Football Photography

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Darren Bonner, May 9, 2013.

  1. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    There will be an opertunity to photograph a few American Football games this summer. I know the M4/3rds isn't the best for auto focusing sports events, but that is part of the challenge for me to get around this.
    Can any recomend which would be the best lenses to use, native or legacy?
    The matches will be purely at an ametuer level so I'll be moreless at pitchside.
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Even with sideline access (we don't say "pitchside" on this side of the Atlantic :wink:) the action in a football game is often going to be occurring at a decent distance, so a long zoom will be in order. I would suggest the Panasonic 100-300mm, although you may do okay with one of the roughly 40-150 or 200mm zooms.
     
  3. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    Thanks, I do have one of those.
    Does anyone have any experience using the Panny 100-300 for sports photography?
     
  4. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    In 1999 we were on vacation in Montreal at the Olympic park. A Canadian football team was practicing. Since I had watched football on television for decades, I though it wold be fun to shoot from the sidelines with a F100 & 70-300. HA! From ground level the view was so different that plays would be over before I knew what play was run.

    The key to shootings sports like football is to know the game well enough so that you can anticipate the action. It's more important than the gear.
     
  5. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Day or night games :confused:
     
  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    This is fantastic advice. I wish I'd given it. If you're not familiar with the game, you're going to have a hard time getting good shots of game action. This is perhaps more true of American football than it might be for other sports.

    If this is the case you might be better off not focusing so much on the action on the field and instead just shoot the "atmosphere" -- e.g. players and coaches on the sidelines, cheerleaders, fans, etc. This might change the calculus of what lens(es) you carry, since you'll probably want something wider than the P100-300. You could probably get great results with anything in the 12-50mm range (perhaps even the O75, if you have that gem).
     
  7. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    This is something I have been thinking about as I know there is alot of stop/starts in American football, but I do not know the full rules so it is going to be one heck of an education for me photography wise and learning the game itself. I believe the game in the UK is ameteur or maybe semi-pro, so it might be a bit slower but with longer playing periods (I hope).

    It will be daytime. Someone has giving me the good advice of do not compare the game with our game of football (soccer I believe you call it :wink:), but with cricket instead as you watch it in the same way, that way you see the tatics being deployed and why.
     
  8. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Actually, sometimes you get lucky:

    6258305869_46a0425763_b.
    D7K_8516 by b_rubenstein, on Flickr

    I was visiting my son who is off at college. It's not a sports college, so the players aren't real fast or big. I shot this loose with a D7000 & Tamaron 70-300, and cropped afterwards to make it look I knew what I was doing.