DSLR or Mirrorless for Sports Photography?

The battle between DSLR and mirrorless cameras is one that may never truly end. Loyalists are found in heaps on both sides and have very strong arguments as to why they prefer one or the other type of camera for their needs.

However, many sports photographers still maintain that DSLRs are better than mirrorless cameras for capturing fast action reliably. Let’s take a look at some of the major differences between the two kinds so you can decide which one you prefer.

Autofocus

The first and foremost reason why sports photographers prefer shooting with DSLRs is the faster autofocus. Mirrorless cameras have really caught up in recent years but there aren’t enough of them yet to overthrow DSLRs as the autofocus champions.

However, mirrorless cameras do make it easier to autofocus more reliably in some situations when you’re using live view on the LCD screen. This is where many DSLRs start to slow down.

Weight

If DSLRs have their fast autofocus going for them, mirrorless ones have their lighter weight and convenience as a feather in their cap. Mirrorless cameras are much smaller and easier to carry than competing DSLRs, which means it is much easier for photographers to move around when taking photos of sporting events.

Viewfinders

DSLRs have optical viewfinders, which reflect the scene in front of the camera exactly as the human eye would see it. Mirrorless cameras have electronic viewfinders, which show the scene as it is going to be captured with the camera settings at the time. Both have their pros and cons, of course. Optical viewfinders are great in daylight but fail in darker scenes, and they have no overlays on them to help you take a shot quickly. Electronic viewfinders are great for nailing the exposure and focus right from the viewfinder but can look very noisy at night and their quality varies from camera to camera.

High-Speed Shooting

Mirrorless cameras have really made strides when it comes to improving the speed of continuous shooting. The recently announced Sony alpha 9 can shoot up to 20 frames per second without any blackout. This means you can essentially playback your photos and end up with a 20fps video file. That is fast and makes cameras like this one great for sports photography.

Whether you choose a DSLR or a mirrorless camera for sports photography depends on your preferences. If you want the best autofocus, the widest range of lenses, and an optical viewfinder, then go for a DSLR. If on the other hand, you would rather have a smaller camera to carry, an EVF for an accurate portrayal of your settings, and crazy fast shooting speeds, then a mirrorless camera might be more suited to you.

How to Keep the Sky from Blowing Out

One of the things you’ll have to deal with while shooting golf events is the temperamental weather. While you may encounter some unpleasant weather situations like thunderstorms during golf games, most of the time the weather will be nice and sunny. However, on a sunny day you might end up with photos where the highlights are completely blown out and the sky looks like a white ceiling instead.

Use a Fast Shutter

One of the easiest ways to retain detail in the sky on a sunny or slightly overcast day is to use a higher shutter speed. You must be using a fast shutter while covering a game anyway, but increasing the speed even faster may lead to better looking skies.

Use a Narrow Aperture

In order to keep the highlights from blowing out, try using a narrower aperture on your lens. This will not only reduce the amount of light getting into your camera but will also give you a wider depth of field, ensuring that most of the action you’re capturing is in focus.

Use an ND Filter

For those times when even the fastest shutter speed on your camera is not enough to give you a balanced exposure, consider using an ND filter. This will block some of the light from getting into your camera without degrading image quality or introducing any unwanted artefacts. An ND filter doesn’t come cheap though, so you can get a little creative and use a DIY solution as well.

Have to Cover a Golf Game at Night?

So we have talked about how you can cover golfing events like a pro, but a very important point to discuss is what kind of gear you need to use during a game at night. Night photography, obviously, brings very different challenges from those you have in the daytime, so investing in the right kind of equipment is vital for the purpose.

Full Frame, Fast Cameras

The first thing you need is a camera that performs well in low light. You certainly don’t need a very expensive full frame camera, but this is one case in which a more expensive camera might actually make a noticeable difference in the result. Cameras that perform will in low light have high usable ISO ranges, quick and dependable autofocus systems, and big modern sensors.

Fast Telephoto Lens

After you have bought your camera, it is time to invest in a fast telephoto lens. Telephoto lenses are great at capturing the shot from a long distance, allowing you to focus more on the moments to capture rather than moving about the whole time. The lens needs to have a wide aperture as well, at least f/2.8, so that the sensor can get the maximum possible amount of light.

Image Stabilization

Shooting action at night requires you to use a fast shutter speed, but even with a wide aperture on your lens and good high ISO range on your camera, you might still need to use a less than ideal shutter speed. For this, you should always invest in lenses that come with image stabilization so that you can easily take photos without always relying on a tripod or worrying that the subject will get blurred with a slight movement.

 

These, according to me, are three of the most important things to know about photographing a gold game at night. Additional elements like flashes and tripods are also helpful, but not without a good set of basic photographic equipment.

 

How to take Stunning Photos of a Golf Course

Golf courses are some of the most beautiful sporting venues in the world. The sloping greens, thick trees, and the blue waters make these venues nothing short of breathtaking. So before you go to cover a golfing event, you should do justice to the course itself. Here are some tips to help you take great photos of a golf course:

  • Plan Your Trip

Before doing anything, you need to properly plan your trip to the golf course. Don’t shoot the course on the day there is a game planned. Go a few days before the game so that you have the course to yourself without any distractions. Contact the concerned people and take permission to visit the course before the game.

  • Timing is Key

The best time to cover a golf course, in my opinion, is daybreak. Although this window of time is very short, the atmosphere that is created at a golf course during daybreak is hard to beat.

  • Have a Prior Look

Before you go the course for your shoot, you should know which points you want to photograph and which angles you want to cover. For this purpose, it is helpful to visit the course a day before the actual shoot. You won’t have much time on the actual shoot to use that daybreak time period, so being pragmatic is helpful.

  • Get Your Gear Ready

The day before the shoot, make sure everything you need is ready. Pick a lens you want to use, preferably wide angle, and clean it properly before attaching to the camera body. Check your camera sensor for dust. Make sure you have enough memory in your memory cards to take the required photos.

You should also pack a tripod for your shoot to stabilize your camera. No one likes blurry landscape photos. It could also be helpful to have a remote shutter release to avoid even the slightest of camera shake while pressing the shutter button.

  • Take HDR Photos

One important thing to remember while taking golf course photos is HDR. HDR photos combine multiple images at different exposure levels into one image, leading to a well-exposed picture. This is especially helpful if there is a noticeable difference between the light and the shadows on the course. A non-HDR photo will either be overexposed or underexposed, so it’s better to take multiple photos of the same thing at different settings and combine them into an HDR image with something like the excellent Aurora HDR.

  • Capture the Light and Shadows

Some of the best golf course photos showcase a contrast of light and shadow. Make sure your photos cover the putting green, with light falling on its sloping formations. Using a slower shutter speed is also helpful if the weather is windy, as this allows you to use the moving clouds to get a dynamic sky.

How to Cover a Golf Game like a Pro

Photographing a sports event is not an easy job. Other than requiring some good gear, you need to be quick and methodical in order to get the perfect shot every time. You also need to have a clear understanding of the basics of photography and your camera so that you can be ready to take the photo at the right time.

Sports photographers have to be vigilant and perfectly focused during a game. It’s important that you don’t let the loud crowds, blazing fast action, and a million distractions get to you if you are covering something like baseball or football. However, I find it even harder to cover the kinds of sports that require a lot of patience and quiet, on the part of both the players and the spectators. One such kind of sport, the one that I am enthusiastic about, is golf.

Let’s take a look at some of my most important tips if you ever want to shoot a golfing event like a pro.

First, Respect the Game

Golf is a sport that requires the players to focus. Before each hit, they need to have a clear mind if they want to make the hole. You can then understand why it’s important for a photographer to stay out of the players’ way as much as possible. It doesn’t help a player to have a camera flash lighting up his face while he’s swinging his club.

In order to keep maintain my presence at the course to a minimum, I tend to stay at an arm’s length from the ropes. I also try my best to stay out of the players’ line of sight. It’s better to change the angle of your shot a little than to be a distraction to the golfer.

Another important thing to remember is to stay in your position until everyone in the group has taken their shot. Just because the player you are currently focusing on has taken the shot doesn’t mean that every player is done with theirs. It’s better to be patient than become the reason for someone mishitting.

Next, Understand How to Take a Photo

Now that we have the ethical side of golf photography out of the way, let’s see how you can improve your photos:

  • Angles are the Key:

One of the most important things to keep in mind while shooting a golf game is the angle of your shot. Make sure that everything that contributes to the particular image you’re taking is in the frame. If you are trying to capture a player’s hit, it could help to ensure that both the player and the flag are in your frame.

  • Try to get some Height:

A golf course, other than being a battlefield amongst players, is a work of art. The flowing lines, the flags propped up in the holes, the ever so beautiful greens, it’s all what makes golf such a relaxing sport for so many. Because of this very reason, to create this sense of presence in the minds of the viewers, I try to get to the highest point possible to take my photos. If you can’t get to a height, I would suggest investing in a drone to take some aerial photos.

  • Invest in Gear

Golf photography, much like any other type of sport photography, requires good camera gear if you want to get to a pro level. Most important, at least to me, is to have a fast wide angle lens. Something like a 16-35mm will be a good choice as it gives you the choice between an ultra-wide angle and a decent ‘normal’ field of view. Also try getting a full-frame camera for generally better photos. None of this means that you can’t take photos with more modest equipment though. I started with an APS-C body and a kit lens, and then gradually upgraded. So even if you don’t have the best camera and lenses, go out there and start shooting anyway.

  • Learn how to Process Photos

In order to be a successful gold photographer, you need to know how to use tools like Lightroom and Photoshop for post processing your photos. No matter how good you are with your camera, a lot of the times you have to add something more to your photos in order for them to be published. Give yourself some time to learn the art of post processing. Shoot in RAW so that you can get the best image possible out of your file. Post processing is an art in itself, and it’s always better to start practicing right away so you’re ready to send out some amazing photos when the time comes.

 

So there you have it. These are some of my most important tips for anyone trying to get started with gold photography. Incorporate these into your skill, and you’ll be able to take professional-grade photos in no time!

What you should about golf Photography

Actually sports photography is belonging to the genre of photography which is covering all types of the sports games. In most of the cases specialized sport photography is branch of the photojournalism. According to the nutshell, sports photography is quiet difficult one and there are huge numbers of the sports photos are published in the newspaper. Actually golf photography is providing plenty of opportunities to the photographers and people must follow some techniques in the golf photography. In fact location is most important in the sports photography and in a big event professional photographers are allowed to shoot VIP shots. The golf photography is fully completing the follow via player watches and swing. This kind of the photography is showing the trendy and modest approach of the golf game. Reaction shot is playing a vital role in all kinds of the sports photography. Before taking the picture, people must decide what type of picture you are looking to take.

In a modern world many of the golf photographers are willing to follow the NYIP three guidelines. However photographer must follow some tips and techniques while taking the golf game. A perfect golf photo can take during the practice rounds which is sufficient to capture the close shots. You should choose the best and high quality of camera to capture the golf shots. You might also take the shot which made by the big star. Action photos are playing important role in sports portraits. If you are a photographer, you should know how to capture the golf action. Backlighting is crucial and you might aware of the background. Without having knowledge is quiet difficult to capture the excellent golf sports photography so try to know about the techniques involving in the golf photography that is useful to take the excellent golf photography.

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