Here in Melbourne, Australia we are in Covid lock down number 4, giving me plenty of time to reconnect with my love-hate relationship with this blog! Prior to lock down it was a very busy time for shooting basketball, football, tennis and hockey. Through a local basketball club, I have established relationships with other sports photographers who are looking for some advice on shooting basketball. Check out this post 5 Tips for Photographing Basketball. Below are more suggestions for photographing basketball.
Tip #1 – Include the Ball in Your Shot
A basketball – like most ball sports – revolves around a ball. As a general comment, an image that includes a ball will be more interesting than one without it. The ball provides context and focus for the action taking place around it. Try to keep the ball visible in most of your drawing.
Tip #2 – Player Faces Make Pictures More Interesting
As a general rule in sports photography, an image where you can see the faces of the players will be more interesting than the backs of the players. For this reason I usually sit at the opposite end of the basketball court and aim to create an image of the team running towards me, where I can easily see their faces. Side shots can also be interesting, but if you want to see the players’ faces more consistently, shoot from the other end of the field.
Tip #3 – Look for Emotions
Basketball is a great game for capturing action and emotion because it all takes place in a confined space. The display of emotion is quite predictable in a close match. You can almost guarantee that there will be a lot of emotion on display in the early stages of important play, and in the closing stages of close play.
Look for emotion on the bench and between players.
Tip #4 – Experiment with Slow Shutter Speeds
Basketball is a fast, high-intensity game that’s ideal for fast shutter speeds to freeze action. Once you have lots of these images, experiment with slow shutter speeds to create unique and interesting images. I’ve typically seen shutter speeds around 1/20, but the exact speed you choose will depend on the age and speed of the player you’re shooting. Slide along the action as it unfolds. Expect to have lots of ‘failures’ with this technique, and some unique winners.
Tip #5 – Consider Your Background
It’s most common to focus on the subject of your image, and easily forget about your background. Basketball can have many different backgrounds – crowds, signs, blank walls, other games – so consider your background and the story you want to tell.
Thanks for reading more suggestions for shooting basketball. Happy shooting.