Welcome to the last installment in our series of basketball photography. We went over some of the areas you need to do prior to the game. We also looked at the gear and the technical aspect of the shoot. Now, it is time to look into helpful tips to keep mental notes of while you are behind the camera.
Do not hold back with burst mode
If you are shooting a portrait of your loved ones, you can do with or two photos. You even have time to call their attention, countdown from 3 before taking the shot. In sports photography especially basketball, you do not have that luxury of time when shooting an actual game. Players will not stop and wait for you to get your shot.
This is why you need to shoot in burst mode and do not be stingy with it, at least at the beginning. As you get your rhythm, you will be able to time the movements better and be able to anticipate when to press down and when to let go. This gives you a higher chance of getting the shot you want during a game.
Shoot as if you do not have time to edit
In basketball photography, you need to shoot in burst but this is not your license to “spray and pray.” You still need to make sure that your framing and lighting is on point. When shooting, approach it as if you do not have time to edit after. Once you turn pro and shoot for media outlets, you will be expected to provide a quick turnaround with your output. The less editing you need to make, the more efficient you will be.
“Wala sa pana, nasa Indian ‘yan” BUT you need the right gear
I already mentioned this in my previous post but I feel the need to discuss it a bit more. When you get your first gear (whatever it may be), use it as much as you can and test its limits. This is the only way to know if you need to upgrade or not. There are times when you hear about new gear and you are suddenly convinced you need it. Remember that flashing new gear does not guarantee great results BUT having the appropriate gear for your requirement makes a lot of difference. Photography is an expensive business and an even more expensive hobby. You need to time your upgrades with your need and more importantly, your funds.
Mental preparation with a shot list
Basketball photography is not new and when you look up images online, you will have a lot of visual pegs to choose from. If you are just starting, it would be great to save a few of those images you like on your phone and try to get the same shots during the game. As you do this, you are training your mind with a shot list that you need to capture during a game. As you shoot more, you will get used to your list and maybe add a few that you like. Over time, this will come in like a second nature to you.
First in, last out
Like the captain of a ship, pilots, and even team leaders in the military, being the first one in and last one out can give you great photos. You get the chance to snap some photos of players lacing up their shoes, doing shoot arounds, or even having a candid moment with their team. After the game, there could be a lot of emotions players will show only after the final buzzer. It can be on of exhaustion from playing, a grin for sinking the winning shot, or that stare out in the open for missing a crucial basket. These can make great photos.
Always look through your camera
In basketball photography, anything can happen in an instant. There was a time during a PBA game where a man in spiderman costume ran down the court. This caught even professional photographers by surprise and became spectatoes. They only realized that they need to take the shot. This is one of the reasons why it pays to look through your camera often. And always keep your finger on your shutter.
Wow! This concludes our three-part series on basketball photography in the Philippines. If you have any questions, comments, let me know! Happy shooting!