Football Tips

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 7200, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

Here are just a few tips to help you get better football pictures this fall.

First arrive early and setup your gear for shooting sports. I recommend using the AUTO ISO setting the shutter speed to 1/2000 and having the range of the ISO from lowest to the highest that your camera recommends.

The Nikon D4 recommend ISO 100 – 12800 and if you need to for certain situation you can push this ISO as high as 204800, but anything above 12800 you will notice significant levels of noise. But sometimes that is all you can do on some High School football fields.

I would also use Custom White Balance using the ExpoDisc. I recommend setting the white balance with your shutter speed below 1/100 so that you get a more accurate reading. Then set your shutter speed to 1/2000. The Sodium Vapor lights used at some many venues has the same problem as fluorescent lights–they are pulsing rather than a constant light source.

Link to my Nikon D4 Settings for Sports

 

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 4000, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

With the cameras all set the next thing is you really need to pick a team to feature for the moment. It is very difficult to cover both teams at the same time. When you pick a team then try and stay in front of the direction they a facing when they line up.

I love to use longer lenses like the 600mm and shoot from an end zone.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/1600

In this photo I have been able to capture the Titans defense pursing the quarterback.  So the caption works really well for this photo.

St. Pius X Golden Lions #18 QB Reed Egan looks for open man down field while Blessed Trinity Titans #74 Matthew Castner and #16 JD Bertrand pursue him Friday night August 28, 2015 in Roswell, GA.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 5000, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

Blessed Trinity Titans #16 JD Bertrand out runs St. Pius X Golden Lions #8 Cameron Fannon for first touchdown Friday night August 28, 2015 in Roswell, GA.

I was able to get this break away play because I was out in front of where they are going and not where they have been.

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/1250

The other thing about being down field is the background for the most part is a lot cleaner than the side lines.

For this last photo: Blessed Trinity Titans #13 Conor Davis looks for some running room while being pursued by St. Pius X Golden Lions #2 Winston O’Striker Friday night August 28, 2015 in Roswell, GA.

Try to be in a position where you are seeing the faces of your team rather than the backs of their helmets.

Best Advice for Football

Learn all you can about the game, the team and the plays they like to run. You should be as prepared as the visiting team coaches are for the game to be able to anticipate the plays so you can be in position to capture the play as it unfolds. You cannot get consistent good photos from always reacting to what is happening. You get great results from anticipating.