sports photography

Sports Photography: Tips for Taking Sports Photos That Look Great on Display

Sports photography requires knowledge of the game, anticipation and a mastery of light. Capturing moments that convey action, emotion and drama is an art form that can be achieved with some practice and understanding of the fundamentals. In this article, we will explore tips for taking sports photos that look great on display as well as other techniques to help bring out the best in your shots. We will also discuss ways to evaluate potential locations so you can take advantage of natural lighting conditions. With these strategies in place, you’ll be ready to capture those eye-catching images that are sure to impress viewers.

Know The Sport

Sports photography is an art that requires a keen understanding of the sport being photographed. It is important for photographers to have knowledge of the rules of the game, player positions and strategies in order to capture the action at its peak. Additionally, it helps if they are familiar with key players and their tendencies on the field or court. By having this background information, photographers will be better able to anticipate where certain plays may occur and be ready to take advantage of them when they do happen.

It is also beneficial for sports photographers to know what equipment they should use during any given event. Cameras equipped with faster shutter speeds can help freeze moments that would otherwise be missed due to blurring caused by motion. Longer lenses allow more detail in shots taken from far away while wide-angle lenses can provide an immersive feel as well as create unique compositions. Knowing which lens best suits each situation allows photographers to make decisions quickly so as not to miss out on any critical moments during games and competitions.

When shooting sporting events, timing is everything; knowing when athletes start sprinting or jump up for blocks can mean capturing something special instead of missing out entirely on important passes or pivotal dunks. As such, having an eye for details like these become paramount when attempting to take great photographs suitable for display purposes.

Gear And Settings

Having a good understanding of the sport and its rules is essential for taking memorable sports photos. Equally important, though, is having the right gear and settings to capture that action. When selecting camera equipment and setting up those cameras it is important to consider several factors such as lighting conditions, distance from the subject, lens type and speed of shutter.

Lighting can have an impact on both the quality and quantity of photos taken at a sporting event. Good lighting helps ensure clear images with vibrant colors while poor lighting makes capturing any worthwhile shots more difficult. Additionally, time of day plays into this factor; shooting during mid-day will be much brighter than night games or indoor arenas. Different lenses are also useful depending on the specific situation. High powered telephoto lenses allow photographers to get close-up shots without being near the game itself whereas wider angle lenses provide better coverage when photographing larger scenes like entire stadiums or playing fields.

Finally, shutter speed should be adjusted for different situations in order to accurately capture motion. For example, high speeds help freeze fast moving subjects like runners or divers while longer exposures create effects like blurred backgrounds or streaks from lights during nighttime events. Adjustments should be made accordingly based on individual shot requirements and light levels available at each venue. Having proper knowledge about sports photography equipment paired with an understanding of how the sport works allows photographers to take amazing pictures which look great on display


Sports photography relies heavily on composition to capture the action compellingly. In order to achieve an effective image, photographers should consider several key elements of composition. First and foremost is positioning within a frame; this involves visualizing the subject in relation to other objects or people in the shot. Utilizing negative space around the primary focus point can help distinguish it from its surroundings, while also adding context to the scene. It’s important not to overlook any contextual features that could further convey the story of what is taking place inside the photograph.

The use of leading lines can also be beneficial when composing a sports photo as they naturally guide viewers’ eyes towards certain points in an image. Lines such as goal posts or sidelines provide directionality which allows for greater immersion into a given moment. Moreover, these linear forms are perfect for creating depth and perspective by helping direct attention away or towards certain aspects of an environment.

Finally, adjusting camera settings before capturing images will ensure desired results come out looking professional and clear. Choosing appropriate shutter speeds with respect to motion blur can make all the difference between a good picture and one that stands out from others in its class; fast shutters freeze moving subjects while slower ones create intentional blurring effects for dynamic shots. Selecting wide angle lenses allow photographers to get closer than usual, enabling them to take full advantage of their available space and accurately portray their subjects without distortion.


Lighting is a key component of successful sports photography. To achieve the best results, photographers must be aware of the available light and adjust their settings accordingly. When shooting outdoors, natural light can provide excellent illumination; however, using flash may help to capture fast-moving subjects more effectively. Additionally, when shooting in stadiums or arenas with artificial lighting, special considerations should be taken into account such as white balance adjustments for different types of lighting sources. The use of creative techniques like panning and off-camera flashes can also help add impactful effects to photos. Understanding how to work with various kinds of light will lead to better exposure choices that result in stunning images ready for display.


Once the photos have been taken, it is time for post-processing. Post-processing can be used to enhance and refine images to create stunning shots that look great on display. It involves manipulating various elements of an image such as color, contrast, sharpness, brightness and more.

The most important considerations in post-processing sports photography are cropping, exposure and noise reduction. Cropping allows you to eliminate unnecessary elements from a photo while still maintaining its composition. Exposure adjustments should be used carefully since too much or too little may result in washed out details or unappealing shadows. Lastly, noise reduction helps remove any digital graininess that could potentially degrade the overall quality of your photos.

When done properly, post-processing can bring out the best qualities of a photograph by making sure all necessary elements are present and balanced. A skilled photographer will know how to use these tools effectively to make their pictures stand out amongst others with similar subject matter. With careful attention given to each step along the way from lighting to post-processing, photographers can achieve beautiful results worth displaying proudly.

Displaying Your Photos

Displaying sports photos can be a great way to commemorate an event or showcase the skill of a particular athlete. There are many options when it comes to displaying your photographs, which should be chosen based upon the budget and available space. For instance, smaller prints can be framed and hung on walls as part of a collage or gallery, while larger prints can also be framed and displayed in prominent places such as hallways or lobbies. Alternatively, canvas wraps are becoming increasingly popular for displaying sports photos due to their capacity for showcasing detail and color with ease. Additionally, large format digital displays offer dynamic presentations that move beyond traditional frames and albums. Depending on the nature of the photograph, metallic prints may provide longevity over regular paper-based prints because they resist fading better than glossy finishes. Ultimately, understanding how best to display sports photos is essential for capturing memories that will last forever.


Sports photography can be a fun and rewarding hobby or profession. Knowing the sport, having the right gear, understanding composition and light, as well as post-processing are all important elements in taking great sports photos that look amazing on display. With some practice and experimentation with different settings, lenses, camera angles, lighting techniques and post processing methods, it is possible to capture stunning action shots of any sporting event. By following these tips for capturing the action of sports photography, photographers will have the knowledge necessary to create high quality images suitable for displaying proudly.

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