Last weekend I tried taking some sports photography at my local Bracknell Town Football Club.
My equipment was a Canon 60d, 100-400mm f4-5.6 L lens, manfrotto mono pod and my Sandisk pro SD cards. It's not the first time I've shot football as I have taken photos at Reading FC. Normally I would borrow a camera and lens from Michael at www.rammellphotography.com which allows me to the have a 70-200m f2.8 L Mk2 lens plus an extra body for closer action shots. This time he was on a photo assignment and required his equipment.
I arrived 25mins before kick off and set up. There was heavy cloud which produced snow during the match and no flood lights. The sun did pop out once during the match which helped with my slow glass, (Canon 100-400mm f4-5.6) trying to keep a fast shutter speed of 1/1000 and keeping my ISO down was next to impossible..
The game kicked off at 3pm and even at this time I was on manual at 1/1000th to freeze the action 5.6f at ISO 3200 , high speed continuous, Al focus. With the changing light during the match,
my settings were between 1/1000th f5.6 ISO 3200 - 1/640 f5.6 ISO 5000. I couldn't go below 1/640 because of subject blur would happen and my ISO was 5000 , which is the camera's max and produces noise but the photos are still usable. Also, I was going to try some panning shots, but this was a semi-final game and I needed to be ready for a goal, and then player celebrations, so a high shutter speed to freeze the actions was the order of the day. If I had 2 cameras, I would have set up one of them to do this.
As you can see from the photos below, I tried to include some of the manager's reactions along with the player action.
It does show me that, even with prosumer gear, you can come up with some respectable shots, so never let your gear hold you back from trying something different, it's the photographer that presses the button and not the camera.
Saying that, having a Canon 1D X and a 400mm f2.8 would be nice for the increase camera and lens performance, but for my level and affordability I can produce usable photos with my equipment.
Get our there and try something different with the equipment you have...
Bracknell Town 0-2 Aston Clinton
On twitter as @neilgrahamphoto