The 12 Best Photography Tips for Taking Killer Sports Photos

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Sports Illustrated photographers make their jobs look easy, but a surprising amount of know-how goes into capturing an athletic event. Follow our 12 quick tips to get the same type of results that the pros do.

Photo credit: Jacob Hannah

Sports Illustrated photographers make their jobs look easy, but a surprising amount of know-how goes into capturing an athletic event. Follow our 12 quick tips to get the same type of results that the pros do.

1. Use a DSLR or high-end mirrorless camera


Credit: Tom’s Guide

A high-quality camera is essential for sports photography. Many sporting events happen at night or indoors, which means you’ll need to freeze action in low light. DSLRs are ideal because they have excellent image sensors that can produce clear, low-noise images at high ISO ranges. DSLRs also allow you to attach telephoto lenses that can outperform any built-in lens on a point-and-shoot camera. If using a DSLR isn’t possible, a good mirrorless camera is a decent backup option.

2. Get close to the action

Photo credit: Steven Welch

When photographing sports, closer is almost always better. Shooting from the sidelines is ideal, but if that’s not an option, try to sit as close to the action as you can. Remember to stay alert and keep both eyes open while taking pictures. Many photographers have been injured by athletes crashing into them during a play.

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