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How to Shoot Action on a Budget

A Little League pitcher delivers during a game

A Little League pitcher delivers during a gameThe thing that got me into sports photography is high school band. Before you chew too much on that non-sequitur, let me explain. See, I’m a marching band instructor with a small high school in Maryland. I wanted to make images of the kids performing and rehearsing for our various media outlets, and I wanted them to be dynamic and eye-catching, and I wanted them to look like the professional photos of sports and action that I saw in the magazines. I amassed all the camera gear I had (an iPhone) and literally all of my photographic knowledge (you point it at the thing you want to take a picture of and press the button, right?) and set out to make the perfect action shot.

I failed miserably. 

I know- it’s shocking that the patented combination of no equipment and no knowledge didn’t yield professional-quality results. But I knew I could fix the lack of knowledge. Photography became my obsession, and I would read and watch every how-to, every tutorial, and every workshop I could get my hands on (including many of the ones on this site, thanks Chelsea and Tony!) I became very interested in shooting sports and action, but as I read about those fields I became more and more dismayed. Often I would hear how the type of photography I was most interested in was also the one that demanded the most from camera gear, and thus quickly became one of the most expensive.

Stubborn as I am, I thought that I could still approach the quality of pro action and sports shots without the crazy investment in gear. I spent about eight months doing just that. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading How to Shoot Action on a Budget