Vertical Shot for Sports Photography

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Andy Roddick Serving at SAP Open Tennis

After yesterday’s post, I searched online for Sports Photography and found a good reference at I wish I read this before I went to the tennis match. I have not finished the article on about Sports Photography, one take-away is to shoot vertically.

Depending on your composition, many sports photos are shot vertically. Humans are vertical people and if you are trying to get a good shot of your favorite baseball player cranking a home run, you want to turn the camera to a vertical format. They are taller than they are wide.

To fill the frame with a person playing a sport, they fit the frame better while holding the camera vertically. Even in a tight head shot, it fits better vertically. A lot of sports shots, in particular if it is of an individual is shot vertically.

Most of the photos I took at SAP Open were horizontal. I did manage to turn the camera vertical for some, but it totally makes sense. Especially, when they are serving. This shot of Andy Roddick serving could have composed better: Bring it down to exclude audience and instead include more tennis court. Faces in the audience are distracting. Andy does not toss the ball high, so it could have worked. On the other hand, Steffi tosses her ball much higher, so when she was serving, it would make sense to keep room above her to make sure to capture the tennis ball.

I need to practice holding the camera vertically. To me, it does not seem natural to hold the camera vertically and I feel there would be more camera shake if I held it vertically. But I am sure it is matter of practicing and getting used to it. The vertical shots should work better to capture running events as well.

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On February 28, 2013
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