This past Sunday I joined the boys and girls FCA flag football teams for their weekly practice. I was taking pictures, they were working out. This marked the second outing with my new sports lens and I had been reading up on football photography tips that I wanted to try out after the first practice I attended.
At the end of the three hours that I was there I snapped off 342 photos. A lot more were keepers this time around thanks to two simple tips I picked up. First, I set the auto focus to the center point which meant the camera would only focus on things in the dead center of the frame. Before I was getting lots of background objects near the edge of the frame in focus leaving the action blurry and out of focus. Since I was trying to fill the whole frame with the action, only having a center focus point didn’t bother me. The other thing I did was bump up my ISO speed from 100 to 200. This allowed me to use a smaller aperture which resulted in a deeper depth of field. In English, this means more of the subject would be in focus which decreased my chances of getting something blurry.
Besides football there was also a cute chihuahua that was literally the size of my hand. It provided for a few good dog shots to break up the monotony of sports photos. In between water breaks I also took some leaf macros from a small, nearby tree.
The worst part of taking so many photos is processing them all. I quickly rushed through them in Picasa resorting to just cropping and sharpening before pushing them out on the web. I have no idea how others find the time to carefully tweak their images in Photoshop. Picasa is by far my favorite photo app because it is so simple to use and quick to get through a ton of photos. Google really needs to get Picasa onto the Mac because iPhoto is a pain to use.