Ryu: Sucking in the details

Hello. It’s me again.
It’s been a slow month so far as I didn’t get the red carpet treatment for the 1st leg of the semi-final of the Champions League. I’m crossing my fingers to get into the return leg, but then the scores being what they are after the 1st leg, I don’t know if it’s even worth it. But then it beats staying at home and not doing anything. Yes, that includes shooting basketball here in Berlin.

Since our beloved Jewish rodeo captain gave you the “details” assignment for “You Win”, I thought I take up the challenge myself. Since the Alba(tross) Berlin was doing their thing at O2 World, I thought this would be a perfect platform for the assignment + getting better at shooting indoor sports. Because as you all know, I suck at shooting indoor sports.

Capturing details in sports is not very easy. If you’re one of the many who are happy with freezing action and having those pictures proudly presented on the refrigerator door, you’ve got to get yourself ready for some brain washing. Details in sports photography, according to my interpretation is a matter of macro and micro. Macro sports photography is the big stuff. The action, the joy and the sadness, and an image that encompasses everything without being specific. On the other hand, micro sports photography is a drop of sweat, an odd face in the crowd, and an element that stands out from the rest of the image in the frame. Therefore I didn’t really see this assignment as getting as close as possible to the subject or zooming into the subject. My decision was to find something odd or peculiar within the frame and make sure it is obvious enough so anyone can see it.

The shoes. I thought it would be interesting to shoot just shoes and get a shallow enough depth of field to concentrate on just one shoe. I don’t think I did particularly well here, but I just want you to know that was my intention. This was during the warmup before the game and warmup is a regular occurrence, I will try to shoot this composition again. To me, this would not have qualified as a “details” picture if the aperture was at f8 or above as more than a shoe will be in focus. Shoe is better than shoes.

Shoes

The face. I wanted to see some sweat, but there was none to be found. Which means they probably weren’t seriously warming up. Those lazy professionals. But when they were stretching, I noticed that some of them were making a face. So I tried to get as close as possible to get their expression. What’s important here is not to get too close. Because the closer you get, the only thing you’ll have left will be his face. This is problematic as there is no context within the frame. It is useless unless you are using this photo as part of a series. But if you too shoot too wide, the face will not be evident and will get lost in the chaos of a warm up session. Not easy, aye?

Face

The arms (and hands). We get too caught up in shooting the dude (dudette) with the ball or the person who is the conventional protagonist in your frame. But what if you take a step back and look at it from another perspective? Although this picture like the shoes is less than perfect, I wanted to show that there are things that are happening outside of a conventional shot. Here, I wanted to capture the shoving, pushing, and getting into position whilst getting the ball handler in the background I did fail, but you know what I mean. I’d like to further explore this in my next game alongside my failed foot fetish shots.

Hands

Details. Essential if you want to take the next step in sports photography. There is a reason why Getty people get paid more than you do and we’re not talking about their equipment. Those fools know what to look for and they are always looking for details in their shots (or not, depending on which Getty photographer we are talking about). For some of you detail spotting will come easy, but for some this will be an uphill battle. But so be it. It wont’ be fun if we give you easy stuff, would it? You still got about 2 weeks of this, so rack your brains and give us some of them details.

Ryu

*Please Read Below*
Big Lens Fast Shutter is funded solely from the pockets of Ryu Voelkel and Matt Cohen. If you think the information we give you about sports photography is making you a better sports photographer and as a result a well balanced human being, please show us your appreciation by supporting us on Patreon and send some of your hard earned dollars/euros/Brixton pounds our way. People who donate will be mentioned on our next show unless you want to remain anonymous. Thank you for supporting us and may the force of sports photography be with you, always.

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