This is a serious photographer type article, but a lot of amateur photographers are into taking pictures at sports games too, especially those with children. Sport photography is not the easiest medium of photography to master. With fast action and a lot going on an inexperienced photographer will produce unsatisfactory blurry images or just boring ones with too much grass and no colors and no emphasis on action. This article is designed to give expert tips to the more experienced and a basic outline for the amateur. I will be covering the different techniques, lighting, lenses and camera settings.
Close shots are important, sport is very physical and pictures should reflect that, if you are photographing a contact sport try and get a shot of an intestine moment like a tackle or intercept. There is a lot of emotion involved in sport as well, the exhilaration of scoring a goal, the pain and sadness of a loss. Try to emphasize these by capturing expressions and body language and linking them together. There are limited colors on a sport field so try in include grass, sky and players uniforms which are almost always contrasting colors. Sport is fast and action packed, so show that through your pictures, try panning your camera with a moving player or ball, with a bit of practice you can achieve a shot in which the player or ball is completely in focus and the background is blurred .
Not much to speak of here, try to keep the sun behind you to light the players well, because fast pictures need lots of light. A flash can be useful for freezing action but can give an undesirable effect. Also, if you are photographing a night game be sure to set your white balance or else your shots will look alien and tungsten. This also applies to using the correct film in a film camera.
Close shots are important, especially on players faces and there intense actions. A zoomed in lens or a telephoto is best, especially a telephoto since you can adjust the zoom while shooting.
These vary broadly, but the main rule is to try and get a clear shot, this relies on two factors: aperture and shutter speed, achieving a balance between the two is important. With an aperture that is to wide, some of the picture will be blurry, which is not commonly desired. However, the wider the aperture, the faster you can set the shutter speed, if the shutter speed is too slow then your subjects will be blurred and unclear.
Now you have no more excuses, so get out there and take some sports photos.