Back in 2010, I bought my first DSLR camera (a Canon 1000D) and photography became my first serious hobby. I love photography, I joined photo walks and even met some people online and organized our own photo shoots. Newbie photographers tend to start with the basics and simple genres like landscape photography and portraiture. The common mistake is that most hobbyist photographers stayed with the simple genres, especially portraiture (which also led to extensive learning of photoshop and photo retouching). I’m also guilty of this, I never really tried other forms of photography, just stick with two genres because it’s easier to take photos of someone or something that doesn’t move.
Fast forward to 2013, it was the time when DSLR photography trend went down in favor of smartphone photography and social media photo sharing. It was also the year that I started my venture to the running scene. From photo walks to fun runs then.
Time skip again to June 2016, I was invited by 7-Eleven Philippines to join them in Phuket, Thailand as a blogger and photographer, and that marks the first time I entered sports photography. To be honest, it was a bit hard, I wasn’t familiar with tracking modes or tracking focus of my camera and I don’t really have the right gear for sports photography (I used a Sony NEX-5n with an 18-55mm kit lens). But, before we get into my photos, I’m gonna share my opinion about sports photography first.
That photo of Usain Bolt from this year’s Rio Olympics is one of the best and most popular sports photos ever taken. The motion blur shows the sensation of speed, Usain Bolt’s smile and that thumbs up emanates emotion, showing the viewers that he’s doing great and having a good time. The runners behind him shows a different emotion, they’re running hard, doing the best they can, but, they’re struggling against a superior opponent. To sum it all up, the timing, the emotions of the runners, the motion blur, and the composition is what made it a great photo. The photographer, Cameron Spencer, also used the best gear for the event, he shot it with a Canon 1Dx Mark II with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. The photo is so good, it became one of the most popular and funniest photo memes (and every time I look at the photo, I see Bolt as road runner saying ‘beep! beep!’ with 3 Wile E. Coyotes chasing him).
In my opinion, sports photography has all the things that make great photography. It is portraiture, but with real emotions instead of the manufactured emotions made by the model or photographer. Landscape photography can also be incorporated to sports photography especially if the background is interesting. Want to see an example? check my instagram account, Rogue Rebel Runner. They’re taken by me using a smartphone and the self-timer. I know there are better ones out there, just take my photos as samples.
So, my advice for hobbyists and newbie photographers, don’t get stuck in just doing landscape and portraiture, go out there and try sports photography. Don’t limit yourself to taking photos of someone or something that don’t move, challenge yourself and see if you can capture a good photo with the subject in motion. There are many volunteer photographers in running events, but it is never too crowded for aspiring photographers because the venue and race route is big and there are thousands of participants. You have over a thousand opportunities for a good photo.
So, now that I’ve share my opinion in running or sports photography, what about the photos I took at the Laguna Phuket International Marathon last June? Well, it was my first time and I wasn’t able to capture awesome photos like pro sports photographers do, but I have some favorite shots. Check out the photos below and you be the judge. Feel free to comment and give me tips or advice on how to improve in sports photography.
And if you have the time, check out my photography at Flickr (it’s not updated though), just click this XGlite015 on Flickr
My jogtography (taken by me using my smartphone and its self-timer) instagram photos here Rogue_Rebel_Runner
Rogue Rebel Photography facebook page (give it a ‘like’ if you ‘like’ what you see) here Rogue Rebel Photography
And to read more about our victory in Laguna Phuket International Marathon and fun we had in Phuket, Thailand, go here Team 7-Eleven Philippines winning in LPIM 2016 and here Team 7-Eleven Philippines having fun in Phuket