Richard Brown on sports photography

How to improve your sports photography was one of the main themes in Richard Bown’s talk to Ilkley Camera Club on Friday 28 October.

Richard is a former chairman of ace photographic group Gamma and a leading light in Harrogate Photographic Society.

His top tips for sports photography included trying to work under light cloud skies so that contrast was within the bounds of the camera. He also advised careful positioning, so the faces and expressions of sports people were visible and well-lit as this added greatly to the emotive power of the image. Rapid motion would need a burst of photos with continuous auto-focusing, whereas slower action could be captured by pre-focusing on a key point and waiting until the subject reached that point.

Richard also talked about portrait photography. One of his tips here was to deal with subjects who adopted an artificial looking pose when they spotted the photographer. Richard’s trick was to take that shot and then, when the subject relaxed, to take a more natural shot.  

Unfussy backgrounds that did not distract were important and this might be achieved by the angle of view including, if necessary, getting low down and aiming upwards so the background was the sky. A low viewpoint was also useful in getting an image that related well to children and small animals.  

Richard’s lecture was illustrated throughout with many of his award-winning images. He included shots that had been accepted by newspapers or formed part of a book he had produced cataloguing the successes of a local women’s rugby team.

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