I recently had the chance to try out a big 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for a project I was working on for a photography course I was taking.
For my final project I wanted to push myself to try something I’d never done before. The one type of shooting I’ve always shied away from, mostly because I’m not properly equipped for it, has been sports/action photography.
A few weeks back we had an ISU World Cup Short Track Speed-Skating event come to town, so I rented this big lens for the weekend and spent an entire day wandering around the arena trying to capture images of these amazing athletes.
My biggest challenge is that I have a 5-year old entry-level DSLR camera. It doesn’t have nearly enough pixels, nor the higher ISO capacity of the newer cameras. I pretty much can’t go beyond ISO-800 without my images becoming too grainy.
The other difficulty is the fact that these skaters zip around at about 50 kms (35 miles) per hour, which means shutter speeds of 1/500th or faster.
Because of the indoor lighting and relatively low ISO, I had to keep the aperture wide open at f/2.8 to let in enough light. But a wide open aperture also severely shortens the depth of field, which explains why some of these images do not have the tack-sharp focus you’d expect.
In any case for a first attempt I was actually pretty satisfied. Here are some of my favs:
Conclusion: I certainly came out of it with a better understanding and a new appreciation for this type of photography.
It was fun and I’d try it again if and when I get a new camera, but at the moment I simply couldn’t justify investing the $10,000-$15,000 needed to be properly equipped to shoot sports on a serious level.
Let me know which ones you like best, and as always thanks for looking 🙂