\Swimming and Diving
In this excerpt from Peter Read Miller on Sports Photography: A Sports athletes , learn the best way to photograph certain swimming strokes. Michael Phelps loosens up in the warm-up pool at the Santa Clara Swim Club. WINDSOR, N.S. – The Nova Scotia Summer Swim Provincials in Windsor, N.S. showed that competitors could also work together. Now, with two years of our Waegwoltic Summer Day Camp behind us, we are continuing to expand ourofferings and build on past success.
And even when you get the best angle, good focus, and good arm position on a swimmer, a freestyle photo is usually crazy eyes often behind gogglesan open mouth, and a soggy armpit. With luck, you will get a wild expression, some cool light, or at least a colorful reflection off the goggles. The breaststroke is the least exciting stroke visually because almost all the physical action takes place underwater, but you can still make dynamic images.
I think the breaststroke looks best from straight ahead. Try to get as low to the pool deck as possible. Watch your focus because breaststrokers make a big splash as their heads come out of the water to breathe.
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The backstroke shot from a slight elevation. The toughest stroke to make a good picture of is the backstroke. Except for the start, which in a meter pool is at least a mm or mm shot, the swimmers face straight up with their arms swinging by their faces, creating constant walls of water. A slightly high angle down the lane as the swimmer goes away from you is your best bet on this stroke. The breaststroke in the Santa Clara Invitational. The backstroke bubble photo as the swimmer completes a turn and coasts underwater.
It is almost always the best way to get good photos of sports action.
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Get that focus point right on the face of the swimmer and fire away. Something in the area of 12 photos per second.
This really helps you get photos at the peak of action. I would shoot photos at different points of the swimmer's stroke.
This would give me a nice variety of photos, not always having the swimmer looking directly at me. This shot clearly shows the muscles of this young man. When shooting a swim meet, don't only capture the action. Have some fun and look for other good shots.
I saw the reflection of the Stanford swimming pool in this man's sunglasses and zoomed into for this photo. This is way more interesting than a straight shot of the pool, don't you think? For backstroke, I decided that the photos would look better from a high position. So I climbed to the top of the stands and shot down from this location. For this shot, I turned the camera and I adjusted the mm lens all the way back to mm on this crop sensor camera to include most of the swimmers diving into the pool.
I also zoomed the lens in tight to isolate some of the swimmers diving back from the edge of the ppol. Just like in the butterfly stroke, I will often shoot photos at different times during the swimmer's race. In this case, I chose to shoot photos as the swimmer was still underwater and just about to break the surface to start her backstroke. I also took some backstroke photos from the pool deck. As you can tell, this yields a completely different look than the shots from up above.
Don't be afraid the move around and try different shooting locations. I really like the veil of water coming over Rachel's face on this shot.
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With all of the distractions at this end of the pool, I did not take too many photos of the kids diving in for the start of their race.
But it is a good idea to get some photos of this, since it is an important part of the meet. The breast stroke in an interesting event to photograph, since the swimmers come out of the water quite often and get their faces low to the water line. Much like the butterfly stroke, I usually choose to shoot this from straight on. Some shots with them high out of the water and some not And then there are the mishaps.
I always feel bad for the swimmers who have to complete with their goggles out of place.
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But it does make for some interesting photos. I have seen many kids swim with their goggles off, but never seen anyone chewing on them as they swim.
They are just too darned cute! The last stroke is freestyle, which is best captured from the side of the pool.