From the eyes of an amateur photographer: the sport

La Trobe v Wollongong, Australian University Games, 2013 (photo mine)
La Trobe v Wollongong, Australian University Games, 2013 (photo mine)

Across all my experiences in the sporting industry – including game day reporting and article writing – there is one aspect that is consistent across each thing that I do; photography.

Five years ago (in Year 9) our final project was Personal Best; we had to create something that expanded our skills and had community involvement.  Through several rounds of deliberating ideas, I was finally able to settle on sports photography.

Over the course of the last five years, I’ve photographed AFL (at both Australian and state level), international, domestic and local cricket; high school sport carnivals and University Games, on a sporting note.  Other accolades of note include Australian musicians such as Shannon Noll and Lee Kernaghan.

However, it all started back in 2008.  After an earlier two week excursion to Melbourne, where we were assigned different tasks to do each day around the city, I began to realise that my experimentation of building, vehicle and people images was demonstrating that I had a passion for cameras and photos.

With the help of my parents to devise a project plan, and my high school (Newhaven College) loaning me the equipment for the final assessment, I entered a whole new world.

The main thing I’ve found when taking photos is 1) you’re capturing a moment that lives forever and 2) the perspective of how you see an event or performance changes from when you’re dancing around or cheering for your team.

Expressions – especially in fast paced and heavy impact sports – are also part of the fun.  I chose the photo for this piece purely because of the Wollongong (right) players reaction on defence.  The lines that appear on an athletes face when they put in the effort to deliver a long-range kick or fast delivery become unique in getting just the right image.

Okay, so it’s fun; but why?  As I said earlier, when you look at either the image screen, or through the view finder of a DSLR, it’s very different to looking at it “normally”.  It’s a different way of following the action – or, in the case of portrait shots, the person – and celebrating that part of time.

As I’ve gained experience – through both self-teaching, advice from seasoned photographers, and hours spent editing – I’ve come to better understand the techniques and technology behind what makes the best photo.  Recently, at Australian University Games, I had to adapt between daytime settings – full on sport mode, fast shutter speeds – and nighttime; where the relatively dark environments of nightclubs and bars meant my flash “gun” was the tool for the night.

Photography has integrated in beautifully to my journalism endeavours and studies, creating another avenue that I can pursue.  Not only that, it helps to add colour to the articles.

Memories last a lifetime when you “nail” that perfect picture.  I’m hoping that the future holds even more for me – watching things in front of me with the camera in hand is extremely fascinating.

(Current equipment: Canon EOS 600D, 18-55mm, 55-250mm and 75-300mm lenses, EX 430II “flashgun”)


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