Need advice on taking swim pictures. My boss's boss has asked if I could come take some photos of his son's swim team a an intersquad meet. In this excerpt from Peter Read Miller on Sports Photography: A Sports In the 50M freestyle, swimmers never take a breath and the field is so Michael Phelps loosens up in the warm-up pool at the Santa Clara Swim Club. I am shooting a college indoor swim meet tomorrow and am loking for I have shot a few meets as well and wish I had remembered to bring.
Try and shoot the outside lanes from either side deck down by the turn judges, great for landscapes on freestyle swimmers, or close to the far flag pole by the start for start shots. Chat with the judges as to where they want you.
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The newer skinny L8 fluorescent tubes are no problem. Set your WB for each pool with a white or gray card. Shoot the inside lanes face on as low as you can get for breast and butter. Shoot portrait, high, and down onto backstroke swimmers as they go away from you. Stay out of the any cheering kids way. Look for shots where your 50mm lens is a plus.
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You should be able to get in the whole starting line from 25 yards away. Team cheers before and after make for great opportunities. Get candids of the coaches and swimmers. Maybe even with your tee shirt.
A hood may be needed at some pools. Get the kids to breath facing you and smiling. Talk your kids into doing cross-country during the off season.
You and your camera will love all the variation and opportunities. I use a 5D a lot because I get good enough resolution at ISO and have also made 13X19 pictures to post at pools at and that have decent color and resolution. I cannot get the same high ISO resolution from a 1.SWIM MEET PROBLEMS!! (HIGHSCHOOL EDITION)
Indoors I have an 85mm 1. DoF is an issue with this lens but it sometimes gets pictures that I could not get otherwise. I mainly use a 2.
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Outdoors I handhold a L. We use a 50 meter pool in the summer and the extra reach really helps but you have to have good light. I like to use a minimum of a th of a second but I would really rather be over a thousandth if I can get it.
I like to use ISO out of doors and a th. Some pictures are great at slower shutter speeds if you can get a face in tight focus and an arm that is somewhat blurred trailing water.
I confess that I shoot a lot more pictures than I use because all I get is foam sometimes.
I do a lot of single shot pictures because, say, in the case of Fly, as I swim the stroke, I start pumping up and down with the swim strokes and try and anticipate the apogee of the stroke. I would check with the meet officials about flash but I see flash used by other photographers at the meets I shoot.
Photographing a swim meet? - Updated with photos
Nathan I do not use my indoors. If you cannot get deck access It may be difficult to get enough reach for a and you probably would be out of flash range if you shoot from the stands at mm.
You may be required to go barefoot or use deck shoes of some kind in you go on deck. A number of pools require that.