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Become a Great Sport Photographer Using Remote Cameras(January 31, 2024)

The reality is today’s digital cameras have leveled theplaying in sport photography.  Any decent  photographer can capture good images of theaction on the field, the floor, or the ice. 

But truly great sports photographer gives their audienceimages that they wouldn’t normally see, either from the stands, the arena videoboard or on television.  Those images arememorable, and make you ask “how did they do that?” 

One of the answers is remote cameras. 

This article shows you the benefit of using remotes.  It then gives you the step-by-step details onhow to achieve these shots using remote-controlled cameras.

Data Management Best Practices for Sports Photographers (January 8, 2024)

The most precious asset to any business is its digital data.  In the world of business, which includes photography, that data is information about its customers, sales,revenue, and products.  In photography the products are the raw and edited digital images they create. 

Unfortunately, what are standard operating procedures in data management and data protection are not widely practice in  photography.  This could result in time  wasted searching for or categorizing images. The worse-case scenario could be the loss of large portions of aportfolio, which would be a disaster to a photographer. 

Before becoming a sport photographer, I spent a career in high tech, using the best practices to manage and protect data.   Here are some of those best practices,customized to sports photography, to make best use of your time and avoid disaster.

Become a Better Sports Photographer: Make More Mistakes (January 4, 2024)

I’ve been a sports photographer for greater than ten years.  The excitement I get from taking  great shots has been match with joy from helping up-and-comers learn the craft. There’s a surprising pattern among less experienced photographers: they don’t make enough mistakes. 

Making more mistakes, or taking more images, does not mean going crazy with long shutter bursts. Taking an extended burst of photographs is the exception, not therule.  This article is about making the right kind of mistakes.

Sports Photography: Video vs. Still Photography (December 18, 2022)

Video has become so dominant in sports photography that it caused me to ask, “is there a need for still photography?”  Not surprisingly, the answer is yes! 

Photography is the process of capturing images, either on film or a digital sensor.  Video captures a moving object in a series of images while still photography freezes a moving object into a single image.  Nearly anyone with a camera, or a phone, today can capture both still and video images with the same device.  

Letters to TTL Sports Media: Image Sharpness (August 24, 2022)

Our followers regularly contact us a wide variety of topics. 

Surprisingly, we get a lot of requests from people hoping to work for TTL Sports Media.  This makes us proud, for these people are drawn by the quality of our work and our reputation within the professional sports community in Central Texas. 

But mostly photographers reach out to us for advice on how to improve their work.  

Composition Techniques for Sports Photography (July 21, 2022)

Proper composition is difference between an okay image and a great image.   Unfortunately, not enough attention is given to composition in sports photography. 

Composition is the arrangement of the objects in the frame to draw the viewer’s attention to the most interesting part.  Composition is especially challenging in sports photography because of the speed of the action and the lack of control of the objects.  Good composition is attained by capturing the right elements in the frame and then by editing the image.  

Instinctive Sports Photography (July 19, 2022)

Nobody captures the essence of instinctive sports better than Wayne Gretzky.  The NHL legend attributed his success in saying: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”  Instinctive sports photograph is very similar: “Point your camera to where the play is going to be, not where it’s been.” 

Instinctive sports photographers are not born, except in very few occasions.  Instinctive sports photographers develop the skill through preparation and practice.  Here are a few tips to improve your instincts as a sports photographer. 

Cricket Basics (July 6, 2022)

It comes as no surprise that Austin, the Music Capital of the world and the high-tech center called Silicon Hills, should have its own cricket league.  After all, cricket is the second most watched sport in world.

The Central Texas Cricket League is celebrating its twentieth season and is currently   comprised of 12 teams.  This article provides a basic understanding of the game so a nascent spectator can appreciate the matches.  

Best Camera for Sports Photography

Buying a camera for sports photography used to be easy.  You had two choices: Canon or Nikon.  But the industry has seemingly been turned upside down with the introduction of the mirrorless camera ten years ago and the proliferation in the last five years. 

So, what is best camera for sports photography?   Is it really a question of digital single lens reflex (DSLR) versus mirrorless cameras?  It’s not that simple.  

Workflow: What Problem Are You Trying to Solve?

The common challenge for all sports photographers is how to quickly select the worthy images from the massive number taken, then edit, caption, and post the images in time to be newsworthy.  Whether you are chasing a deadline or not, the amount of work required to publish these images is significant.  Efficient workflow is essential.  

A Brief Guide to Rugby

Rugby rules can be difficult to understand.  Indeed, even the most experienced rugby follower may not understand all the ins and outs of the sports.  This short article will shed some light on the play and hopefully make watching the match more enjoyable.  

Introduction to Sports Photography

If photography is a drug, then sports photography is the crack cocaine of photography.   The goal of this book  is to get you addicted, to feed that addiction, help to maximize those highs, and minimize the withdrawals by sharing real world experiences.  

Light Management

Light Management is the manipulation of shutter speed, aperture and light sensitivity to produce a properly exposed image.  How those elements come together is put to the test given the constraints of sport photography: high speed action in environments with less-than-ideal lighting. 

Capabilities of the Camera

Today’s digital cameras are computers with lenses.  And like computers, there is a powerful operating system, called firmware, that controls all functions. The firmware has evolved to such a degree that incredible images can be taken without fully leveraging the camera’s true capabilities.  Just image the possibilities if you knew more about your camera. 

Your Go-To Lenses

Conventional photography wisdom says invest in lenses.  But what lenses are best suited for sports photography?  The possibilities seen endless.  Canon, for example, the leading provider of digital camera equipment, offers greater than 80 lenses.  They all seem wonderful, but also very pricy.  

Thankfully, you’ll find that your life will be complete with two or three lenses, if you select wisely.   This chapter call-outs the lenses best suited for sports and ways to save money. 

The Limits of Lenses

The sophistication of the auto focus system is probably the least understood aspect of digital photography. Fewer photographers understand that not all sensor focus points are created equal, and for a given camera that changes from lens to lens.  For the sports photographer this understanding is the difference between capturing a tack-sharp image of a player making the play, or a tack-sharp image of a player watching a play be made. That mystery is revealed here.  

After the Whistle

“Win, and win with speed” is the mantra of Noboru Itoh, a former colleague from my time in Tokyo.  That advice has served me well, especially as a sports photographer.  Sports are all about speed. 

A good sports photographer translates speed into an image.  And a good sports photographer must also produce that image with speed. 

As hard as you’ve worked to take the picture, your job is complete only once that image is produced.  Here, we’ll offer some ideas on how to approach that in a smart way.  

Building Credibility and Promoting Yourself

“Build it and they will come.” That approach worked for Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, in the film Field of Dreams.  But it won’t work for sport photographers. You must actively promote yourself to become a successful sport photographer.  

Lessons from the Field

As in all professions the lessons learned through experience are invaluable.  In this article we’ll share some of these experiences to help make your life as a sport photographer a little easier.  These lessons build upon tips presented throughout this series. 

Getting Started Venues

Sports photography is an addiction.  The more you shoot, the more you want to shoot, the more you need to shoot. But how do you feed this addiction? How do you keep raising the bar on types and levels of sports that you photograph?  This article offers suggestions that can probably be found in your own backyard. 

Anticipating the Action

“That’s it! That’s it!” said Casey Holder, the Education Director at Precision Camera and Video.  Precision Camera boasts to be the largest camera store in the state of Texas, and everything is bigger in Texas. I was at Precision, pitching a class on sports photography to Casey. 

What resonated with Casey was the recommendations on shooting locations for different sports.  He shared his experience in the newsroom when photographers were asked to cover games, but no one knew where to stand.  That class, and this article, answers those questions and more.  

Marketing in the Digital Age: Social Media Strategies for Sports

Social media enables a direct conversation between the team and the fan.  It can amplify the fan’s passion.  It can add energy to a real-time experience.  And it can give fans a voice that can produce monumental changes.  

But this doesn’t happen itself.  It requires an understanding of the fan’s social media motivators, a well-developed plan of attack and methodical execution.  This article unravels the social media knot for sports teams. 

Optimal Website Design for Sports Teams

A well designed and maintained website is important to a strong fan / team relationship, and is an essential component of a team’s revenue plan.   Strengthening the bond drives higher revenue from the sale of tickets, merchandise, advertisements and sponsorships.  This article will help sports teams develop the best possible website to strengthen and sustain the fan relationship. 

Mavericks, Rockets, Jazz Tops Among NBA Websites 

A website is more than “a good first impression” or “a pretty smile.”  A website site is the front door through which customers pass to establish a relationship and, later, to do business.  And as in all relationships, we can do certain things to make it a good relationship. 

In the case of sports teams, those customers are fans.  And the relationship with those fans goes beyond simple transactions. It can be a lifelong, passionate relationship.  Some teams embrace the importance of their website, treating it as a tool to improve the fan experience, and at the same time increase revenue.  

TTL Sports Media evaluated the websites of all 30 NBA teams in June 2020 to better understand the quality and method of information sharing with the fans.  The top-ranking NBA website belonged to the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz. 

Digital Survival Guide for Sports Teams

Sports Teams are overly dependent on a one-dimensional revenue model: fans in the stands.  A digital experience that engages and energizes the fan base is needed to diversify its revenue base. Read what that solution could look like. 

Beyond Head Shots

Head shots are an essential part of a sports photographer’s job.  Unfortunately, for me they had become so routine as to become boring.  That was, however, until I learned how to make it fun.  These are some of the things I did to make it fun.

Interview with Austin Spurs Team Photographer Andy Nietupski

Amanda Janczak, Media and Community Relations Coordinator for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, asked these questions of Andy Nietupski, long-time Austin Spurs photographer.  Andy is the founder of Through the Lens Sport Media which helps sports organizations optimize their business results using the latest digital sales and marketing techniques. 

Preparing for the Spontaneous Social Media Moment 

I am so impressed with play-by-play sports broadcasters.  They can take routine, and sometimes boring, moments of a game and make it enjoyable by spontaneously injecting interesting and relevant facts.  Social media coordinators can take a lesson on how this is done. 

Your typical social media account for a sports team has tens of thousands of posts, the majority are during the game.  Many of these posts do a good job describing the game, but straight text can leave the follower a little weary.  Adding an image during the game would go a long way to making the posts more exciting. 

This article describes how to post attention getting action images to social media accounts within moments of occurring.  

Is Your Team’s Web Site Winning for You?

Your sports team’s web site has more contact with your fans than any other aspect of your organization.  Your site should be undertaking important revenue generation actions like exciting the fan-base, expanding that base, and increasing the fan’s wallet-share. 

Unfortunately, most sites are treated as a cost centers and a low-cost means to push information to fans.  Your site’s long-term revenue development potential is ignored. 

This article describes how your web site can develop one-to-one relationships with new and existing fans using long-established techniques used in more tradition business-to-consumer on-line sales.  

Social Media for Sports Shouldn’t be Boring

Social media platforms are essential for sports.  They are a primary source of real-time information on the game. If not for social media, information on professional and collegiate games might not be found for a day, or two.  And social media may be the only source of information for some youth sporting events. 

Expectations on the content of social media posts have risen, too.  Followers want more than simple text updates.  In higher-end sports, followers want visual updates as the game is progressing.  And all sports fans want those updates by the time the game is completed.  

This article provides recommendations on obtaining the best images to compliment your social media post. 

Speed – The Key to Successful Sports Photography

Speed in sports is essential.  Speed separates the winning team from the losing.  Effective sports photography captures that speed in images.  The best of those images contains unobstructed views of action moments, with facial expressions, are properly exposed and have sharp-as-a-tack focus.  No easy feat. 

As in sports, speed is essential in sports photography.  A sound workflow gives you that speed. This article provides recommendations on how to produce high quality games images to your customer (e.g., teams, newspaper, photo bureaus, fans, etc.) with a very fast turn-around time.  

Selecting the Best Content Provider for Sports

Everyone wants that perfect photograph of their athletes in actions, from the parents of pee-wee league players to the media director of a professional sports organization.  Some elements of sports photography are easier than others.  Team pictures, playing cards and individual player photos are straight forward.  But action sports photography is much more challenging. 

There are no do-overs in action sports photography.  When the play is over, it’s over.  You’ll never has an image like that again.  You got to get it right the first time or the play is gone forever.  

This article is intended to help you find best action sports photographer for your particular set of requirements, and not paying more than you need. 

Sports Photography: What’s in Your Bag

Taking photographs of action sports is one of the hardest things you can try to do well with a camera.  There are no do-overs in action sports.  When the play is over, it’s over.  You will never have an image like that again.  You must be in the right position with the right equipment with the right setting to capture a useable image.  This article is for the parents of student athletes who want to capture great photos of their child in action.  It addresses one three things you need to become good sports photographer: the proper equipment. 

Guide to Sports Portraiture

Head shots are an essential part of a sports photographer job.  Personally, I dreaded taking head shots until I learned two secrets:  how to do it well and how to make it fun for you.  This article is intended to share the first of those secrets: doing it well.  A follow-up article will describe how to make it fun. 

Your primary consideration in portraitures is the lighting.  The lighting sets the tone.  Hard light is edgy, most often used in competitive environments like sports and business.  Soft light is friendlier, used family or personal portraits. 

Awesome Images: A Photographers Guide to the Circuit of the Americas

The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is a world-renown racing circuit situated amidst “Keep it Weird,” Austin, Texas.  Opened in 2012, the 3.426-mile circuit is one of the few in the world purpose-built for Formula One.  

The facility is massive.  Measured at nearly 900 acres, including the circuit, parking and undeveloped areas, the course can be extremely challenging for the first-time professional to capture that awesome image. 

This guide is indented to help.  It is based on experience gained by covering greater than 40 race events at COTA in the last five years, including multiple F1, MotoGP and IndyCar races.  

2020 Round Rock Express Calendar

2019 marked the reunion of the Houston Astros and the Round Rock Express. The Express became the AAA affiliate of the Astros in a five-year arrangement. The team won the division with a record of 84-56.

This calendar captures the highlights of that season, including the Yordan Alvarez’s move from the Express to the Houston Astros, where he became unanimously American League Rookie of the year, and the rehabbing of Jose Altuve, MVP of American League Championship. 

Austin Bold FC 2020 Season Kick Off

2019 marked the return of professional soccer to Austin, and the successful inaugural year of the Austin Bold.  

The Bold advanced to the quarter finals of the United Soccer League championship, falling to the league’s best team in a Penalty Shot decision.  Austin also progressed to fourth round of the United States Open Championship, before narrowly falling to the Houston Dynamo of the MLS.  

There is an excitement in the air as the Bold welcome back 15 players and their head coach, and hope to get a fast start on the 2020 USL Championship season. 

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