Photo Life is proud to partner with Seneca students to document their journey through the school curriculum. This week Zack Moore shares about sports photography.
Assignment: Sports Photography
Student: Zack Moore
Professor: Fred Thornhill
Assignment Guidelines: Shoot a sporting event using only natural light.
For this project we had to capture a sporting event using only natural light, so we had to use a pretty fast lens. Being a former rugby player, I still have some contact with my old team. I met up with them, and it started to rain so I had to pick another game to shoot. The next game was too close to the due date, so I decided to shoot girls rugby for this project. The time of day that the game took place wasn’t ideal for sports photography (noon), which made the light very harsh. I spent most of the first half the game figuring out the right settings. Once I got the proper setting, I was in the clear. Having a 100-400 mm 4.0-5.6f lens made this project fairly easy. I played rugby for almost 10 years and had my camera with me at the games, so I have a lot of experience with this sport. I brought my monopod too; this helped with the weight of the camera and to level the frame. My goal going into this project was simple: reaction over action. Since everyone sees the action of rugby, I thought it would be cool to show the reaction of the players. I believe that the reactions of the players tell more about the game than the action can.
On the day of the shoot, I set out to Markham to capture the Aurora Barbarians vs. Markham Irish. I set my camera to 1/400 shutter and a 5.6 f-stop. With these settings I was fairly confident that I would be able to properly freeze the action of the game. During the 80-minute game, I was able to capture about 400 pictures, and I chose 15 for the project. With a simple level adjustment to all the photos, they were ready for submission. When I handed these in, I wasn’t too excited about them—maybe because I have taken these types of pictures a thousand times before. The next week we went over the project in class; mine was the first on the screen. Fred told me that he has never had a student produce sports pictures like this before. I was shocked that he liked my photos. This was my first 100% project I have received in the IDP program. After this project and some encouragement from Fred, I decided to continue with sports photography and I hope to make a career out of it.
The Seneca @ York Independent Digital Photography Program is a two-year diploma course that prepares students for a freelance career and provides them with the necessary skill set to work in a multidisciplinary studio.