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Sports Event Photography

Norwich Flyers BMX Club are a local BMX racing club who meet at Sloughbottom Park in Norwich. The club was established in 1983 and has produced some serious talent in the world of BMX racing over the years. The club meets at a purpose built BMX track to race and practice, starts, jumps, manuals and generally getting around the track as fast as possible. I met up with the clubs riders on one of their Wednesday evening practices at the park to photograph the riders during their practice session doing some jumps against a great evening sky. Recently I’ve been branching out from my normal commercial photography to include sports event photography and general sports photography. The reason for this is that I’ve always been interested in a wide application of my photography skills to various subjects and recently I’ve become particularly interested in action based photography. It adds an extra string to my bow and generally keeps me at the top of my game as far as photography theory is concerned, it’s also quite difficult, and I like a challenge.

For this type of shoot a photographer needs to manage the ambient exposure (the amount of light entering the camera from the natural lighting conditions) and the amount of flash used to illuminate the subject at the same time. The only problem with this is that the ambient light is constantly changing in that it is mainly diminishing minute by minute as the sun sets. Add to this equation a subject that without the addition of flash is a silhouetted (black) subject jumping at  some speed against a lighter sky and you begin to have to not only use what are called off camera flashes to illuminate and freeze the fast jumping subject but also need to make sure that the silhouette of the subject not illuminated by the flash doesn’t impact on your image making by leaving a dark shadow around your subject. The solution was as fast a shutter speed as I could manage to prevent the dragged silhouette, powerful off camera GODOX ad600b flashes close to the subjects to freeze them with a high speed flash duration and enough power remotely controlled from my camera position, a fast autofocus able to work in low light on the Nikon D750 and D810 cameras used, and a great set of riders to photograph.

I hope you like the images, and will consider me to produce some sports event photography for your sports organisation.
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