Capturing children playing football (14.06.2016)


Text and photos: Sergei Stepanov

When your child is passionate about football, it comes naturally that you’d like to capture these moments. All it takes is just grabbing your camera and entering pitch.

It might happen so, that reviewing taken pictures after the game you might get frustrated – part of the series isn’t sharp at all, on other pictures you barely find your child, where he played he’s best… Even worse if most interesting plays of the game are hidden behind backs of the players. There must be something wrong you might think. Especially if in front of your eyes there are all those professionally taken pictures of the big game.

Let us all together try to learn how to capture children playing football as well as pros do during the current European Championships in football in France.

First thing’s first – get the mindset right, that your Nikon is able to capture football, especially children playing the game, as well as those expensive professional cameras. The price of the camera does not necessarily determine outcome of pictures.

If Your Nikon DSLR allows for at least 6 frames/second, you can consider yourself a king or queen already. If it’s around 3 frames/second, you have to always be ready and photos will be as good. Please believe me, you will be able to capture the best moment that might come your way.

Let us star with optics. By default you are buying your Nikon camera in a kit with an 18-105mm, 18-140mm, 18-200mm or even 18-300mm lens. All of these lenses are suitable for capturing children playing football. As good will be 55-200mm or 55-300mm lenses.

Let us adjust camera settings. If your camera equips follow focus function, please choose this setting, as it will allow for focusing on your child playing. Next to mention – exposure. Set aperture not lower than 1/800sec, in order to avoid blurriness. Furthermore if you are experiencing difficulties shooting from hand, choose S setting for this particular situation, which will allow for unchanged exposure adjusting aperture accordingly to lighting conditions. Please adjust ISO sensitivity accordingly to lighting conditions on the pitch.

And the game has begun. It’s important that you position yourself for best pictures possible! If you have a telephoto lens with 105mm or 140mm focal length, you should find a spot on the sideline behind opposing team’s goalkeeper. From this position you will be able to capture good quality shots of offense, shot taking and goal being scored. In order to keep the subject locked into focus, Nikon engineers therefore have created focus fixation button (AE/F-L). It is located on the right upper part of the camera. Shooting football there are two main reasons not to lose sight of the ball: 1) ball should always be in frame; 2) be aware that ball can hit yourself and your valuable equipment. Although this is football played by children, hit caused by the ball can be severe and your can camera can get damaged seriously. Therefore do not take your own safety for granted, stay precautious at all times.

For now you are fully equipped with knowledge how to best capture football. Enjoy the moments your child plays football, in the meantime shoot great pictures. And most importantly – do not forget to capture the priceless emotions of young players. Good luck to you!



<< Back