The Canadian Pacific Women’s LPGA Open returned to Vancouver this past August. The event came at the perfect time since I just received the Fujifilm XF1.4 teleconverter prototype with the paired factory specific XF50-140mm lens. It was a no brainer to put this product to the test at the LPGA event.
People tend to have a presumption that golf is the easiest sport to shoot. Unlike hockey, you don’t have to make split second decisions on which player to follow. My view on shooting golf is that there are certain aspects that make it easier to shoot, but there are also some reasons that make it much harder to shoot as compared to fast-paced sports. In no way am I an expert in shooting golf, but I hope that by sharing my experiences and takeaways, you will find some of these points to be useful.
Photographing a golf tournament isn’t as easy as one would think. It may seem like a simple task, where someone can just stand in one spot and capture images of different golfers coming by the same tee off. However, it’s an entirely different story to shoot golf well.
In this blog post, I will be covering several topics:
- Rules of Golf Photography
- Minimizing your Presence
- The Big No-no’s
- Knowing your Subject
- Shooting Angles
- Thinking and Seeing Differently
I’m going to start off with these so we can get them out of the way, since these “rules” of golf photography apply to everything else that I will mention later on. They’re pretty straightforward, and when you think about it, they all boil down to one thing:
Do not distract the player. Never, Ever.
That is it. Simple as that. Golf is a game where each player is really battling with himself or herself more than with anyone else, typically with no teammates to rely on, a generally large but quiet crowd, and the players expect to be able to concentrate without any distractions.
Minimizing Your Presence
Minimize your movements as much as possible so that the golfer isn’t constantly reminded that you’re there, while still being able to do your work. In addition, you do not want your shutter sound to be the star of the show. This means that you shouldn’t shoot during a practice swing. It also means that if a golfer is lining up for a putt, it’s okay to squeeze off one shot. However, there’s no reason to fire off ten consecutive shots. If you’re shooting with a camera that allows you to switch your electronic shutter onto silent mode, then essentially you can shoot at any time without worrying about distracting the golfer (though the downside of that is it tends to distort images when you’re trying to capture fast-paced motions due to the rolling shutter effect).