Crosstraining

When is photographing wild birds like shooting a football game? The two different genres of photography, wildlife and sports, may seem very dissimilar but the skills to shoot each are actually related.

While there are always exceptions to the rule,  most sports photography requires a telephoto lens to bring athletes who can be far away on the field of play in close. Likewise in photographing wild animals that may be skittish to a human presence a long lens is also needed to prevent spooking them. In sports a fast shutter speed is often used to freeze players action. In the same vein, wildlife photographers use fast shutter speeds to eliminate the dreaded camera shake and also to stop the motion of a bird in flight or animal on the run.

 

Knowledge of the game also helps in getting a good sports photo. It can help you to know where to stand to get the best shot or how to figure out where a player is going to be. Similar knowledge is needed for a wildlife picture. Knowing the habits of the animals you are photographing can help in finding them to get your shot.

We all have our own interests and preferences on what we like to shoot. Some people like portraits, while others prefer landscapes or sports. Sometimes when someone is proficient in or prefers one type of photography they may not consider another style. But you can learn from, and be inspired by, different genres of photography that you may not be interested in. By going out of your comfort zone you can expand your abilities and experiences by trying out new varieties of photography.

For instance wedding and landscape photography can be very different but I have seen some wedding photographs incorporate their bride and groom as a part of the landscape, especially if it’s a destination wedding, to great effect.

Portraiture photography is all about the lighting. You can’t have a great portrait without great light. In much the same way food photography benefits from how the light is presented in a photo. Done well, it makes the food look appealing and appetizing. One may not initially equate a nice family photo with a plate of ham and eggs but the skill to do a good job with either is the same.

We all can ensconce ourselves in our own interests and we may think that our own particular kind of photography is the cat’s meow. We may even look our noses down at other categories of photography but instead of poo-pooing them perhaps you should stepping into their shoes and try other genres. It may improve what you already like to do.

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