The #1 son bowls.
What if you don’t have a digital SLR to help you take fantastic photos?
#2 bowls, too.
Or say you do have a dSLR, but you don’t have a low-light lens like the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 (which I used for these photos) or f/1.8? Should you forget about taking difficult indoor action pix?
Of course not!
#1 reacts to missing a spare.
First, if you do own a dSLR but only have the 18-55mm kit lens, be sure to increase your ISO, so you have a faster shutter speed to stop the action. And try to have steady hands, too.
Gutter ball sadness for #2
If you’re frustrated because you’re not able to stop the action or you’re using a point and shoot camera that can’t stop the action, relax! Just try to shoot the periphery, e.g., everything that surrounds the activity.
I took my sons and #2’s friend Daniel bowling yesterday, and, as usual, it bothered me that it’s a sport that features more butts than faces. I don’t know about you, but usually (well, unless it’s George Clooney, my second husband), I prefer to photograph faces when I shoot sports.
#2 should've had a V8!
But then I realized that there’s always more to sports than just the action, and that’s what I needed to concentrate on documenting. It does mean that you need to anticipate when your “athletes” are going to show that emotion and be ready and steady on the shutter.
Daniel gets a high five from #2.
The lighting tends to be funky in the bowling alley, but I think that just adds to the photos’ uniqueness. Or it could be that my Photoshop skills just aren’t good enough . . . that’s too often the case, unfortunately.
No movement here
Don’t forget to take photos of everything involved in the sport, especially anything that doesn’t move (easy to shoot!). For bowling, of course there are the bowling balls. You might want to turn off your flash for these kinds of close-ups.
No movement here either
Fingers in a bowling ball can convey the action almost as much as rolling the ball down the alley.
Bowling shoes? Gotta wear ’em and gotta take a photo of ’em.
#2 is happy after picking up a spare.
Even if you have to have them pose, be sure to get some good expressions from the athletes to help tell the story.
I couldn’t resist getting a photo of my contact-lensed high school senior heartthrob!
Love the electronic scoreboards!
Back in the day, we had to keep score at bowling alleys by hand. Now the electronic scoreboards are great, and they’re easy to photograph.
The Terminator (#1), Daniel, and #2 pose.
If all fails indoors, don’t forget to snap a photo or two of your subjects outside. It’s all part of shooting the periphery when you’re an action photographer!