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The Race Against the Buzzer: Photographing Sports

Lauren VanderWal (#20) and Summer Farris (#14) go up for a block at the Wayne State University volleyball game against Grand Valley State in Detroit on Saturday, November 16.

Next up on my to do list: shoot a #sports event. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous for shooting at a game, as I have rarely done so before. In high school I had photographed maybe a basketball game or two and then at my previous college I never shot sports because we didn’t have to. As a photographer I never chose to #photograph sports because I started focusing on other areas like features and portraits. Sports aren’t really my favorite to begin with but I know enough about them to understand a game and I also played volleyball throughout my high school career. With these two things in mind I decided to photograph a #volleyball game so I would be more interested and prepared.


A young fan shows his spirit at the Wayne State University volleyball game against Grand Valley State in Detroit on Saturday, November 16.

I have always felt pretty comfortable with my camera and knew I would be able to set everything correctly to get a good exposure. My biggest issue when shooting the game was the lighting. Not just the color but also the way it seemed to change so quickly. Another issue is that I wish I had a longer lens for this assignment. Only having a 50mm was all right, but something with some zoom or just a further length would have made this a bit easier. I enjoy really crisp clean photos so having some blur in some of my images really bothered me, but to me that was the hardest part was tracking the subject with my camera.


It was interesting learning where you can and cannot shoot during the game and also trying to pay attention to the game while getting the best shot. I still cant seem to get the hang of capturing the motion the best that I believe my #camera can, but I am learning. Shooting this volleyball game was actually very exciting and I enjoyed it a lot. There is so much going on with the ball, players, coaches, and fans that you really never run out of things to photograph. I felt I took a lot of pictures but looking back I probably could have taken a few more for good measure. My favorite types of shots that I got were of the coaches and players interacting because it seems so intense but also really family like.


After doing this assignment I have a lot more respect for sports photographers because it is a lot of work and the location isn’t always the best. I would really like to try and shoot a few more games just so I feel more comfortable but overall I am very proud of my turnout. Take a look at my favorite shots from the Wayne State University volleyball game against Grand Valley State that took place on November 16, 2019 in #Detroit, Michigan.


Coach Tim Koth addresses the starters during the Wayne State University volleyball game against Grand Valley State in Detroit on Saturday, November 16.

The Warriors come together in a huddle during the Wayne State University volleyball game against Grand Valley State in Detroit on Saturday, November 16.

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Kelley O'Neill | Detroit | 734-546-5435 | kelley.oneill22@gmail.com

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