Images that capture the dynamics of sports are fascinating and are the field of activity of many professional photographers. Every weekend hundreds of photographers besiege the world’s sporting venues. From swimming stadiums to BMX tracks, thousands of pictures are taken, but few make it into the media.
This is also one of the starting points of Jorg Walther, who already steams all ambitions to earn his money with sports photography – after all, this is a field of activity for professionals, which has little or no interface with amateur photography. For amateur photographers it is practically impossible to get accreditation for a rough sports event. Thus Walther’s book is not so much an introduction to the professional world of sports photographers, but rather an insight into their field of activity. To this end, the author gives an overview of the technology used (professional cameras and lenses) and advice on how to use them. These are largely limited to obvious facts, for example, that high ISO numbers and correspondingly usable equipment is of note in indoor sports, or that a high continuous shooting speed increases the number of ultimately usable pictures.
On the subject of image design, Walther also lets professional photographers have their say, presenting their personal favorite image and describing how it was created. In any case, the book is peppered with numerous high-quality sports shots, whose captions include the equipment used and the exposure settings.
However, more than half of the book is devoted to the specifics of individual sports and gives recommendations on how to behave on the sports field and how to choose the appropriate location (usually obsolete for professional events). The author does not shy away from – in our latitudes rare – sports such as American football, baseball, but also rodeo and camel racing. In this respect, the book provides a comprehensive overview and offers good tips for successful images.
The author devotes the last two chapters to the photographing of female elegance in sports and image post-processing. Especially the latter, if you have ever read a book on digital photography, you have read several times and sometimes in more detail. The fact that JPEG compression leads to loss of detail and motion-blurred dynamics in the image is not new and certainly not a special case of sports photography.
Jorg Walther gives a solid overview of the broad field of sports photography and provides especially with the systematic consideration of individual sports good tips on worthwhile motifs. The sample images are well chosen, but leave the reader with the disappointment of not being able to get even close to the camera’s position in most cases. So the book remains a nice reference book for photographers in the sporty amateur area, professionals it offers little.