it's Peter Reid Miller from on sports photography with Peter Reid Miller today I'm privileged to have Steve fine my good friend and former boss former director of photography at Sports Illustrated and currently photo editor at Flipboard today we're going to critique some pictures that you have sent in for us to look at even I've been doing this for a long time we critique all the students work at my workshops and we talk a lot about what makes a good picture so let's start with the first one right now and I think we really have a pretty good picture here yeah this is a good way to start my I initially went to the vol which looked like it was plastered on the ground not moving but I do realize now that it is up to the air yeah and which is which is kind of nice there's good expression I like the kids fingers on the on the left here don't love the fact that his eyes are closed here but it's cropped well there's very little negative space the background it's nice and clean I'd give this you know a couple of things that this guy bothers me a lot because he's not even running and we've got a little Z yeah the thalidomide the cutoff flip he kind of thing but he's got shallow depth-of-field he used a high shutter speed he's a 8000 and he wasn't afraid to take a high ISO out so outdoors so all in all a nice nice image pretty good start yeah okay let's see what the next one is gymnastics is always that backgrounds are always a challenge in gymnastics and here again we have very kind of distracting background but shallow depth-of-field she really pops out my problem is this leg it should be straight yeah a long time ago the great height Skloot Mayer at Sports Illustrated explained to me that gymnasts have to have a certain form certain ballet a certain look for the picture to be right and also for the code not to be yelling at the a Fiat for them to get points yeah and this picture is got a fundamental mistake in it and that leg should be straight I'm just gonna suggest a better or a different crack or well I want to see how she is off the bar or even though that's not her bar it gives me a better idea of how high she got off the ground but I'm her face is good or fingers are good that chair bent leg is just like yeah this is a reject for me okay oh that's nice that's nice that's obviously in the tunnel looks like as the players are coming down looks like Saints Saints yeah yeah and the light is perfect I mean I wish the mouthguard weren't there on the other he looks like he's chewing on something but on the other hand it caught the light in a nice way I think it's well composed I think it's framed well this is a keeper yeah a couple of our thoughts on this picture you know there's a lot more to a game any sporting event than what happens between when they kick off and when the referee shoots the gun or whenever I mean there's stuff going on all around I usually get to game at least two hours early this is a very good moment it's the team coming down and kind of sets up the anticipation of the game and it's important to look for that stuff one of my first projects when I worked at for NFL was a book called a game of passion and for a whole season I shot nothing on the field I shot everything off the field and it was great it really taught me to look beyond the action look around and find these kind of pictures which are really very special the great portrait photographer Howard Schatz got into shooting boxing both for me when I was at Sports Illustrated and also he was doing a book on boxing and he asked me because he I got some ringside seats at at the garden he said you know besides the corner and besides you know the action in the ring watch out we're looking for I said well the first thing you ought to do is when they when the boxers come down the alley okay I say I have the tiger right okay I said turn away from the ring and I'm coming at you because they've got this entourage the lights are on the ground and sure enough at his first ever boxing assignment for me the picture we ran was one of the chef's as boxers coming through the garden going crazy and he said I never would have thought to think of doing that unless you had said something about it much like much like Walter Yost who said a long time ago his favorite part of a baseball game was batting practice okay because you had access you could get and see things you could be on the field you could shoot stuff that you couldn't shoot during a game so I agree a lot of what happens in a sporting event that will that will help tell the story that's fundamentally what are you trying to do here you trying to tell a story photographers as storytellers okay and a lot of work goes on pregame is important in terms of the preparation and it can make for really really compelling pictures yeah yeah totally totally golf yeah the funny thing about golf is the guys who win the tournament never end up in the hazards so you end up with a lot of boring pictures of guys on the fairway chipping in right so this is quite nice I mean good face good sand good ball good background and just enough of the grass in the foreground I like this yeah I do too and I think one thing that's nice is it looks like he's kept the focus on the golfer despite all this distracting States and which could have caught the autofocus I would probably like to take out a little bit more of the background Steve what do you say about sports photos and cropping no sports picture cannot be improved by cropping so there you go a little tighter yeah this is a lot of wasted space all that black area you don't need that I didn't mind the grass on the bottom though give it a little more color yeah all right like that I didn't want all this water back here though okay that's fine but yeah it's nice just pretty nice shot oh yeah there's a lot wrong here first of all she's got something growing out of her head which just drives me crazy she has no expression whatsoever it doesn't appear to be sharp either it's pretty sharp okay it's a little bit back focused I think on the on the back of the Hat on the under bill of the Hat there but the thing growing out of her head is just no that's just you can't have stuff growing out of people's heads heparins taught me that a million years ago and it's just I live by that that's true okay skiing pictures yes getting them going through the gate is very important there should be more full open action as what they call it where the skis are a little bit off the snow and you're getting a little bit more snowflakes or ice coming up off that it this is pretty good I like the angle of the gate I like his face the assistant needs a little more action off the skis I mean they cut off the pole that's not a crisis because otherwise the thing would be too loose I think all right that's not a problem I think this crop really makes it stronger there is nothing over here yeah now he's in the center of the picture and your eye goes boom right to him whereas before a guy kind of wanders your eye goes to the brightest thing in the picture so there's a whole lot of white that you're wandering around and not seeing him but if you go if you crop it tighter you know less white more ski here better picture I agree skiing pictures I'm a little bit of an expert on this because I have been to 15 Olympics and a lot of them in some really seriously cold weather I have tremendous respect for skiing photographers they got up at 6 o'clock in the morning days in advance okay they go and actually ski the course okay and these courses you know they're not on snow this has been watered down and iced over okay and the different view winning and losing is you know fractions of a second thousands of a second okay so two things that you should be looking for when you when you're doing skiing find the place where they can fall it makes unbelievable pictures oh yeah call Yarborough rats in in Nagano in 1998 made that phenomenal picture of the herminator going upside down almost clobbered him okay he was standing outside of snow fence in an area where there was no way there were no other photography a ladder he had a ladder all the ladder about the mountain okay and here comes the herminator boom the other thing is blue sky you know you're gonna get what you're gonna get I mean it's a winter sport some days it's snowing some days it's cloudy but if you can get a blue sky and then the part of the picture should where the skiers are coming through if they can have a dark background man the snow pops and it is so beautiful but you've got to get them up in the air you got to find a jump you got to find a little bit of a bump somewhere where there's more stuff going on yeah okay and this picture is fine they got the date etc etc and not everything is a downhill where you're flying through the air but that's what's gonna make a better skiing picture yeah I agree on everything I don't do a lot of skiing but you know that your last point he does seem very compressed he just doesn't you know he's all bunched up he's on the slope he's like you know pinned to the ground there it's not enough that the only good thing about this picture really is the gate yeah which a you picked the Red Gate perfect okay but there's not enough happening here and those skis have to be he has to be in the air the skis have to be one leg should be up like this I think his arms got to be moving and then you go Wow okay the end of the day what are we trying to do here we're trying to get people to stop turning pages in our magazine what stop flipping on their phone and take a look at you and AH how did this heading make this picture yeah yeah Danica Danica well it helps helps to photograph good-looking people yes this is fine her expression is good the lighting is good looks like there was a little bit of work of a little over softening of the skin but she's very pretty so yeah and the colors work I mean you got a little bit of a hint of red goes with the green you know fire suit I like this picture yeah she's got a nice smile yeah – all right the key thing if you're gonna do a pan is something in the frame has to be sharp now the good news is the helmet and the face are sharp the bad news is it appears his eyes are closed which is just like bad luck so he fulfilled He fulfilled most okay so then I would give this a you know a high mark because you've got to have something in focus in the pan otherwise it's just a mozzie mess yeah I like it too it's hard pans work best on things that are kind of smooth like like horses running your cars people running they're moving in a lot of different directions so this was this was a good job of capturing the face I would I'm not gonna go through and crop every picture but I felt yeah you could probably lose a little something off the left side but it is this is again the hard part of the picture was accomplished yeah yeah hey as we said about this picture pans are hard okay and the best pans normally have a neutral background either one color or three colors you get kind of that nice little you know tricolor pattern going on but when you have a lot of junk in the background and you got white uniforms bunched up with white uniforms it's a little hard to get some definition yeah I think the thing about a pan is when someone's running the best pans are cars horses anything that's moving you know one you know only on one plane in other words going side to side when you run you go up and down and side to side so it's tough he did get the face here and I knows he shot a 40th which is you know that's pretty good he took his ISO down instead of taking his aperture down so he still is a pretty child of the field but I think it's something that you know it's just very tough I think it would also also looks like the photographer was standing and whereas he could have been kneeling which would have just added a little bit more to this picture and I think that's something that a point to make about any kind of sports photography is everybody looks better the lower the camera is especially if you're shooting youth sports kids you know you know they're looking down a lot to be down as low as you can get always is the best way and then football the players look more heroic so that would have helped this picture even if it was just you know a frozen action picture but in terms of the pan it's it's a really good effort there just some points to keep in mind when you're shooting pants yeah and this this doesn't bother me so much when I this this leg I'm he's funky shoes is the guy I think it was a little bit of a distraction and it took me you know a fraction of a second to realize that that was actually his leg and not somebody else in the bracket so it didn't actually he didn't get that classic runners pose that you're looking for there's a ballet to shooting football pictures and there's a certain kind of way that they pump their legs and they're off the ground okay that has a look and this is close but it it's just a tiny little bit of kind of confusion remember what you're trying to do here is not mislead the reader into thinking well I think this is going on you're not trying to confuse the reader no okay no you want a nice by it right you want to here's my message here's what I'm trying to convey in this picture why don't I get up this morning this is what I was trying to do okay this is close it's just it's not good enough for leading off a picture right but it's good effort oh that's nice that's a very nice very nice catch yeah again I would maybe crop it a little bit you don't need all of that sky you don't need these two guys here on the web like the guy give me no more the goalposts yeah that works that works that is good you want to get the readers eye to the action quicker yes okay unless you have a perfectly balanced geometric pattern that you would get maybe the baseball stadium you know the diamond shape or what have you so you just want to get to the picture within the picture faster exactly and I mean you could really I think if you really I would no no no no I want to see I want to see the you know the state of its Notre Dame it's got you know it's got history I mean I wish it touched them Jesus we're in the back there but they built up a stand yeah they really but I like the bowl effect and also it's one of those stadiums like the Rose Bowl where the stands come down to the floor so it fills in nicely as opposed to those modern stadiums like Jerry Jones and met where everybody's up and in his luxury boxes and it's a mess and what-have-you this is this is a very nice picture a good peek action the ball the face the leg yeah nice nice good shot oh that's pretty cool the eyes are great I need a ball yeah I need the rest of that arm and the ball or because that finger just kind of out there yeah that's right down there but those eyes or eyes are great yeah I like the glove and the hand but you're right it just and pictures I mean it's just a millisecond and that ball would be there or it wouldn't be but good in terms of again nailing the focus on the eyes not not having your focus go to the glove that's a nice nice shot yeah yeah all right not enough face in the guy catching the ball it's okay strangely static for a moment for a lot of leaping catch yeah and they're not having the face you do have a little yeah I like this guy's face though that's a good react face yeah doesn't zoom but I mean I understand the nature of either high school or you know small college football you're gonna have black backgrounds which kind of you know hurts the picture a little bit but not having the face in the helmet I you point it out your eyes go to the eyes right okay and if there's no eyes in mind you be kind of why is your lights rainiest yeah what's going I mean it's raining I know but he's like he had a or that there's some kind of glow that's been put on the picture it's hurting my eyes looking at this picture and the focus is really back on yeah yeah this is not working oh that's good yeah that that's a good he's good enough he's got enough footage over here so it doesn't look like you know it's cut off it to me this guy is good that guy's really good yeah I might cut it off over here yeah get rid of some of the junk on the right a little bit yeah but good eyes on the ball carrier yeah like right there like right there now he's now he's centered and yep yeah agreed okay well that's gonna do it for this session we're gonna do more we have more pictures and we'll do them in a future video thanks a lot and good shooting you

Sports Photography Comment and Critique with Peter Read Miller and and Steve Fine

26 thoughts on “Sports Photography Comment and Critique with Peter Read Miller and and Steve Fine

  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    I disagree with the assessment of the photo of the N.O. Saints player. My eye bounces back and forth from the player to the helmet highlight on the right edge of frame. I think it would be stronger with that cropped out or burned down.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    The gymnast photo with the bent leg at 2:30 … that’s actually perfect form of a switch ring leap. Love these critiques. I’m a mom that likes to take action photos of my kids and one of them is a gymnast. I am still trying to figure it out. I’ve been shooting with the Nikon D7000 with a 70-200mm f2.8. The poor lighting is my biggest struggle.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Love the attention to detail by two experts in their field! Especially the gymnastic critique. I shoot mainly ballet dancers and I’d be horrified if I posted a photo the dancer does not approve of the technique. These dancers and gymnasts spend thousands of hours in reactive to correct their techniques…we as photographers need to respect their art.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    My new favorite channel….. Please more…..

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    You should change stream name to Crop Yours Sports Photography 🙃

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Thanks for this insight Peter. Can you do a video on basketball photography?

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    fantastic video a big thumbs up

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    When cropping, I tend to crop it with the standard ratio of 4:6, 5:7 for possible printing purpose (and display purposes on mobile devices). Many times, these end up with lots of negative spaces. Do you guys have recommendations for better crops in this case? Learning a lot from your show. Thanks!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Great job, I really enjoyed the critique and soaked in the advice like "can't crop a sports photo too much" and "the eyes go to the eyes". I subscribed……

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Thank you Peter and Steve for the feedback!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Thanks you Peter and Steve! Great tips! How can I submit a couple of my pictures for review?

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Great video! Thank you ! Finally someone gives us constructive and knowledge based critique without focusing on camera model/settings all the time. Awesome!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    On the last photo at the 18:00 minute mark, my inclination would have been not to crop it. I like that it follows the rule of thirds and the defenders on the ground watching the rusher go by told a better story.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Thank you for the critique of my photo of the College Pitcher. I always appreciate cropping feedback. As always Peter, your video's are very educational.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    It seems you were croping without regard to aspect ratio. Is this normal? Also, i noticed when you did crop you left VERY little below feet or above heads. Is this also normal?

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Always Alway great to sit and listen to either Peter and/or Steve, the amount of information shared in this 19 minutes is PRICELESS! Take it from me, a three time attendee of Peter's Workshops, game changing experiences!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Great chance to hear and see gentlemen at work!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Thank you for the critique of my photo (football catch at the Notre Dame stadium). I struggled with keeping the shot wide but also kept another cropped version as well.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    That was terrific guys! Thanks!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    What a great channel !

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Excellent! This is so missing in sports photography…what makes a good picture and how to crop. Need more of this. Thanks!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    You guys can be tough. I can see I need to be harder on myself in action shots. Thank you.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    This is great, want more

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    How does one send photos for critique?

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Great video Peter!

    Reply

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