Getting Started with Basketball Photography: Tips from a Pro

February 05, 2023

Melbourne Sports Photography founder and photographer, Craig Dingle, has shot a lot of basketball. Last year, he photographed everything from the Juniors through to the World Cup in Sydney. We ask him for some pointers for people starting out in basketball photography. Here is what he has to say. 

Photographing basketball games can be a thrilling experience, especially if you're just starting out. With fast-paced action and exciting moments, capturing the essence of the game can be challenging. However, with the right skills and equipment, you can create stunning images that showcase the athleticism and grace of the players. Here are some tips to help you get started with basketball photography.

  1. Get the Right Equipment

As with any type of photography, having the right equipment is crucial. For basketball, you will need a camera with a fast autofocus system and a high-quality lens. A zoom lens that covers a range of focal lengths is a great option, as it will allow you to capture wide shots of the court as well as zoom in on the action. A fast lens with a large aperture will also allow you to shoot in low light conditions, which is common in many indoor arenas.


  1. Find the Best Shooting Position

The position from which you shoot can greatly affect the quality of your images. Ideally, you should be seated courtside or behind one of the baskets. This will allow you to be close to the action and capture the players' expressions and movements. If you're not able to get a courtside seat, consider shooting from a high angle, such as the upper deck. This will give you a bird's eye view of the court and can provide a unique perspective.

  1. Get to Know the Game

It's important to understand the rules and dynamics of basketball in order to anticipate the action. Familiarize yourself with the players, their positions, and their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you anticipate where the action is going to be and capture the most exciting moments.


  1. Experiment with Settings

Basketball is a fast-paced sport, so it's important to have a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. A shutter speed of 1/800th of a second or faster is recommended. Additionally, you may need to adjust your aperture and ISO settings to get the right exposure, depending on the lighting conditions. Don't be afraid to experiment with different settings to see what works best for you.

In conclusion, basketball photography can be a lot of fun and a great way to challenge yourself as a photographer. By getting the right equipment, finding the best shooting position, getting to know the game, and experimenting with your settings, you'll be well on your way to capturing stunning images that showcase the excitement and athleticism of the sport.