Basketball provides some of the best sports photos because you can get close ups of the players’ faces and reactions.
Bowdoin's Rachel Norton (12) wags her tongue like Michael Jordan as she races down court in a women’s basketball win over Colby College.
Basketball is one of the very best sports to photograph. You are physically close to the players and they don’t wear any head gear, which enables you to get close up pictures of both the action and players’ faces. Too often, basketball action photos look the same -- jumps, leaps, dribbles, rebounds – but highlighting facial expressions can transform routine hoop action into a memorable image. However, no need to limit yourself to basketball action pix. Watch players on the bench as they react to the game, and follow coaches guiding the players or attempting to influence referees.
For this photo, I was sitting under the basket at the opposite end of the court, as a Bowdoin player received a long inbounds pass and quickly dribbled up court. When she immediately stuck her tongue out, I thought it was a great photo, but she was too far away. To my happy surprise, she kept her tongue out for the entire time as she dribbled straight toward me to the basket, so I photographed her repeatedly, giving me a sequence of great shots. I thought of Michael Jordan’s tendency to stick out his tongue out, but I don’t believe he ever had it hanging out for as long as this player did.
1) Seize the opportunity to shoot close-ups of basketball players’ faces
2) Watch players on the court and on the bench
3) Remember that coaches arguing with referees are also strong photo ops