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Bradley Wilson, Photographer
Raleigh | NC | USA | Posted: 10:31 PM on 01.18.07
->> One of my student (college-level) photographers came in day before yesterday and asked for tips for shooting gymnastics. I found some good examples for him, talked it over with him, and helped him come up with a plan. But then I decided to do my usual thing and write an article on shooting gymnastics for the Journalism Education Association magazine.

But it would really help me out if y'all would share your tips and advice for shooting gymnastics. The more specific, the better. What to watch for. What equipment to use. Where to stand. Anything you want to say, from basic stuff to "advanced" will be appreciated.

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Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 12:16 AM on 01.19.07

Lighting in the gyms can be tough too, so I would suggest using 1.8 to 2.0 lenses. The 85/1.8 and 153/2.0 are great for gymnastics. You want to shoot at a high shutter speed to, 1/640 if you can get that.

For beam, I like to stay low, looking up at the gymnasts as they leap and flip on the beam. I usually shoot at about a 45 degree angle to the beam. Gymnasts don't like it if you are in their line of site when they are trying to stay on a 4 inch beam. Try not to move around much either during their routines.

For vault, I like to ge the moment of impact on the vault, unless the gymnast does some amazing, high-flying vault, then I shoot if from half-way down the runway looking at the vault.

Overall, it's more about capturing peak moments, then just shooting off the motor drive at 8 fps. I've actually shot at 1/125 of a sec and been able to "stop" the action. Really I was just getting the gymnasts at the top of their leaps.

Big tip: Watch what the gymnasts fo during warm-ups. From there, you can decide where you need to stand to ge the best pick during their routines.

I'm sure there's tons more I could say, but it's getting late and I'm getting up early to head to Texas tomorrow to shoot a meet with world class gymnast and Olympic hopeful Alicia Sacramone (Brown University).

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Christopher Trim, Photographer
Elk Grove | CA | USA | Posted: 12:54 AM on 01.19.07
->> Bradley,

SECOND: Don't Stand in the way of the Judges!

Here is post from a while ago that has some good info.

As Stew says, peak action is the goal. The more you take gymnastics photos, it almost seems like the gymnast is "floating" waiting for you to take the photo.

Have fun.
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Bradley Wilson, Photographer
Raleigh | NC | USA | Posted: 8:46 AM on 01.19.07
->> Does anyone shoot practice to get a feel for what the athletes are doing before the competitive event?
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Bryan Curtis, Photographer
Plainville | CT | USA | Posted: 9:05 AM on 01.19.07
->> I remember way back listening to Dave Black speak at a workshop in Colorado. He talked about shooting figure skating and how he studied the warmup routine to learn exactly where the skaters would be during their performance. I would suggest watching the practice with less shooting.

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Rick Rickman, Photographer
Laguna Niguel | CA | USA | Posted: 10:28 AM on 01.19.07
->> If you really want to get quality information about shooting gymnastics, it would be worth your while to go to Dave Black's website and ask him some basic questions.

He's without a doubt, the best there is when it comes to shooting and understanding that sport. Nobody else really is in the same league as Dave in visual Gymnastic coverage.

Rick Rickman
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Darrell Miho, Photographer
Temple City | CA | usa | Posted: 1:16 PM on 01.19.07
->> i hope you give proper credit to those who's ideas/advice you use in your story. something simple like "some member's offer the following advice" or "jane doe and john smith contributed to this story"

taking someone's words/advice and passing them off as one's own is just serious as taking someone's photos to illustrate a story. although, most people here probably wouldn't care since most don't write for a living. but i bet they would be pretty peeved if they found their photos illustrating a story that they didn't give permission for.

although, this is a little different, in that, by posting their advice here, they are inherently giving you permission to use it. it would still be proper to acknowledge those that helped contribute to your story.

i'm not trying to insinuate or accuse anyone of anything here. all i'm trying to say is that as a writer, i hope you have the same respect for people's words/advice as you would a photographer's photos.

happy writings!
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Seh Suan Ngoh, Photographer
Singapore | SG | Singapore | Posted: 1:59 PM on 01.20.07
->> Darrell, I'm sure Bradley does that. I understand that he has been in contact or quoted the names from whom advice came from. I've a copy of the JEA journal, and it's of a pretty high quality, in terms of layout and contents.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 10:21 AM on 01.21.07
->> Rick is correct. Dave Black was a gymnast and coach. This is really how he got into photography as a profession.
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Thread Title: Gymnastics
Thread Started By: Bradley Wilson
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