Using Backlight for Dramatic Swim Meet Photography

Backlit Freestyler 1, Arizona Senior State Long Course Championships, Phoenix, Arizona, July 2016. Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, 1/4000 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200. Copyright 2016 by James A. Covello.
Backlit Freestyler 1, Arizona Senior State Long Course Championships, Phoenix, Arizona, July 2016. Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, 1/4000 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200. Copyright 2016 by James A. Covello.

Swim meet photographs can get pretty predictable. The standard advice for any sport, including swimming, is to get the athlete’s face in the image. In fact, the standard advice is that if you don’t get the athlete’s face in the image, it’s not worth much. A tightly framed image with the churning water frozen around the swimmer’s face is certainly nice—and pulling this off in swimming certainly has its challenges—but if you go to enough swim meets you will eventually end up with hundreds of “nice” pictures that all look the same. So we need to generate some artistic variety. Continue reading “Using Backlight for Dramatic Swim Meet Photography”