Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Soccer Photography Tips

Soccer Photography Tips

Take Your Sports Photography to the Next Level!

Soccer can be something you photograph on a local level, using a telephoto zoom lens (say 300mm). You may also cover a professional game in a big stadium with a powerful 800mm lens. With soccer, at times there can be a lot of action, while at other times there doesn’t seem to be much going on. Being able to sense when the action will happen is essential to taking exciting soccer photographs. 

Focus on the Crowd

Soccer Photography
Soccer Photography Tips

The Soccer crowd are usually a spirited bunch; so be prepared for colorful outfits and banners if you’re at a soccer match in Europe or South America. You can use a wide-angle lens of 17mm - 40mm to capture huge crowds, though it is wonderful to have a telephoto zoom lens to pick out the finer details. For example an image of a banner that reads “GOAL”, screams soccer. As a suggestion, wait for something to happen on the field but instead of the players, photograph the reactions of fans in the crowd. Capture those emotions when the action happens!

2 Get in Position

Ideally, try to sit near the field on a lower level so you can see more than only the players’ heads and backs. An interesting place to sit is behind the goalkeeper; although there might not be action all the time, you can zoom in and wait for the moments when a ball approaches. Set the lens focus mode to AF (Autofocus) and select continuous focusing mode to automatically re-focus the lens on the moving player.

3 Single out Players

A telephoto zoom lens is essential for shooting portraits of individual players – you want at least a 300mm lens. You might want to attend training practice for a local team, and focus on the players who are practicing ball tricks or special skills. Use the widest aperture possible (f/2.8-f/4) and a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second to freeze the action especially when the ball is in the air. At a practice field you can use a tripod or a monopod for extra stability.

4 Follow the Ball

If you are in the middle of the field, then you can capture moments during game play. There is only one soccer ball in play, so zooming in on the ball and then following it with your camera is the best bet for an action image. Set the focus mode to continuous focusing (AI Servo AF Canon/AF-C Nikon) so that the lens can constantly maintain its focus on the moving soccer player. For multiple shots use continuous shooting mode and hold down the shutter button as long as you’d like. When employing continuous shooting for soccer photography, use as large an aperture as possible for a blurred background so you can isolate the specific soccer player that you want, and capture his or her efforts.

5 Capture the Action

Occasionally soccer players will jump high to hit a ball with the head (known as a header) or excite the fans with a dramatic “bicycle kick” where the ball gets kicked backwards over the player’s own head. By keeping the shutter speed at 1/1000th of a second, you will avoid the risk of any blur. Zoom in as closely as you can and use continuous focusing; you will have to preset it by depressing the button halfway, then taking the shot at the best possible moment. If the widest aperture doesn't give you the desired shutter speed, then don't be afraid to increase the ISO.

6 Take Great Group Photos

Before the soccer match (or practice), you’ll want to get a group shot of the players and the coach. One way to do this is to position them in two rows – one standing, one kneeling – in order to properly see everyone. Then for example, use a 35mm lens to make sure you’re close enough to see everyone’s face and have limited distortion. Set the shutter to anywhere between 1/250th to 1/500th of a second, and set the aperture to f/4 or f/5.6 for a sharp image with a shallow depth of field.

! Additional Information

ph. Don’t forget the referee! In soccer, the referee is the one who will dish the punishment for any fouls, so expect players to direct some angry words his way! If the weather is wet and dark (soccer is often played under the gloomiest conditions), increase the ISO. Be cautious with ISO speed though, because a high setting of 1600 may cause noise or grain. Sometimes “mistakes” can bring pleasant surprises as a grainy photo can look dramatic when combined with droplets of rain.

S Recommended Settings

If you want to freeze action make sure you are using a fast shutter speed to avoid any blur; nothing is worse than zooming in and seeing slight blurring around the edges of the main subject. Use ISO of 100 to 800 for best results, and you can set the ISO at 1600 or higher but you’ll have to consider the digital noise. If you want to capture motion or you are panning a player, then choose a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second to begin with, and increase or decrease the shutter speed depending on how the image looks on your playback screen. Keep the aperture between f/4 to f/5.6 for optimal results – relatively good depth of field as well as letting in enough light so you have the most flexibility with a range of shutter speeds.

E Recommended Equipment

A telephoto lens is highly recommended. Consider one of at least 300mm and consider getting a zoom, because the field is big. Soccer matches last 90+ minutes with only one break, so take enough batteries and memory cards. You might want to consider getting an extender, or teleconverter. This is a lens mounted device that increases (usually doubles) the focal length of the lens. A teleconverter allows you to get much closer to the action, at the expense of brightness – a 2X teleconverter magnifies the lens by two, but also cuts the brightness in half. A monopod is useful but not always allowed into stadiums. Monopod use shouldn’t be a problem if you have asked for permission to use one, ahead of time.

C Conclusion

Photographing a soccer match can involve slow periods interspersed with quick, bursts of action and emotion. To ensure that you're ready for the action, you’ll want to have your camera set with a higher shutter (say 1/800s or 1/1000s) to capture the action at the drop of a dime. To keep the depth of field shallow enough to focus on the action at hand, set your aperture at f/3.5 or f/4… this way you can effectively pan with the play, and capture the soccer players in action. You’ll be tempted to increase your ISO for faster shutter speeds, but you don’t need to go above 400 as too much digital noise will be apparent, and whatever image you’re after can be captured at 1/1000s. Bring additional batteries and memory cards, and a monopod if possible since you’ll be using at least a 300mm lens.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Become a Better Striker

Become a Better Striker

Work on the following aspects if you want to improve as a forward. Can you safely say you have all of them perfected?
Shooting, both from distance and close range. If you don’t shoot you don’t score.
Apart from making forward runs strikers must sometimes play with their back to goal to link play, making themselves available to receive and turn or lay off under pressure.
Working together as a unit. Forward players must play close to each other to be able to work together, if the midfield do not make advanced runs forwards are often isolated. If this does occur then dribbling for penetration and possession is always an option.
Heading – attacking.
 Best Soccer Player

Tackling. The forwards are the 1st line of defence. If your team losing possession in the attacking 3rd then it is initially up to the forward to put pressure on the ball to win possession but also to allow the team to get their shape back.
Forwards need to have great composure in front of goal and have the ability to make good decisions quickly.
Confidence. Forwards must approach every game thinking they are going to score.
Awareness & Vision. Forwards must be aware at all times of the goalkeepers position to identify which areas of the goal is more vulnerable.
Forwards often run wide in to the channels so the ability to cross the ball from varying angles and positions is essential.
A quality 1st touch (to feet, knee, chest or head) and short accurate passing are vital techniques.
Body over the ball to keep shots down. Make the goalkeeper work.

Soccer player - Forwards - when defending from the front:

Track back to split defenders and get behind the ball.
When pressing the ball high up the pitch, show the defender the outside where there is limited opportunities to keep possession, the majority of support will be inside.
Pressing the opposition midfielders from behind helps your own midfield.
If a midfielder is in an advanced position when possession is lost forwards can offer cover and balance.
Delay the attack to allow team mates to recover and regroup.

Soccer player - Forwards - when attacking:

Making positive forward runs through the channels in advance of the ball.
When in isolated or advanced positions dribble the ball to penetrate the defence to create a goal scoring opportunity.
Make intelligent runs off the ball to disrupt opponents defence and formation. Take players away.
Link play with other forward and midfielders using one two’s, quick high tempo short passes
Always aim for the far post when shooting at an angle. This increases the chance of a secondary opportunity.
Soccer Better Striker
Intelligent runs to beat the off-side trap.
Take you marker away to create space in behind or through a channel.

Attacking wide players:

When 2 forwards play central full backs normally tuck in so the ball to wide areas is always an option if the forward anticipates the pass before the defender.
Dribbling / 1 v 1 skills are an essential technique for an attacking wide player before crossing the ball or cutting in to shoot.
When the ball is on the opposite side of the pitch wide players should tuck in and get in the box as an extra forward.
Intelligent runs off the ball to disrupt opposition back line.
Many goals are scored from the side of the goals, because the middle is usually well defended; therefore, it is more beneficial to teach players to shoot at an angle.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

  • Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
  • Squad No: 10
  • Position: Forward
  • Age: 25
  • Birth Date: Jun 24, 1987
  • Birth Place: Rosario, Argentina
  • Height: 5' 7'' (1.70m)
  • Weight: 67 kg


Lionel Messi is the heir apparent to the throne left vacant by Diego Armando Maradona. The waters are divided between those who consider him to be far from being the best No. 10, and those who believe that Messi will be even better than Maradona.

Born in Rosario, he cut his teeth in the youth ranks of Newell's Old Boys, until a hormonal problem that affected his growth changed the plans of his family and, of course, his personal future. Facing expensive treatment for their son, Messi's parents moved to Spain as Newell's were not able to afford the medical costs related to his condition, and even the wealthiest Argentine teams, such as River Plate, refused to foot the bill.

After his first trial with Barcelona, the Catalan coaches had no doubts. They decided to sign Messi and pay for his medical treatment. His growth was noticeable within Barca, and in little time he came to be considered one of the great talents at the club. He made his debut in the first division in October 2004, against Espanyol, and Barcelona have since adopted him as one of their greatest idols.

His first championship would come in the Liga season of 2004-05. Since then, and playing a more prominent role every season, he has won every major club trophy at Camp Nou - including a stunning haul of six in 2008-09 - and claimed the World Player of the Year award three times in three years, leaving many in little doubt as to the fact that Messi is the best player of his generation; possibly of all-time.

That idea was given further weight in March 2012 when, at the age of 24, he became the all-time top scorer at Barcelona - beating the 232 goals of Cesar Rodriguez.

Strengths: His ball skills are second to none, his runs from midfield are usually lethal and he is almost impossible to tackle when he gets his head down. His balance when running at speed is incredible.

Weaknesses: Too often he searches for a way to finish moves by himself without looking for team-mates in a better position to shoot at goal.

Career high: Winning the 2009, 2010 and 2011 World Player of the Year awards.

Career low: He was unable to perform to his best in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where Argentina were eliminated in the quarter-finals with Messi looking on from the bench.

Style: Quick, incisive, balanced, a stylish runner with the ball.

Quotes: "Messi is my Maradona," said Maradona himself, as the head coach of the Argentine national team.

Trivia: His debut with the national team (against Hungary) was a disaster: he entered the game in the 18th minute of the second half, and 47 seconds later was sent off.


BarcelonaEsp Cup1020000000
BarcelonaSup Cup2020830700
BarcelonaLa Liga161265904774310
Season Totals37249915990128610
BarcelonaLa Liga361501519899277860
BarcelonaSup Cup2032763500
ArgentinaCopa Am40036451800
BarcelonaSuper C1010000000
BarcelonaEsp Cup5230000010
Season Totals70377273041585315090
BarcelonaEsp Cup5270000010
BarcelonaLa Liga312311815080225730
Season Totals55651222551304511950
BarcelonaLa Liga305341016386298430
BarcelonaSuper C1000000010
BarcelonaEsp Cup3010000010
Season Totals58649112331195315870
BarcelonaEsp Cup4460000010
BarcelonaLa Liga274231111450268320
Season Totals54104218154674714160
BarcelonaLa Liga23510126833337220
BarcelonaEsp Cup1000000010
Season Totals4052014114554111550
BarcelonaSuper C1000000000
BarcelonaEsp Cup2020000010
BarcelonaLa Liga233142461535020
Season Totals346193562048440
BarcelonaLa Liga11660321113020
Season Totals15871521819020
BarcelonaLa Liga0710000000

GS: Games Started, SB: Used as Substitute, G: Goals, A: Assists, SH: Shots, SG: Shots on goal, YC: Yellow Cards, RC: Red Cards, FC: Fouls Committed, FS: Fouls Suffered, SV: Saves, OF: Offsides, W: W, D: Draws, L: Losses


22/12 2012BarcelonaA-ValladolidLa LigaW 1-3Started10730400
16/12 2012BarcelonaH- AtleticoLa LigaW 4-1Started20421400
12/12 2012BarcelonaA- CordobaEsp CupW 0-2Started20000000
09/12 2012BarcelonaA- BetisLa LigaW 1-2Started20431100
05/12 2012BarcelonaH- BenficaUCLD 0-0On 5700320300
01/12 2012BarcelonaH- AthleticLa LigaW 5-1Started20730200
25/11 2012BarcelonaA- LevanteLa LigaW 0-4Started20530000
20/11 2012BarcelonaA- Spart MoscowUCLW 0-3Started20220000
17/11 2012BarcelonaH- R ZaragozaLa LigaW 3-1Started21320200
14/11 2012ArgentinaA- Saudi ArabiaIntD 0-0Started00000000
11/11 2012BarcelonaA- MallorcaLa LigaW 2-4Started20420300
07/11 2012BarcelonaA- CelticUCLL 2-1Started10640000
03/11 2012BarcelonaH- Celta VigoLa LigaW 3-1Started00520200
27/10 2012BarcelonaA- RayoLa LigaW 0-5Started20730200
23/10 2012BarcelonaH- CelticUCLW 2-1Started00830300
20/10 2012BarcelonaA-DeportivoLa LigaW 4-5Started31543210
16/10 2012ArgentinaA- ChileWCQW 1-2Started10220000
12/10 2012ArgentinaH- UruguayWCQW 3-0Started20540200
07/10 2012BarcelonaH- Real MadridLa LigaD 2-2Started20420600
02/10 2012BarcelonaA- BenficaUCLW 0-2Started02320400
29/09 2012BarcelonaA- SevillaLa LigaW 2-3Started02520400
22/09 2012BarcelonaH-GranadaLa LigaW 2-0Started00730100
19/09 2012BarcelonaH- Spart MoscowUCLW 3-2Started20730100
15/09 2012BarcelonaA- GetafeLa LigaW 1-4On 5820320100
11/09 2012ArgentinaA- PeruWCQD 1-1Started00000000
07/09 2012ArgentinaH-ParaguayWCQW 3-1Started10311600
02/09 2012BarcelonaH- ValenciaLa LigaW 1-0Started01511500
29/08 2012BarcelonaA- Real MadridSup CupL 2-1Started10310600
26/08 2012BarcelonaA-OsasunaLa LigaW 1-2Started20760200
23/08 2012BarcelonaH- Real MadridSup CupW 3-2Started10520100
19/08 2012BarcelonaH- R SociedadLa LigaW 5-1Started20841200
15/08 2012ArgentinaA-GermanyIntW 1-3Started10430100
09/06 2012ArgentinaH- BrazilIntW 4-3Started30000000
02/06 2012ArgentinaH- EcuadorWCQW 4-0Started11650200
29/02 2012ArgentinaA-SwitzerlandIntW 1-3Started30000000
15/11 2011ArgentinaA-ColombiaWCQW 1-2Started10330300
11/11 2011ArgentinaH- BoliviaWCQD 1-1Started00411400
11/10 2011ArgentinaA-VenezuelaWCQL 1-0Started00332400
07/10 2011ArgentinaH- ChileWCQW 4-1Started11221300
2012/13 Season TotalsStarts: 37  •  Sub: 249915990128610

G: Goals, A: Assists, SH: Shots, SG: Shots on goal, YC: Yellow Cards, RC: Red Cards, FC: Fouls Commited, FS: Fouls Suffered, SV: Saves, OF: Offsides