I Hate Sports Photography
By Jim Bochenek on December 1, 2016

Yep, I said it. I hate sports photography. It’s frustrating and challenging and tiring and expensive.

While shooting outdoors during the day provides plenty of light, move indoors or to nighttime and your camera struggles accordingly. I recently priced a wish-list lens to improve shooting in those conditions. The cost? $3,200. That’s right, for the cost of a used compact car I can take my equipment to another level.

I once weighed the expensive camera equipment I use. Fourteen pounds. Fourteen pounds stressing my shoulders as I carry it around. Fourteen pounds compressing my spine and speeding my shrinking faster than the normal aging process.

My shoulders end up particularly sore after volleyball matches. Parked behind the baseline and focused on play at the net, my camera sits atop a monopod and my arms remain in the same bent position except for a brief respite between plays when I whirl them around like a sideways helicopter. 

Maybe I'm just old. Watching younger athletes reminds me of times gone by when I had energy to expend play after play and could repeat that process day after day. Now I just hope to rise from a crouched position without making the old man noise. 

And what about the enormous frustration of anticipating the action and maneuvering into ideal position for the play of the game, only to find the player making that fabulous play...

...is out of focus.


I tell ya, I hate sports photography. And I would quit doing it too, except for the...

...unadulterated appreciation for an outstanding play...


...addicting energy of a raucous crowd...


...goose bump-inducing elation in a victorious team's celebration...


...enjoyable tension of a close play...


... admiration of the strength and drive of a player who simply won't be denied...


...inspiration from athletes overcoming adversity...


...gratification, contentment, and delight of pursuing that perfect shot, conveying that captivating story over and over and over...

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