Photographing Polo, A New Hobby For You!
Polo is an exciting spectator sport that provides audiences with a rush of adrenaline whether watching for the first time or the hundredth time. Those with a love of horses, equestrian entertainment or simply the tactics of the game can become engrossed during the series of chukkers, but if you’re after a longer-lasting experience photographing the team game enables you to freeze and keep a slice of the action for years to come.
But how does one shoot a decent photograph of horse polo? Here are some tips and tricks to help you feel more confident capturing the equine sport on camera.
Become Accustomed To The Sport, Before Picking Up Your Camera
If you are not familiar with the game make this your number one priority . Even the most expensive and latest photography gear won’t make up for a lack of knowledge – however basic – of the sport, so before taking your first photograph attend a few matches to simply watch and learn.
The more familiar you are with the game and the rules the more considered your photographs will be, and thus the higher quality of image you will achieve.
A camera is obviously a necessity here, but is not the only thing to think about when packing your bag for photographing Polo.
A monopod or tripod can be a lifesaver when pitch-side, to ensure a still base from which to shoot, and to save your arms from holding a heavy piece of equipment for a very long time. Small stools are also a popular accessory, giving a low angle from which to capture the horses and riders, creating a sense of majesty and drama.
Choose The Right Camera
In terms of the camera you are using, a professional DSLR is going to produce higher quality images than an old smart phone, but any camera is better than no camera. If you do have, or have access to, a more professional camera consider taking two lenses with you to facilitate the action both on and off the pitch. With the playing field the size of approximately six football fields, a long lens – perhaps 300 mm to 400 mm minimum – can help when capturing play which seems miles and miles away. A shorter lens can be useful for non-action shots, such as the players and horses before and after the game, and the crowd during moments of reaction and when posing with their friends.
Chose Your Position
While the polo field can seem intimidatingly large to first-time photographers, rest assured that the action will always come to you, you might just have to be patient. Some photographers prefer to take up position and stay there for the duration; others opt for a few different spots throughout the game to give more diversity to the images they capture.
If circumstances allow, try positioning yourself behind the goal for some of the play, near the goal judge if possible. The corners are another popular spot to obtain brilliant action shots. And the sidelines give yet another angle.
While keeping a steady eye on the ball – or the player with the ball – try to keep an eye on other areas on the field and the crowd, as you never know what entertaining images might present themselves to you from even the most unexpected of places.
And most of all, enjoy the game! That, after all, is what it’s all about.
Photographing Polo And Share!
If you have captured photographs from any of our events we would love to see them, feel free to share on our social media accounts!