Lions and Eagles and snow, oh my!

Delaware Online:

While shooting football in the snow makes for fantastic photos, it’s also the most challenging scenario a modern photojournalist can find themselves in. Cameras today rely so heavily on autofocus for sports that snow renders them functionally useless.

Imagine trying to photograph someone standing behind a waterfall. Even if you can see them clearly, no matter what you do your camera focuses only the water. The same went for every thick snowflake between me and the players on the field, and when you consider there were thousands falling every second the challenge was daunting.

This was a fun game to watch and this guy got some spectacular shots in amazingly difficult photographic conditions.

  • MrPhotoEd

    “Cameras today rely so heavily on autofocus for sports that snow renders them functionally useless” Nope, cameras rely on nothing to focus. It is the Photographers who have gotten lazy who rely heavily on auto focus and fast motor drives to try and get the moment. Learn to use manual focus. It takes a little practice, but when you get it down it is often faster and more accurate than auto focus. These super automatic cameras have caused a lot of professionals to lose their skill set for shooting.

    Twenty years in the field shooting as a photo journalist.

    • Sigivald


      Modern cameras, even most point-and-shoots, still have manual focus.

      It is slower than autofocus, sure.

      But combine “about right” focus with a narrow aperture, and you get great depth of field, which eliminates much of the need for even manual focus.

      (For the sports feature, that is – for the waterfall case, just focus manually, directly. It’s not hard, typically.

      The only negatives these days are:

      A) Few viewfinders have a split-screen/microprism setup for good sharp focusing.

      B) If it’s not an SLR, you might find it very hard to get a good picture on the LCD display to tell if it’s quite in focus; nothing beats analog glass for that.

      Neither of which apply to the pro photography case, since pros can afford to replace the screen at $100, and will be using an SLR.)