Darren Gatcum – a favourite picture..

Here’s another picture by Darren Gatcum in the series from contributing photographers. One of the reasons that I am publishing these photographs is that I want to show that photography is accessible to everyone. You don’t need tens of thousands of pounds worth of gear, although in Darren’s case doing a lot of sports photography and up against many other photographers it certainly helps. What you really need is determination to produce top quality pictures and be willing to learn…all the time!I hope you enjoy Darren’s story this month.

You can contact Darren via his Twitter account @DarrenGatcum


World © Darren Gatcum

World © Darren Gatcum

As a sports photographer, you need to be prepared to photograph various sporting events at various locations in different weather and lighting conditions. Throughout May, I was busy photographing Sunday league football finals across Essex. I also photographed the celebrity PGA Pro Am golf championship at the famous Wentworth golf course in Surrey with other sports photographers.

The variety of sports is one of the reasons I just love this type of photography. One day I am photographing a football player flying through the air to head a ball and the next day I am photographing Rory Mcllroy hitting a golf ball.

At the PGA Pro Am golf Championship, I witnessed Chris Evans’ team get a hole in one. I immediately took a few shots of the celebrations and sent a photo that afternoon to Chris Evans at the BBC. The photo subsequently appeared on Chris Evans’ Facebook page with a thank you from Mr Evans himself. The photo received over 3,000 hits on his Facebook page. The moral of this story is that with sports photography you sometimes need to be at the right place at the right time and take full advantage of any opportunity that does arise.

I like the Chris Evans and Graeme McDowell photo because it shows the excitement of getting a hole in one.  When the ball went into the hole I knew there would be celebrations on the green. Accordingly, I positioned myself on the ground in front of the hole. I was shooting in manual mode. I was using a Canon 1DX with a 100-400 f/4.5-f/5.6 lens attached.  I stopped down to f/5.6 as I wanted both the players and the flag in focus and the background out of focus. Although it had started to rain when I took the shot, it was still a bright sunny day so I left the shutter speed on 1/2000 and the Auto ISO was at 3200.

I enjoyed photographing golf and hope to do a lot more in the future.

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