Volleyball Photography: Where should I be to capture the best images?
Volleyball is unquestionably one of the most challenging sports to photograph. The ball moves quickly, your shutter speed needs to be higher than usual, and the net will wreak havoc with your camera’s auto-focus system.
Knowing exactly where to be, along with what you want to capture, will be critical to your success.
Behind the Service Area
When you’re looking to capture action around the net.
In the Stands
Great spot for capturing action above the net.
When you’re looking for reactions and challenging action shots.
How to Spend Your Time
Volleyball games can be over in a flash – especially when one team is crushing the other.
Plan for a sweep in every game, and get your critical shots immediately. Assuming five sets, spend your time as follows:
- Set #1: Behind the Service Area
- Your key action photographs will come here. Be sure to get this out of the way at the beginning of every game.
- Set #2: Stands/Attack Line
- By the second set, you should have a good feel for how quickly the game is moving. Spend a bit of time in the stands, and move to the attack line if a sweep is pending.
- Set #3: Behind the Service Area/Attack Line
- If the game is looking like a sweep, move back behind the service area for a few more key action photographs, and ensure you end the game at the attack line for key reaction shots.
- Set #4+: Use your discretion!
- Use your discretion to fill in the gaps, but always end the game at the attack line for key reaction shots!
While there are undoubtedly spots around the court that will consistently produce great photographs, you shouldn’t hesitate to experiment and move around.
I’ve included some miscellaneous images below, in the hopes of triggering your creative thought process.
If you have any additional suggestions or ideas, don’t hesitate to share!