Photography Golf Tips

Originally published in 2010 Photographer’s Market and written by David McPherson.

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Chris Gallow says photography is a lot harder than people think. ‘”You’ll always be learning something new,” he says. “I learn new stuff every day.”

Here are Gallow’s top tips to capture the feel and mood on your next golf outing:

  • Stop “taking” pictures and start “making” pictures.
  • All about angles. “Never take a photo from a standing position,” says Gallow. Put the camera above your head, move around, lie down, etc.
  • Don’t just take one picture – shoot, shoot, shoot.
  • Have fun. “If no one is behind you, put someone in the bunker, someone on top of the bunker, someone holding the pin – don’t just put things in the center and have everyone line up on the tee deck or at the 150 yard marker.”
  • Don’t put sun directly behind your subject. “If the sun is at the back and you are photographing people, you will get a bunch of squinty guys.”
  • Use a black golf hat to shade sun.
  • Get it closer or go wide angle.
  • Use a flash to fill the shot with light, or if near a building, bounce the light off the building.
  • Shoot early (before 9:30a.m.) or late (after 6p.m. until sundown) depending on what part of the world you’re in.
  • Carry a notebook to record all details about the photo you took, frame number, what you did, why you did it, where, time, aperture, f-stop, etc.
  • Study the light to see what it does. Understanding light is another key to good golf photography. “Sometimes on a fantastic golf course, there is no shadow in sight or no bump on the fairway, so you have to use the shadows in the trees to break up that flat rhythm and create interest,” says Gallow.
  • Turn your image upside; if it looks good upside down, it’s probably a successful image when you turn it right-side up.
  • Show less sky and more golf course.
  • Clouds are key, don’t shoot on perfectly clear days.

For more photography and art tips, check out these titles:

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