Top Tips for Photographing Paintball Events

Paintball’s popularity is growing as fast as the action of the game itself. Paintball enthusiasts number in the tens of millions, and there is no sign of the trend slowing. As a photographer, mastering your craft at paintball events is a great idea. It is a way to get your name known within a new demographic and within a sport that has multitudes of publications online and in print. Photographing paintball can be challenging, and it can also be a lot of fun and a great test of your photography skills.

Before you set out to photograph paintball, it is a good idea to familiarize your self with the basics of the game. If possible, go to a course and either take part in a game or check out the action carefully. It is also crucial to know what type of paintball game you are photographing. The first type of paintball is also called woodsball. It takes place on a natural, often wooded terrane. The second kind of paintball is also known as speedball, and it takes place on a course with man-made obstacles giving all players an equal start. It can be helpful to have a basic idea of the types of equipment the players are using, has some good information to get you started.

Here are some tips to help you as you photograph paintball events.


Protect your equipment

Consider adding brightly colored wristbands to your lens, so it is conspicuous. You will also want a way to protect your camera. Regardless of whether or not your camera gets hit by ammo, the field is a messy place as are the wooded paintball courses, so take precautions to protect your gear.

Be aware of your location

It may sound like common sense, but it bears mentioning. Pay attention to your position in relation to the players. Do not get so caught up in getting the perfect shot that you suddenly find yourself in a direct line of fire. Another bit of sensible advice is that you should stay low. Additionally, do not get behind the players to get a direct action shot, unless you have little regard for your safety and the safety of your equipment.

Dress for safety

While players are trying to blend in, you need to stand out, so you are not mistaken for a player and hit. That said, accept the fact that players will shoot at you. The general idea of “if it moves shoot it” applies here. Neon or bright colors are your best bet; do not forget to wear headgear and safety goggles. You don’t want to end up as another statistic.

Choose equipment wisely

Avoid using a UV filter, they will not add much to your images, and when your lens gets shot, a UV filter will very likely shatter. A telephoto lens is a good option as they offer your lens protection and can help your shots. Always use a high shutter speed for this fast-paced game. Paintball guns can fire up to 15 times per second! (Read more).

Just like any other type of photography, it takes time to become used to the pace and logistics of taking great paintball shots. Once you are comfortable photographing paintball events, you will relax, your photos will be better, and you will enjoy the experience.

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