Al Bello: Ultimate Sports Photography

On this B&H video, long time professional sport photographer Al Bello talk about the challenges of being a working pro sports photographer.

Bello had a long career in sports photography, he did editorial assignments for Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, Time, Maxim, and The New York Times and many other big publications.

Simply getting to an event can be a challenging and finding a the best place to shoot from (which will give you a different view of the event from all the other photographers can be even more challenging and  not always possible or even safe).

Being a sport photographer is usually very physical – you can be on top of a mountain, in some sports you will need to dive and in most cases you will be taking a lot of heavy gear with you.

Bello started with shooting boxing – a sport that allows you to get very close to the athlete. But whatever sport you are going to shoot – you need to be familiar with it so you will know what will happen next and where are the best places and moments to capture what is happening.

Bello has 3 main advice based on his own thought process when it comes to sports photography:

  1. Have a clean background.
  2. Being aware of where the light is coming from.
  3. Having good lighting and shadows.

The right gear is also critical – you will need long, medium and wide angle lenses (Bello use mostly pro zoom lenses for their convenience as zooming in and out with your legs is not always possible or fast enough).

You can watch more videos of interesting photographers on our photographer section here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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