© Ella Ling

New York

Ella Ling: How to take a tennis photo


The Tennis Space’s Ella Ling passes on some tips on how to take a tennis photo.

I will choose either courtside or ‘up top’, meaning the concourse level or a seat in the stands. If close to the court and side on, I am looking for some tight action, with ball, racket and all limbs inside the frame – never chop off a body part unless it’s from the waist up. I’ll generally be using a 70-200mm or 300mm lens. If I’m up in the stands, I’m looking for some long stretches, lunges or dives (unusual on a hardcourt unless it’s Gael Monfils!). A minimum of 300mm, ideally 400mm lens is needed here as the player is much further away.

The light plays a huge part of course. Depending on the time of day, I’ll shoot the player in full sunlight or backlit. Full sunlight means the player and background will all be in view, backlit means the background will be in the shadow, causing the player to be rim-lit and creating some beautiful images unseen to the naked eye.

Of course it’s not all about tight action – some of the most interesting shots can be found with the crowd, stadium and general ambience in view, giving a different take on a match.

Have fun out there budding snappers.