Here’s a few of my favorites from my two pre-season shoots:

Camera Info:
I shot the game with my usual set-up; Two camera bodies: A Nikon D4 with a 400mm f/2.8 lens (mounted on a Gitzo monopod), but I put a 1.4 tele-extender on for the entire game, which turned my 400mm into around a 550mm lens, but you lose a stop of light so I could only shoot at f/4. Shooting at f/4 with that lens means I had to crank my ISO up between 3,200 and 4,000 depending on where they were on the field due to changes in lighting. My 2nd body was a Nikon D3s and I tried (again) using a 24-70mm but I’m going back to my 70-200mm from here on out — the 24-70mm just has such limited use — the players have to be literally right in front of you).

I shot both cameras wide open (at f/2.8 or f/4 because of the tele-extender). I shot in JPEG (for more shots in burst mode). My shutter speeds were around 1/1000 of a second and higher. Since I was able to shoot at f/2.8 with the 2nd body, I only had to crank the ISO on my 2nd body to around 1,600 to 2,000 (that’s the difference one stop of light makes —- from shooting at 1,600 to having to shot at 4,000).

OK, onto the photos (they look MUCH better larger, so be sure to click on them for a bigger view.

Hope you guys have a Super Tuesday (and don’t forget to scroll down one more post to my Photo Walk update, ’cause things are getting crazy!!! :=)


About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.


  1. Scott, awesome shots! I like the one where Michael Smith is jumping over the players!

  2. I love these shots, My bucket list is to shoot a real NFL game. 

  3. Scott… What Nikon camera settings do you use for sports? Do you ever shoot shutter priority with auto ISO? I’d love to see your full set of setti gs including focus mode…

  4. Im just curious what size lens do you use and whats setting do you use for these shots. Your images are amazing.

  5. What lens are you using in this picture?

  6. Great shots! Shooting at a Bucs game would be awesome! Especially love the one of Brady being taken down! =)

  7. Scott, young man, your work is crossing over into spectacular! I should know, I’ve spent year rubbing elbows with the greats in the field! I’m so proud of you, and then I read about the Worlwide Photo Walk and what it supports…..and I was even prouder! You’re making a difference young man, your life is well played! Touchdown!

    The pilgrim

  8. Wonderful Images!  Congratulations!

  9. Very nice pictures great job.

    How did you solve the computer lock problem that you wrote about the last week?

  10. I was hoping for one of Brady getting crushed…lolol…Great stuff!

  11. Great shots as always Scott.  But, where are the goal posts & ref blurry backsides and all that.  I’m sure you have some to show.  :)  See ya next week.  I’m stoked!!!

  12. Great Shots.  It is a pleasure following you.

  13. Great expression in the second to last shot!  Your shots are right up there with the best now – what do you feel is the biggest contributor to that?  Knowing the game? Anticipating the action? Thanks for sharing!

  14. when I saw 3 different uniforms in there, my first thought was the NFL had developed a new cut-throat style of football…  ala racquetball.

  15. You missed the referee again! They just as important as the other folks in the cow pasture.

  16. Awesome work. crazy that hi iso can look so good. 

    I was wondering what advise you had for getting into sports photography.  Not so much the technical aspects but who you would contact in order to shoot a game, whether its a college game or something else.  I know your shooting for an agency but I would newspapers or assisting another sports photographer be good routes.  I haven’t had much luck even finding who to approach for this in my area.


  17. Scott, one, great photos. Two, thank you for posting the details (camera, lenses and settings). I’m new to shooting and it really helps me to understand what it might take to get those type of shots. I know to all the seasoned folks out there that it doesn’t really matter. But when I see photographers’ photos like this and they say how they shot it and what camera, settings, etc., And I have some of the same gear, I think there might be hope yet. Again, thanks for posting. See you at PS World Vegas!

  18. Nice work Scott! Hanging out with Dave Black is paying off….;)

  19. Awesome shots. I recently used a monopod, but I kept get a swirling motion. What do you do get a better stability while using a monopod.

  20. Great shots – but it’s preseason, so they don’t really count.  :)

  21. Beautiful shots.  They really pop! Hopefully the team will continue to play like they did in that game. Go Bucs!

  22. Scott, I love these shots.  Looks like you haven’t skipped a beat since last year.

    Can’t wait for next week.  Vegas or bust, baby!


  23. Great Images. I can get descent shots, no where near yours, but I can’t get the “bling” that yours have. When you do your editing do you use lightroom or do you use photo mechanics and the to lightroom and or photoshop

  24. Hi Scott,

    Have you come to any new conclusions regarding focus settings for the D4?  Are they different than the D3s?  I’m using Focus + Release – Short (1), Dynamic 9 point now.  In your recent Football Training I saw Dave Black say he sometimes uses the 3D feature, but I’ve never tried it as I’ve always read it gave poor results.

    I’m shooting a college game Thursday night and am considering alternating my focus settings each quarter to 21 point and 51 point and 3D and also changing from Short (1) to off or Normal (3) or High.


  25. Really great shots! Tackles, sacks, and other forms of full on contact just look so much more amazing frozen in a photo. 

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