What is parkour?
Parkour is an extreme sport where traceurs (practitioners) attempt to move from one place to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. It has become commonplace in movies, commercials, and other forms of media. And for good reason, it looks impressive.
5 Tips for Creating Incredible Parkour Photography
1. Plan ahead of time. Understand where the action is going to take place and setup appropriately. In the case of parkour athletes, this can be quite challenging. Whenever you are shooting extreme sports, be prepared to follow the athletes. To make this easier, make sure you are equipped for the task. Find a pair of parkour shoes, grab some good parkour gloves, wear athletic clothing, and be ready to climb around. And make sure all of your camera gear is not too heavy.
2. Lens Selection. You want your image to be right in the action. This means being up close in person, or in cases where it isn’t practical, off to the side with a good telephoto lens. Don’t be lazy, only rely on the lens when you have to. It is more fun to be up close anyways. Be a little adventurous.
3. Try shooting from a low angle. This can help make the shot look more dramatic and the athlete more powerful. People look at extreme sports photos to be impressed! Wide angle photos are also very popular in sports photography. Don’t be afraid to distort images.
4. Blurring. In some shots, you will want to keep the background crisp and clean. Many times you will be shooting athletes as they are in the air and will have the sky as a backdrop. In parkour, you can have some incredible cityscape backdrops as they climb and leap from rooftops. However, be creative. Blurring the background can show energy, emphasis, and movement. You can do this with panning, but it takes some practice. Alternatively, try blurring the subject themselves.
5. Have fun. The best extreme sports photographs I have ever taken came about when I knew about the sport and found it fascinating. Get to know the subjects if you can, ask questions, and see what they think would look cool photographed. After all, they know the ins and outs and view the sport all the time.