Sports Photography With John Napper

Having been a full time sports photographer and running my own company for over 10 years now I have learnt a lot on what not to do a few things on what to do and many other things on how to do things better.

I found, especially in the early years that there were very, very few people who were willing to give help and advice unless there was something in it for them.  Settings, cameras, how to’s, what to look for in different sports, angles to bring out the best in performers whether it be people animals or machines, how to stand out from a thousand other photographers taking the same shot and more.  Even if you did find someone to give a bit of advice there always seemed like they were holding something back.

I am happy to answer any questions you have about any topic to do with action photography.  I may not have all the answers but I won’t hold back.

Over the course time we will look at some basics not just of action photography but photography in general and then move into specifics of different events and answer questions you may have as well as getting our gear out and with a hands on approach to learning.


What will we cover?

There are 3 basic questions that will become second nature to you.  In fact you probably won’t even think about them after a while but will become an automatic response every time you pick up your camera.

  1. Know your subject. It’s amazing how many people don’t really know what they are trying to shot so just shoot lot’s and hope.
  2. Simplify the subject. This shot is about what? How can I make them stand out?
  3. Eliminate anything that takes away from the subject.

Master these 3 steps and you will go a long way to becoming an outstanding photographer in any field.

On a more practical level we will also cover things like

ISO, APERATURE and SHUTTER SPEED.  Which one is a priority? Why would I change my settings?  How often should I change my settings or can I set and forget?  Is there a magic formula I can use?

  • Other topics covered will include
  • White Balance,
  • Focus and Depth of field,
  • Angles,
  • Composition on the Run,
  • Digital Camera Modes such as Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual Mode,
  • Exposure Compensation and when to use it,
  • What Type of Camera and Lens do I need?
  • What gear other than cameras and lenses should I take?
  • Shooting Etiquette including flash photography

Depending on the group we can adjust the topics to suit your level of understanding, start with basics and then bring you up more advanced understanding.

The potential is there to also cover business questions for those who are wanting to make a career out of their photography and of course answer any questions you may have about your camera or lenses.


John has been a photographer for many years and was fortunate enough to be able to turn his hobby into a full time professional sports photographer career.

He started out with junior and local sports and progressed through to shoot Super Rugby, spent 4 years with the Gold Coast Suns AFL franchise, covered National and International Weightlifting, Dragon Boating, multi sport events such as the Pan Pac Games and the Police and Emergency Services Games.  He has covered Ten Pin bowling, Archery, Motor Sports, Soccer, National Skipping Championships, State and National Hockey events both indoor and outdoor, local and National Athletics Championships, local National and International Cycling, National Gridiron Championships, Netball, Basketball, Rowing, Equestrian Show Jumping, Jet Sprint Boats, Golf, Wrestling, Marathons, Triathlons from juniors to Sprint, Olympic distance and the ultimate Ironman, Surfing and Windsurfing.  He also spent time with the BBC on a nature documentary for 6 months.

It has been an adventure and coming from a teaching background he loves to pass on the skills, the excitement and the love of photographing sport and action to whoever wants to listen.