About 8 years ago, my wife and I were planning vacation to Hilton Head Island and I talked her into letting me buy a new lens for the trip. I went with a Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM because it gave me a nice range of wide angle and telephoto options. I purchased the lens on Amazon for around $400. At the time, it was easily the most money I’d ever spent on a lens but, given the versatility of the zoom, I assumed it would be the only lens I’d ever need. And it was...until my grandson started playing sports.
You know those blooper shows on television where they play videos of people involved in funny accidents? It’s usually something like a dad trying to teach his young son or daughter how to swing a bat or throw a ball only to get hit in the groin when not paying attention. One of the reasons we feel okay about laughing at those mishaps is because we understand no one was seriously injured (or at least that’s what they tell us). When you’re photographing sports, the potential for serious injury is all too real and not the least bit funny. But don’t put that camera away just yet. I have a few suggestions for ways you can protect yourself and still get great shots.
I have a confession to make. Every so often, I get a little distracted and forget to bring my DSLR camera when we leave for my grandson’s games (my wife calls them my “senior moments”). On one of those “rare” occasions (more side eye from the wife) a couple years ago, I noticed a few parents using their smartphones to take pictures and thought “What the heck, it’s worth a try.” And boy am I ever glad I did.