Artistic Action Newsletter

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1. What's New
2. Tips for more great looks from using the same borders/templates
3. Tips for getting started in the youth sports photography business

4. Sports photography tips
5. How to resize your prints and save to post on your website
6. How to correct a hard edge

7. How to add your tips and suggestions for next  newsletter

1. What's New

Join the Artistic Action Newsletter

For tips, ideas and help for sports and events photographers like this & more and template/border users

Delivered to your email box every other month

Have an idea for a topic to be featured in our next newsletter please let us know


Please visit our new online template store to order and view details of template sets


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2. Tips for more great looks from using the same borders/templates

All of these samples use Lacrosse 1 template that you would receive with your order

A. Using original and adding Maroon and Gold color combos

B. This leaves the border in black and white and uses the new layer styles we have included 

C. This leaves the border in black and white and uses the new layer styles we have included D. This adds a lighter color combo of clear and green in the center and uses the new layer styles we have included

How to create B. Make a copy of the Border layer and set the bottom Border Layer to Overlay (blend mode), set the the top border layer to Lighten (blend mode) and set Opacity to 90%

Set the layer style (to change layer style double click on layer) of the School/Team and LastName layers to LoganMaroon

Set the layer style of Mascot, FirstName and Year to LightenWithGold

Your new template is complete, save it as a new template for future use.

To create C.  Make a copy of the Border layer and set the bottom Border Layer to Overlay (blend mode), set the the top border layer to Lighten (blend mode) and set Opacity to 90%

Set the layer style (to change layer style double click on layer) of the School/Team and LastName layers to LightenWithGold

Set the layer style of Mascot, FirstName and Year to AASamll001

Your new template is complete, save it as a new template for future use.

To create D. On the Color Border layer use the gradient called "Shiny Sphere" this is a basic one that comes with PS and set the Opacity to 50%

Set the layer style (to change layer style double click on layer) of the School/Team and LastName layers to LightenWithWhite02

Set the layer style of Mascot, FirstName and Year to OutLineWIthBlue

Your new template is complete, save it as a new template for future use.

Our templates are truly unlimited so please take a couple of hours a week or when ever you can to play around with them trying different blend modes, opacity, doubling layers adding different color combos and  different layer style to see what new and exciting templates you can come up with..

More different looks with Templates Unlimited @

If you would like to share your template ideas with others in this group then please let us know at 

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3. Tips for getting started in the youth sports photography business

Here is some of the advice we have given to a few others who have asked for advice. 

Hopefully it will be of some help. 


Q. I was just looking at your site. You really do good work! How long have you been photographing? Has the business been good to you?  Right now I do a lot for weddings and parties, but no sports yet. I think that could be a lucrative market.

A. I have been doing graphic arts for several years but just started playing around with sports photography in fall 2003 using a Olympus C740 and seriously into it in the fall 2004 -- purchased an Olympus E1 and 50-200 f2.8 lens.  Started with posters for each of the football players (the Border style) and that led to shooting and doing posters for wrestling, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball, basketball, competitive cheer and for spring sports -- baseball, softball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, tennis, track and field.  Was already asked to come back next year to shoot these sports again and create posters plus was asked for water polo and soccer for the 2005-06 school year.  These posters will be a tradition at our school for years to come.  I have been asked to offer my work to other schools but I choose to just work for the one school.


You can see some examples of Border posters and Two Three posters I did for teams @



Q. Who buys your work? The players? The schools? The parents? What? I've been trying to think of how to close the gap from having great pictures available and actually selling them. All advice is much appreciated.

A. I work with the teams mostly through one head parent.  They contact me and let me know if they want posters for each player on the team or just the seniors and when they need to be done by.  They then come and pick up the posters almost always give to the players at their end-of-the season banquet, and pay me then.  You can ask for a deposit up front if you prefer.  I offer discounts for group orders.


Q. Have you ever purchased a mailing list from the school? 

A. Yes a couple of years ago, we got it from the main office.  But we don't need to anymore the parents do all the marketing and selling for us now.


Q. How many names are on your list? 

A. there are about 600 to 700 per class in grades 9 to 12 


Q. Do some parents object to having their names on a "for sale" list? 

A. in Rockford parents can opt out of having their info included on these lists, but I'm sure their are parents who would not like this and don't know they can opt out 


Q. Do you only shoot for one high school? 

A. Yes, Rockford 


Q. What's a good price to offer for such a list? 

A. here they have a set rate of $10 per class 


Q. Who provides the pictures for your posters? Do you mostly take them too? 

A. I will come and take them. We will not use other professional photographers photos unless they have their written permission. This is the biggest reason we started offering our services to professional photographers. 



THIS is also a good tip to help you grow your business. Our photography business has grown 10 fold just because we offer items that no one else is, i.e. unique and personalized borders, posters, magazine covers and traders


Reading forums like ours 


Some other forums that I have found informative and are a great resource: 


I think is it a great idea to start out offering something different than just the standard action shots. Be willing to offer unique and quality work and you will do well. What I mean by unique work is the custom posters, magazine covers, trading cards, etc. Be willing to offer something that any mom or dad with a camera cannot do themselves and something that the larger photo companies don't offer because they cannot just feed them into their systems to spit out a run of the mill print. Something that looks like you put some time and effort into, something that they will be proud to display in their homes and offices for years to come. 


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4. Sports Photography Tips

Look for the peak moment
Every athletic movement in every sport has a "peak" moment. For example, when a basketball player takes a jump shot, there is a point at which he has stopped traveling upward and he has not yet started to descend. The ball is poised on his fingertips. A pitcher extends his arm backward in a windup, momentarily, the action has "stopped" before he begins to move forward and release the ball. Train your eye to look for this "peak" moment. It exists in every sport and you will get some amazing pictures.
Freeze the action
Fast sports call for fast shutter speeds. Shutter speeds 1/500 second and faster will freeze the action. When an athlete is moving directly towards or away from you, you can use a slightly slower shutter speed, such as 1/250 second. When in doubt, use the fastest shutter speed you can.
Anticipate the moment
Sports photographers have an old axiom: If you see the picture in your viewfinder, you've missed it. Learn to anticipate what's coming next, and release the shutter early. All sports follow a predictable pattern - tension, release, and reaction. There is tension before the movement begins, and all of the energy is held. A base runner focusing his eyes on the pitcher awaiting his windup before breaking for second or a basketball player collecting his thoughts and focusing his mind before he steps to the free throw line. Then comes the release when the action explodes - the runner breaks for second in a full sprint, the free-throw caroms off the rim and five bodies leap for the rebound. Finally, as the action concludes, there is a reaction. The base runner is called out at second and leaps to his feat raises his arms and screams at the umpire, the winning team leaps in jubilation once the rebound is secure. Pay attention to where and how the pressure is building. Athletes often let their feelings be known in dramatic and unexpected ways. A glorious tumble, an outrageous roar, a fist raised heavenward cursing the almighty - each makes a memorable photo. Study these patterns. They occur over and over again in each sport and you will know which picture to expect when. You won't be right all the time, but you will be amazed at your results if you practice and trust your instincts.
Emphasize the athlete
Nothing destroys a great sports photograph more than a cluttered or noisy background. The power and drama of the athletic form looks best when it is not competing with other information in your photos. When working with telephoto lenses, opening up the aperture to the widest setting will give you a shallow depth of field. This blurs the background so your subjects seem to "pop out" of the picture. Focus carefully. With less depth of field, you also have less margin for focus error. 
Choose the best vantage point
The law of forward motion applies to nearly all sports. Whatever the competition or sport, the bottom line is someone is trying to get from point A to point B. Position yourself in the path of the forward motion for great action pictures. Sooner or later, the action will come your way and you will be ready. 
Look for patterns, work with shapes
Not having a press pass that lets you onto the field can actually be an advantage. From high in the stands, athletic competition takes on a whole different appearance. Look for patterns and team formations that enhance your photos. Focus in on the lines of the track as the runners spring from the blocks - their uncoiling bodies poised symmetrically. In swimming the lane markers form a natural boundary and shape to work with in composing your photograph; the shape of a baseball diamond with base runners on the and fielders on the move can tell a powerful story. The possibilities are endless. 
Know your sport, study your subject
The more you know about a sport, the more likely you are to know what's coming next - and be ready with your camera. Study your favorite athletes. Do they have a particular style or "trademark" maneuver? When close to the hoop, does a particular player prefer to back in for the dunk or pivot for a hook shot? Knowing what to watch for will give you a leg up when the game begins. Even before lifting your camera, take some time to study the movements and mannerisms of different athletes. It will give you a sense of how they respond and ideas about how to best capture them on film.
Film speed is everything
Fast athletes and dimly lit arenas make photographing indoor and night sports difficult. To succeed, you will need a high-speed film. Use an ISO 800 or higher film. It will allow you to use telephoto lenses and fast shutter speeds, even in dim lighting. Two good ISO 800 choices are Kodak Max zoom film for the amateur shooter and Kodak Professional Supra 800 film for the pro.
Feel the movement
There is a natural ebb and flow to athletic activity. Sometimes you can literally feel the movement just as you would at a dance or concert. Try to get in synch with the action. Feel its rhythm and pulse. The pictures will start to flow and will be a natural extension of your being in synch. 

These tips and more are from 


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5. To save an image to post on a website and resize -

Save it as a JPEG and then close the Photoshop formatted one and open the JPEG and using the Image Size command from the Main Menu select Image > Image Size and in the pop menu with Constrain Proportions check (for the rest use defaults) then change the Resolutions to between 72 to 100 pixels/inch (I use 100 but standard is 72)

Then change the Width to the size you like (I usually use between 1.75 to 2.00 inches but you may want it larger if you are showing it to clients) and let the Height fall were it may.

Then click on and Save As > Name it (if you want to change the name) click on Save then the JPEG Options pop menu will pop up under Image Options I would set Quality to about 8 or 9, the rest you can use defaults. Then click OK and you are ready to post it on your site.

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6. Is a hard edge a problem with your print?

This sometimes happens when the photo is smaller that the size of the template, we recommend for the best results use a photo the same size or larger than the template size. But we know that isn't always possible so...

If the photo is smaller and you can see the edge of the photo or to center it one of 2 of the edges show then try 1 of 3 methods to fix this, be sure you have hidden or deleted the "PlacePicHere" layer, sometimes that is enough to fix this problem....

1. Try feathering the edges. To feather all four edges of the photo ....

a. Ctrl + Click on the layer the image is on (to make a selection)

b. from the Menu Select > Feather > 20 px

c. Inverse (Ctrl + Shift + I) and delete

If you still see the edge then repeat the steps to feather a bit more increase it to 40 px.

2. If just one or two edges are showing then try a layer mask using a large soft brush paint out what you want to remove, recommend painting instead of erasing since you can always paint stuff back in.

a. Add a layer mask click on the layer your photo is on then click on the rectangle with the circle in the center of it at the bottom of the layers menu (Add A Mask) this will add a white rectangle linked next to your photo

b. Click on the white rectangle linked next to your photo and then select a large 100 px or about soft brush by clicking on the Brush on the Tools Menu (Mode: Normal, Opacity: 100%, Flow: 100%)

c. Be sure your Foreground color is black and background is white

d. Place your brush at the start point of just above the edge you want to hide and holding the shift (to paint a straight line) go to the other edge.

If happy with the results you are done or undo and try again either a little closer to the edge or a little further from the edge of the photo, repeat for 2nd edge.

3. This works best if the background of the photo were the edge(s) are showing are of same color i.e. at the edge of the photo that is showing it is black then

a. Click on the layer just below your photo and click on the half black half white circle at the bottom of the Layers Menu (this will add an "Create new fill or adjustment layer", select "Solid Color" from the drop down menu, this will bring up the Color Picker, either select the color black or use the eye dropper to select the color closes to the color at the edge of you photo.

Note: The eye dropper automatically appears when you move your mouse to the edge of your photo

One of these steps should fix the hard edge problem, if not pleased contact us for more help.

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7. How to add your tips and suggestions for next newsletter

If you have any tips to share in our next newsletter or any questions you would like addressed please let us know at 

Thank you for reading and the best of luck with your photography business!

Artistic Action 

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