THE EXPERT David Cannon
PHOTOGRAPHY David Cannon
David Cannon is one of the world’s most revered specialist sports photographers with a deepfelt passion for golf. He has walked the fairways, and photographed, over 1,000 golf courses and his work spans 100 men’s Major golf tournaments and 50 women’s Majors, 15 Ryder Cups, 15 Walker Cups and 12 Solheim Cup matches. Fresh from creating an exclusive new portfolio of The King’s, The Queen’s and The PGA Centenary courses, he shares some tips on how to capture the perfect golfing landscape.
David Cannon's tips for taking great photographs
To capture a golf course in the best possible light, when the sun is shining, always shoot in the first hour and last hour of the day. This accentuates both the shadows and the topography of the landscape giving a true sense of where ‘humps’ and ‘bumps’ feature on the course. If you shoot in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky, this crucial detail is lost.
I always use a polarising filter on the lens of my camera when photographing golf courses. The filter works better when the light is low and it seems to bring out the rich colours of a golf course, making them stronger and more vibrant.
I always look for what I call cross light when taking golf course images. Alternatively, and for dramatic effect, you can also get some stunning results when the light is coming directly at the camera. Having the light behind you does not work well for golf course imagery, as you lose the definition and contours of the landscape.
As much as I like to shoot from a golfer’s angle, and how they would be playing each hole, I also like to seek out different, sometimes more interesting angles on a golf course. Gleneagles is the perfect example of this because you want the beautiful hillsides and dramatic Scottish scenery that surrounds the estate in as many shots as possible.
Elevation is very important in golf course photography. I actually now carry a 25ft telescopic camera pole which allows me to position the camera much higher, and then take a photograph via a wireless link between the camera and my iPhone. Technology is now allowing us to really push new boundaries with photography.