Disc Golf Drive Photography: A Photo Gallery
About Disc Golf
Disc golf, or Frisbee golf, is a sport that is starting to grow exponentially in popularity around the country, especially around college towns. Many city and private parks are putting in disc golf courses to attract new visitors and provide outdoor recreation opportunities for local families. The sport is very inexpensive to play and only requires a $15-$30 initial start up investment. Many courses are free to play, which has helped the sport grow in popularity, especially among college students. Some 18 hole courses can be played in under an hour, giving students the perfect activity to participate in between classes or on days off.
Disc golf is played like regular golf, only instead of hitting a ball toward a hole, a disc is thrown toward a basket. You start on a tee pad (some courses have cement tees, others just have dirt tees with a marker to indicate the end of the tee pad) and make your first throw or drive. Wherever your disc lands, you have to make your second throw from that spot. If it is behind an obstacle (tree), you can attempt to throw around the obstacle by having one foot planted on the spot your disc landed and step with your other foot to the side of the obstacle. You finish a hole when your disc lands in the basket.
Setting Up Disc Golf Drive Photos
Most of the time, disc golf courses are built in the middle of beautiful natural areas. These natural locations provide an excellent opportunity to set up some great photographs. Woods, hills, rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes, and fields generally make up the setting of a disc golf course and when you combine that with the action of a player throwing a disc and a brightly colored object flying through the air, you can come up with some pretty amazing shots.
The first step is to find a good location to set up your shot. Most courses have at least one perfect view from a tee box that will incorporate all that you need for a great photo. The things that I look for when looking to set up some shots are:
- Contrast of colors - Some of my best shots have come from locations that are out of the woods, in an open field where the sky gives a good contrast to the tree line or other objects in the shot. Some of the brightly colored discs show up very well against a bright blue sky and make for a really cool shot.
- Unique landmarks - Many courses have a "signature hole" that has some sort of landmark like a clump of trees in the middle of a fairway or a hole where you have to throw over a pond or river. These spots not only identify the course that the photo is taken on but also add another element to the photo.
- Open Space - The coolest thing about a disc golf driving photograph is seeing the disc in the air after the subject throws it. Some short holes require the player to throw the disc around a group of trees or up a hill. If the disc isn't in the picture, it's not going to look that cool.
Taking Multiple Shots
Like many other hobbies, the more disc golf you play, the more discs you will accumulate. There are drivers, putters, and mid range discs that you can add to your bag to improve your game. It's almost like real golf; using the right disc (club) in a situation might be the difference between a bad shot and a good one. You only really need one disc to play a round, but to improve your game you will need to learn how to use different discs for different situations. Having multiple drivers in your bag will also allow you to take more than one throw from the tee box, giving yourself a little more practice and also giving whoever is trying to take your picture more chances of capturing that perfect shot.
Finding Lost Discs
Many players lose discs in the woods and the more you play, the more discs you will find. Most of the time players will write their name and number on their discs, so if you do find one like this make sure you call the person and get their disc back to them. Also, make sure you write your name and number on all of your discs. Disc golfers are generally very nice people when it comes to returning lost discs. Don't mess with Karma and keep discs that you find that have numbers on them! However, if you find a disc without a phone number written on it, toss it in your bag and use it to take an extra photo before you move on to the next hole.
Get Started Playing Disc Golf
Having a camera with a quick shutter speed or a camera that can take multiple shots with one click will improve your chances of getting that perfect disc golf photograph. The goal of your shots should be to capture the moment just after your subject releases the disc so that the disc is easily identifiable in the shot. The timing of this takes practice, so just take lots of shots and make lots of throws!
Disc Golf Links
- Professional Disc Golf Association
The PDGA is a great resource to learn about disc golf.
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