Take Stellar Sports Shots

Shoot (and score) at your kids’ games.

Lightleap by Lightricks

Dream photo effects & filters


As anyone who’s tried to photograph their kids’ sports games knows, getting great shots can be tricky. Athletes move quick, and they’re often yards away on the field.

The secret? Seek out images that capture the spirit of the game rather than the action of it. Think candid moments between teammates and coaches, or players practicing their drills. And don’t be afraid to leave your seat on the sidelines to find a new vantage point (without interrupting the game, of course).

We headed to a Los Angeles Football Club youth team match armed only with Lightleap, a photo app that takes the drama out of dramatically enhancing your photos. Here are three techniques to try at your next game.

1. Play with time

Lightleap’s Strobe effect, which we used to capture the shots above and below, is one of our our favorite features. With a single tap, it snaps a series of photos and combines them into a single composite image.

To get the shot: First, frame your subject so the background is as uncluttered as possible. If there’s any stray gear (or fans of the opposing team) muddling your photo, keep moving until you find a clear shot.

Next, open Lightleap’s camera, then tap Strobe followed by the shutter button. You’ll see a gray ring start to form—a signal that the app is snapping multiple shots. (Keep your iPhone still during this process.)

When the app is done shooting, it’ll layer together a composite for you, complete with the nice ghosting effect you see here.

Now the app presents you with a few options:

Keep tapping the icon on the lower left to toggle number of interstitial shots included in your final image.

And tap the eraser icon in the middle to erase parts of the image that shouldn’t be included in the strobe effect. (The paintbrush icon does the opposite; use it to add any sections of the image you want to include.)

2. Sweeten the sky

‣ The photo you see to the left below is pretty good, but Lightleap’s Sky tool kicked it up a notch by swapping the wispy clouds that were out that day for something more picturesque.

To get the shot: Select the Sky tool to see options ranging from romantic sunsets to starry nights. We went with the puffy clouds of SN07.

After you select a sky, an eraser tool will appear. Pinch to zoom in on your photo, then erase wherever you see the old sky peeking through.

To make the image pop a bit, we applied the NT05 filter to enhance the color.

3. Fix the flaws

‣ In the heat of the game, you’re bound to make a few basic photography mistakes. Maybe you shot directly into the sun or found parts of an image underexposed. Fear not! Lightleap’s Magic tool can work wonders. We used it to improve a relatively flat, poorly exposed photo.

To get the shot: The Magic tool handled the heavy lifting here. It not only intelligently bumped up the exposure, vibrance, and brightness to bring out more detail, it did a nice job toning the color.

The best part? Making all these tweaks was as simple as tapping the Magic button. The app did most of the work—we just fine-tuned as needed using the Adjust tool.

    Lightleap by Lightricks

    Dream photo effects & filters