MetroSports Magazine

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MetroSports Magazine

NPC 2016 Northeast Summer Classic Brooklyn Teen Richardson Hitchins Looks For Gold in Rio

August 2016

Atlas Cops N’ Kids Boxing NY Rangers Sled Hockey


p. 24

August 2016

Features 4 Going for the Gold in Rio Brooklyn’s Richardson “Africa” Hitchins of the Atlas Cops N Kids Gym seeks to bring home the Gold for Brooklyn, the NYPD, and Haiti 12 The NPC Northeast Summer Classic Returns to White Plains World Champion Bev Francis Promotes the National Physique Committee’s 2016 Summer Classic in White Plains, NY 26 New York Sled Rangers Hockey Nothing prevents these hockey warriors from competing on the ice for glory

Regular 32 Sports Photo Tip Sponsored by Hunts Photo & Video

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Action Photography by Clark Thompson

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Train Like a Champion. Train with a Champion. MetroSports Magazine’s former Athlete of the Month and cover of our May-June 2015 issue, Keisher “Fire” McLeod, a former NY Golden Gloves Champion, current NYS Flyweight Champion and current WIBA World Flyweight Champion can now be your personal boxing trainer at the world famous Gleason’s Gym.

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MetroSports Magazine (MSM) is published six times a year by the New York Sports Photo Group. MSM is available online and can be downloaded in electronic format for viewing on tablet and hand-held devices, laptop and desktop computers and purchased as full-color glossy print editions. Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director: Warren Rosenberg Publisher: New York Sports Photo Group: Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson Photo Contributors: Kevin Lynch, Atlas Cops N’ Kids, Warren Rosenberg Proofreader: Melissa Tougas Contributors: Ron Rogell, Sarah Deming, Pat Russo, Thomas Chin, Fitness Advertising: For rate card contact Please direct all inquiries to: Visit us on the web at:

MetroSports Magazine accepts and welcomes photos, short articles, opinions and letters from our readers. There is no guarantee that unsolicited contributions will be published and MetroSports Magazine assumes no responsibility for failure to publish or for editing published contributions. The Contents of MetroSports Magazine consist of copyrightable and/or copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. MetroSports Magazine | 3

Going for the Gold in Rio 2016 Richardson “Africa” Hitchins

Pat Russo, rapper 50 Cent, and Richardson “Africa” Hitchins. Photo Courtesy Atlas Cops N’ Kids


opping off the year in which he captured the New York Golden Gloves 141 pound championship title, 18 year old Brooklyn native, Richardson “Africa” Hitchins, is on his way to Rio de Janeiro Brazil as an Olympian, the cream of the crop in his chosen sport of boxing, representing the proud people of Haiti, the birthplace of his parents. “Africa’s” progress in the Olympics will be closely followed not only by the people of Haiti but by a large number of supporters right here in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

and commentator, Teddy Atlas. Our July-August 2016 issue of MetroSports Magazine, which featured the NYPD Boxing Championships held in June at Madison Square Garden, highlighted the Atlas Cops N’ Kids program as one of the recipients of the proceeds of that great night of NYPD and NYCD boxing.

Former Golden Gloves Champion (2001), author, NBC boxing analyst, and one of the trainers at Atlas Cops N’ Kids, Sarah Deming, knows Richardson well. “Africa has an insatiable hun”Africa” was one of several Golden Gloves ger to improve. He is a true student of the sweet competitors fighting out of the Atlas Cops N’ science, always studying his peers and his betters Kids gym in Flatbush Gardens, Brooklyn. The to pick up new tricks. From the moment I met him Cops N’ Kids program was founded by Pat at age 14, I knew he was special. He just had that Russo, then a rookie Cop in NYC’s 72nd Pre- spark about him, that quality of being a winner. cinct who partnered in 2009 with boxing trainer Also, despite his ferocity in the ring, he is lov4 | August 2016

able outside and always makes friends around the world when he travels. People are drawn to him because of the purity of his drive.” These sentiments are echoed by Pat Russo, Director of Atlas Cops N’ Kids and a retired NYPD officer who told us that, “Richardson Hitchins walked into our gym about five years ago never ever having put a pair of boxing gloves on. Today he’s preparing to fight in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. If you are familiar with amateur boxing, you know what an incredible task that was. We cannot express how proud we truly are of not only Richardson (Africa) but all of our boxers, especially those that chose to serve our country in the armed services. All this would not be possible without the Atlas Foundation and the NYPD Boxing Team. For them I am truly grateful.” MSM had the honor of interviewing “Africa” and here is some of what he told us: MSM: OK, we’ve got to ask. Why did you chose the nickname “Africa” to fight under? Africa: I ain’t the one who chose the nickname Africa, LOL. My coach just started calling me that when I first walked in the gym and that nickname stuck with me ever since MSM: What do you attribute your success to? Africa: What drives me to be successful comes from my Family and all the things we’ve been through and are going through. I just want to see them have it all ! And to give them a better life. And, and also being one of the best boxers to ever lace up a pair of gloves MSM: What has your relationship with the NYPD and the Atlas Cops N’ Kids organization meant to your development as a boxer and as a man? Africa: I love the Atlas Cops N’ Kids program. Without that place I wouldn’t be who I am today. That gym helped me become a confident, and in my opinion a good, young man and all the people there, to me, are my Family I love ‘em like they were my blood.

Africa with Floyd Mayweather, Sr. Photo Courtesy Atlas Cops N’ Kids

That gym helped me become a confident, and in my opinion a good, young man and all the people there, to me, are my Family I love ‘em like they were my blood. MSM: What are your plans after the Olympics? Africa: My plan after the Olympics is to go home, spend time with my family and friends, take some time off to be a normal teenager, and give my body a rest. Then I’ll talk it over with my team at Atlas Cops N’ Kids on when and who were gonna sign with so I can begin my pro career. website: MetroSports Magazine | 5

One hundred and two years ago, New York City’s Police Athletic League (PAL) was founded with the mission to “support and inspire New York City youth to realize their full individual potential as productive members of society” along with the vision of providing the City’s youth with “a fun place to play, learn and grow, nurtured by a special relationship with youth development professionals and police officers.” When the PAL dropped its boxing program in 2007, Pat Russo, then running the NYC PAL’s boxing program as Executive Director, approached Teddy Atlas to see if his charitable foundation, the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation, would help continue the program. “On one condition” Teddy said, you’ll need to add an educational component. New York’s Finest NYPD Boxing Club stepped up to take over. Pat Russo expanded on this when he told us, “It’s very nice to be recognized for doing something that you truly love to do. We started the cops & kids program over thirty years ago as an anti crime initiative to provide at risk youth with a positive alternative to gangs, drugs and other criminal activity. Our goal was also to build a positive relationship between the Police and neighborhood youth. If you look at our FB page you can see that we have been enormously successful.” The Atlas Cops N’ Kids program has successfully produced a number of Golden Gloves Champions, Olympians, and young professionals and may go a long way to explaining why the NYPD has been so successful in avoiding the level of community distrust seen in so many other parts of the country. Photo: Courtesy Pat Russo

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Words of the Champ Some Quotes from ‘Africa’ Made a promise to my momma we gone make it out the hood one day. The pain and the struggle followed me, my daddy not being there bothered me, and these cold streets made a Man out of me. GOD TRULY WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS ! After getting ready to sign pro a couple weeks ago I got a last min call from my brother at Shakur Stevenson and Julie from USA boxing that Andre Berto was paying my funds for me to come to the last world Olympic qualifiers , I had about 2 weeks to prepare for my first international tournament ever; fought 4 country’s number 1 Fighters to Become a 2016 OLYMPIAN man Shoutout to All my doubters I wanna thank my supports my coaches Benny, Lenny and Sosa ,Sarah Deming AND Pat Russo and my brother Timmy NEW YORK GOT A 2016 OLYMPIAN I DID IT IM GOING TO BRAZIL GOD IS GREAT !!!!!!!’

Image Courtesy Atlas Cops N’ Kids

Top Left: Pat Russo, Richardson ‘Africa’ Hitchens and Teddy Atlas; Top Right: Coach Aureliano Sosa and ‘Africa’; Below” ‘Africa’ on left with Atlas Cops N’Kids teammate Christopher B-hopp Colbert on Left.

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Photos: Courtesy Atlas Cops N’ Kids

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg

NYPD ‘Finest’ Boxing helped raise funds to support Atlas Cops N’ Kids at the 2016 NYPD Boxing Championships at Madison Square Garden on June 9, 2016.

Inset, below: NYPD Boxing president, Dave Sieve presenting Atlas Cops N’ Kids with the proceeds of the charity raffle.

MetroSports Magazine is available for desktop and mobile reading

web / online flipbook magazine / print issue

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Metro Area Bodybuilding

Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym Sponsors the NPC Summer Classic at the Westchester County Center he National Physique Committee (NPC) once again T brought its annual Northeast Summer Classic body-

building and physique competition to the Westchester County Center on July 9, 2016 and MetroSports Magazine was on hand to cover the action. The NPC is the premier amateur physique organization in the world. Since 1982, the top athletes in bodybuilding, fitness, figure, bikini and physique have started their careers in the NPC. Many of those athletes graduated to successful careers in the IFBB Professional League, a list that includes 24 Olympia and 38 Arnold Classic winners. This event, which attracted over 150 participants equally divided among men and women, was a sanctioned national qualifier. Sponsoring the 2016 Northeast Summer Classic was Long Island’s Powerhouse Gym owned and operated by multi-sport legend Bev Francis.

Competing in the sport of shot put, Bev set a national record in 1977 and went on to win the Australian National Shot Put Championship in 1982. Not satisfied as a one sport champion, Bev also took on the sport of powerlifting where she set a world record in 1981 for the women’s bench press and, again in 1982, setting a world record in the squat. In total, Bev broke over 40 world powerlifting records and was inducted into the International Powerlifting Hall of Fame in 1987. Moving on to the sport of bodybuilding, Bev won the World Pro Championships in 1987 and placed second in the 1990 and 1991 Ms. Olympia contests. Bev now operates the Powerhouse Gym in Syosset, N.Y., where she helps train the current and future generations of Right: Lucia Bergamin. 12 | August 2016

Branch Warren, IFBB Pro 2 time Arnold Classic Pro Champion 2011 British Grand Prix,1st Place 2009 Mr Olympia, 2nd Place 2007 New York Pro, 1st Place 2005 Europa Supershow, 1st Place 2001 NPC Nationals Heavyweight, 1st Place 1993 Teenage Nationals, Overall, 1st Place 1992 AAU Teenage Mr America Overall, 1st

(C) Warren Rosenberg,

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The NPC contests are broken into the following categories. 1. Men’s Physique 2. Women’s Bikini 3. Men’s Bodybuilding 4. Fitness 5. Women’s Figure 6. Women’s Physique 7. Women’s Bodybuilding As with all NPC-sanctioned competitions, the 2016 Summer Classic was conducted in two stages, with a pre-judging session taking place in the morning and the finals held later in the day. Scoring for the competition is performed by a five to seven judge panel and typically takes place in a Relaxed Round, a Comparison Round and a Free Posing Round. In the Relaxed Round judges evaluate the athletes for overall symmetry, paying close attention to how well balanced various muscle groups are to each other. During this round the competitors stand in a relaxed position and do not actively flex their muscles. In the Comparison Round, competitors stand together and actively flex their muscles in a va-

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riety of standard poses such as the front double bicep, front lat spread, the side chest and the overhead abdominal and thigh. Judges may ask competitors to move so that, with the athletes standing next to one another, the judges can compare each in relation to the others as they try to determine their relative placement. In the final round, Free Posing, competitors demonstrate their physiques and highlight their strong points through individually choreographed routines. In some competitions, this may be choreographed to music. In each category, competitors are scored against each other so that the best physique is judged as number one, and in a group of six for example, the least well-developed is judged as six (or last among the group). For each competitor, the lowest and highest judge’s scores are thrown out and the remainder are averaged together. The competitor with the overall lowest score wins. Competitors who place in one of the top 2 or 3 positions of an open (non-age restricted category) qualify to move on to compete in a national event and qualify for professional status. Competitors who place in one of the top 2 or 3 positions of an open (non-age restricted category) qualify to move on to compete in a national event and qualify for professional status.

NPC 2016 Summer Classic Champions

Kevin Vanoudenhove Colby Flis Male Bodybuilding Teen Male Bodybuilding Junior

Jose Gomez Male Bodybuilding 40+ M Bodybuilding Open lightweight

Bill Caputo Male Bodybuilding 50+

All Photos (c) Warren Rosenberg,

Jan Tousek Male Bodybuilding 35+ Classic Physique 35+ Classic Physique Open B Classic Physique Overall Open

Alan Feldman Male Bodybuilding 60+

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NPC 2016 Summer Classic Champions

Justin Barnes Dylan Drosky Bodybuilding Novice Lightweight Bodybuilding Novice Heavyweight Bodybuilding Novice Overall

Michael Mancini Bodybuilding Open Light Heavyweight

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James LaFountain Bodybuilding Open Heavyweight Overall Bodybuilding Open Champ

Justin Jacoby Bodybuilding Open Middleweight

Joshua DeJesus Classic Physique Teen

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NPC 2016 Summer Classic Champions

Anthony Granitto Classic Physique Open A

Fabian Lima Men’s Physique 35+

Anthony Martins Men’s Physique Teen

Cedric Grier Men’s Physique 40+

Darius Bunch Men’s Physique Junior

Albert Wijaya Men’s Physique Novice A

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NPC 2016 Summer Classic Champions

Raynier Reynoso Ventura Men’s Physique Novice B Overall Physique Novice

Wilberforce Duodo Men’s Physique Open C

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George Velonakis Men’s Physique Open A Overall Physique Open

Brian Johnson Men’s Physique Open B

Andrew Aurellano Men’s Physique Open D

Christina Rivera Women’s Physique Open

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NPC 2016 Summer Classic Champions

Codi Belcher Women’s Figure Junior

Lisa Wells Women’s Figure 50+ Women’s Figure Open A

Katherine Boger Women’s Figure 35+

Kristine Loock Women’s Figure 40+ Women’s Figure Open A

Lucia Bergamin Women’s Figure Novice Women’s Figure Open B Overall Figure Open Champion

Angelina Noriega Bikini Junior

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NPC 2016 Summer Classic Champions

Saira Rizvi Cynthia Petfield Heather Matthews Bikini 35+ Bikini Novice A Bikini Novice B Bikini 40+ Bikini Open A Bikini Open B Bikini Open Champion

Sorina Grannis Bikini Novice C

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Erica Groves Bikini Open C

Sammy Trayer Bikini Open D

Let us prepare a custom cover of any MetroSports Magazine with your favorite photo. Full color glossy prints in sizes 8” x 10” or 16” x 20” suitable for framing. Send inquiries to

Picture yourself on the cover of MetroSports Magazine. We’ll create a special issue of MetroSports Magazine featuring you on the cover and highlighted in the feature athlete profile. Send us a high resolution digital photo file and a brief biography and we’ll prepare and send you a printed full-color copy of an actual MetroSports Magazine with your cover. Send your request to MetroSports Magazine | 21

Behind the Scenes

Above: Taking a well-deserved rest between the pre-judging and final competition rounds. Below: Getting ready backstage.

All Photos (c) Warren Rosenberg, 22 | August 2016

Above and Below: Applying final touches to hair, makeup and tan.

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MSM One-on-One with Lucia Bergamin MetroSports Magazine had the pleasure of conducting a oneon-one interview with the NPC 2016 Summer Classic Figure Champion, Lucia Bergamin, from Cortland Manor, NY. MSM: What does it mean to you to be a multiple category and overall winner in the figure competition at the NPC Northeast Summer Classic? LB: I’m honored to have won three categories in the NPC Summer Classic. As a first time competitor, I expected my first show to be a learning experience to help me improve for the future. Winning the show was exhilarating; it has motivated me to keep training for future competitions and to see how far I can take my body. MSM: How did you get started in the sport of bodybuilding? LB: I’ve always loved training hard, going to the gym has been part of my daily routine since high school. About two years ago I joined Adrenalin Gym (in Peekskill), which made a huge impact on my training. I was among other competitors and athletes who taught me the ins and outs of nutrition and muscle development. This was truly my beginning in bodybuilding and I’ve been dedicated to it ever since. MSM: What advice would you give to young women who are thinking about bodybuilding as a competitive sport? LB: To young women interested in bodybuilding, my best advice would be to educate yourself about proper technique and form when training, and nutrition. These aspects helped me target my muscular development and manipulate my body more specifically. Every body is different, learn what is best for yours, and make gradual changes. Treat your body with respect, anything too drastic will disrupt your progress in the long run. MSM: Can you describe your training routine? LB: My training routine varies, I enjoy lifting heavy and increasing my strength. The days I squat or dead lift are my favorite. One thing I keep consistent throughout every workout are my pull-ups. I usually begin and end every workout with a few sets. 24 | August 2016

MSM: Care to give a shout out to your coach, supporters, or others who helped you prepare for the NPC Northeast Summer Classic? LB: A big thank you goes to my family, who kept me grounded and supported me through every high and low. Thank you to everyone from Adrenalin Gym and Premier Athletic Club who trained with me and motivated me every day to keep going. I was so moved to see familiar faces in the crowd, thank you to all of my supporters on show day, it meant the world to me. And thank you to my coach, Tiana Gonzalez, who gave me guidance through this journey.

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The New York Sled Rangers

Photo: Kevin Lynch

Gliding Four Inches from the Ice uinnipiac University in Hamden ConnectiQ cut was the site of a July 9th ice hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Connecticut Wolfpack. But this was not a contest between the more widely-known professional NHL and AHL teams but was a game between their affiliated sled hockey teams and included athletes who, because of various physical challenges, are unable to compete in traditional stand-up ice hockey.

The New York Sled Rangers, founded about 10 years ago, are part of the Northeast Sled Hockey League (NSHL), affiliated with Wheelchair Sports Federation (WSF), and compete under the umbrella of the United States Sled Hockey Association (USSHA). WSF is a 501 (c) (3) organization that provides opportunities for disabled youth and adults to participate in both recreational and competitive sports. The event was supported by a group of enthusiastic volunteers from the No Limits Foundation, a 501(c) (3) charitable 26 | August 2016

organization which provides camp opportunities and sports participation for children with limb loss. The team’s history can be traced back to the 1980’s and the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association which also fielded a team supported by the NY Islanders. Sled hockey is played on full-size, regulation hockey rinks, and follows the same rules with the exception of sleds in the place of skates and shortened sticks used to both propel the sleds and to hit the puck. The exciting parts of traditional, “stand-up” hockey, fast action, 60 mile-per-hour slap shots, and hard body checking are all still part of the sled hockey experience. Sled hockey arrived in the U.S. less than 30 years ago, having originated in Sweden in the 1940s and is overseen by the national sanctioning body, the United States Sled Hockey Association. Players ride 4 inches above the ice on sleds formed from tubular metal with

Photo: Kevin Lynch

Photo: Kevin Lynch

Photo: Kevin Lynch Above: Connecticut Wolfpacks Ryan Pelletier and New York Sled Rangers Ray Diaz getting ready to face off at the July 9th fundraiser for ‘Camp No Limits’ at Quinippiac University

skate blades underneath, and are strapped in place with Velcro strips. Players propel themselves using short, modified hockey sticks that have a blade on one end for handling the puck and an ice pick on the other side for pushing off against the ice. Helmets, masks, gloves and protective padding are all comparable to those used in traditional stand-up ice hockey. USA Hockey, the governing body for Olympic ice hockey in the United States, fields a sled hockey team, The US National Sled Hockey Team which represents the US in the Paralympic Games held every four years. 28 | August 2016

Talented prospects from amateur sled hockey teams across the country are invited to participate as members of the USA Sled Hockey Development Team for preparation to compete for a spot on the US National Team. Ray Diaz, one of the members of the NY Rangers Sled Hockey team, has just recently been named to the USA Hockey Developmental team, an important step on the way to his playing on the US National Team. Keep an eye out for great things from this future Champion.

Photo: Kevin Lynch Above: Volunteers from ‘Camp No Limits’ helping to run the July 9th charity exhibition game. Below Left: Sled Rangers Ron Rogell and NY Rangers Adam Graves: Below Right: Sled Rangers Ray Diaz

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The July 9th exhibition game between the NY Sled Rangers and the Connecticut Wolfpack was conducted as a fundraiser for the ‘Camp No Limits” organization in support of its summer camp at Quinnipiac University. ‘Camp No Limits’, founded in 2004, is a national 501(C)(3) charitable organization based in Wales, Maine, that has as its mission, “To educate and empower young people with limb loss to discover and develop a healthy, happy and independent lifestyle.” It operates camps in Maine, Missouri, Maryland, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, California, and Conneticut. For more information on ‘Camp No Limits’, visit: For more information on the NY Sled Rangers visit:

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Sports Photo Tip Sponsored by Hunts Photo & Video

32 | September-October 2015

Sports Photo Tip of the Month Ten Tips from MSM Photographer Clark Thompson

1. Arrive early- Scout out a location. How flexible is movement and how close can you be to playing field? 2. Light- Know the direction, intensity, color (is flash allowed). You can stop or show motion. 3, Camera- Know settings that will capture action in your lighting environment (may need two cameras with different focal length lenses). 4. Lens- One that compliments your situation. Frame it tight. (may need more than one lens). 5. Know the sport- You can anticipate where the money shots live. 6. Respect- The players, coaches, referees, and fans. 7. Gear- Filters, gray card, light meter, monopod; (bring what you need, (I never thought I should have bought…with me) This can be a big list so plan accordingly. 8. RAW/JPEG- This depends on speed to clients. Sometimes I have to upload to their FTP site during half time- jpegs are best. SOOC-(Straight Out Of Camera) Learn camera settings to achieve exposure during capture don’t rely on post-production. I prefer RAW. 9. Capture Emotions- Faces of the players during the game as well as players on the bench, coaches, referees and fans. Put a referee in a few shots. 10. Eliminate backgrounds- The term is “bokeh” The more blurry the background the better. The subject should be sharp and jumps off the page.

Bonus section- There’s a lot of “Auto” on cameras and an autofocus (AF) on most lenses. Know what “autos” to leave on and which ones to turn off. You will not be in control if your camera settings are all in automatic. Some you can have on/off simultaneously and others should be avoided. The below is my take when shooting sports. On the lens keep the AF on for sports. Auto White Balance (AWB) you can leave it on, but I do a custom white balance (WB). Don’t use single shot mode, change mode to something that assists in shooting/tracking moving subjects, maybe even continuous mode. S or TV (Shutter or Time Value) Will automatically set the camera’s aperture. A or AV (Aperture or Aperture Value) Will automatically set the camera’s shutter speed. M (Manual) You NEED to set the aperture and shutter speed. Auto ISO - Some newer cameras have this, I don’t use it, I input the value I need and adjust it if necessary. Don’t use any camera icon button for action (running man) or the automatic (square for Canon). I prefer you use AV or A but if you’re not ready use P (program) you can Practice, practice, practice!

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