Shooting action and movement is an extremely fun and exciting part of photography, but it’s sometimes difficult to get a great shot when your subjects are moving very quickly. By following a few simple guidelines, out of focus shots, blurriness, and bad lighting can be easily avoided.
Here are some tricks to try out when shooting the action using your SLR camera.
Increase shutter speed – Using very fast shutter speeds of 1/1000th of a second or 1/2000th of a second will freeze the action in the shot. Fast shutter speeds such as these are especially important for subjects which are moving extremely fast. Shooting during the day or in a bright room is best, rather than at dawn, sunset or at night, as you need a lot of light to shoot with such high shutter speeds. If you would like to have some blur in your photos, you can lower the shutter speed to 1/40th or 1/50th of a second. It will give the slight illusion of movement rather than a completely still image.
Shoot a lot of photos – A good trick to use is to shoot a large number of frames all one after the other. You’ll need to set your DSLR on high speed continuous shooting, and capture a number of photos in quick succession. You’ll be likely to find at least one photo that you like, and pick the ones that turned out the best. If you want a simple option, switch your camera to ‘sports mode’.
Create your own movement – You can always create your own movement in a shot by using a slightly slower shutter speed and moving the camera around to create movement effects in the shot. For another different effect, you can use a slow shutter speed and follow your subject as it moves across the shot. This will keep the subject relatively clear while blurring the background and maintaining the feeling of movement.
Don’t ignore the background – A great action shot can be ruined with a boring or ugly background, so take as much care as you normally would when framing and composing your shot.
Use the right equipment – Various digital camera accessories can help when shooting action and movement. A tripod can help you experiment with panning and following your subject, while a high-speed flash can give you some interesting effects and lighting when shooting action in low light. The lens plays an important role as well. Make sure you choose an SLR lens with a high zoom range if you’ll be photographing from afar. A lens with extremely quick autofocus will also come in handy when you need to focus on a subject quickly.
Be familiar with your subject matter – Being able to anticipate movements will make it easier for you to frame a shot and capture it quickly. For example, if you’re into sports photography , be familiar with the particular sport you’re shooting. You’ll know what moments to look for during gameplay, and you’ll have more fun trying to get that perfect shot as well!
Whatever kind of action you’re shooting, whether it’s a car racing rally or your kid’s soccer match, experiment and have fun with different shutter speeds and lenses. Your photos will be even more exciting than the action itself.
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