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  1. #1
    Junior Member gary_hendr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Article: Learn How to Take Action Shots

    Here is an article I published on my website about action photography. I hope it'll be useful to some of you in this forum.

    Learn How to Take Action Shots
    by Gary Hendricks

    Do you find it a problem to shoot great action shots? Whether you are shooting pictures of a soccer match, or a fast moving car, you may find it a great challenge to produce nice pictures of these subjects. In fact, the first thing you’ll realize is that digital Cameras are bad for action shots. That is why first time users, new to digital photography often gripe about how lousy their action shots turn out.

    This article will give you some tips for shooting action shots with a digital camera. Apply these tips and I’m sure you have a better chance of getting a nice action shot.

    A photo of a fast moving car

    Shutter Lag
    One of the major reasons why digital camera cannot shoot nice action shots is due to shutter lag. On many digital cameras, when you press the shutter button, it may take an entire second before the photo is taken. A traditional, analogue 35mm camera can take the picture within 50 milliseconds. There is a world of difference between 1 second and 50 milliseconds.

    What this means is that you need to compensate for shutter lag when shooting action shots. Give extra time when framing your shot, so that when you depress the shutter button, the photo will get taken at precisely the right time. Another option, of course, if to get a higher end camera which offers less shutter lag.

    Take Control Shots
    Another factor influencing action photography is the shutter speed of your camera. If your camera allows a very fast shutter speed (say up to 1/8000 of a second), you can easily capture fast motion. If it only supports a slower shutter speed (say 1/640 of a second), then you won’t be able to capture such fast motion. One way to capture motion with a slow shutter speed is to use the panning technique. When you next shoot a fast action shot, try following through with the subject. Track the subject, shoot the picture, then continue moving the camera. If you practise long enough, you’ll be able to get a sharp subject with a blurred background – which is a nice effect.

    Camera Write Times
    The write time of the camera is also important when shooting action shots. Some cameras will chug away to store a picture in memory each time you press the shutter button. This, of course, is terrible for capturing action. One way around this is to ensure that your camera supports continuous shots. This way, the camera takes a fixed number of shots, before writing them all to memory at once.

    We all know action photography is exciting and very interesting if the pictures are taken well. However, action shots pose a great challenge, especially to novice photographers. Do keep the above tips in mind the next time you take such shots, and I’m sure your results will be better.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    McCordsville, IN

    Re: Article: Learn How to Take Action Shots

    Panning can be a trick, but the real trick is doing it at night with a slow shutter speed. The shot below I had the shutter at 1/64, ISO 1250, using Canon 1D w/Sigma 70-200 f2.8 at 135mm. and no flash. It's all timing, from your movement to the camera settings.... oh, and really good lighting helps too!

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Article: Learn How to Take Action Shots-2281302-lg.jpg  

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