How to Capture the Best Action Shots


Do you find it quite a challenge to shoot great action shots?

Whether you are shooting a fast moving car or pictures of a soccer match, you may find some challenges to produce the nice motion shots you really want.

fast car

In fact, the first thing you’ll realize is that digital Cameras are bad for motion shots. That is why first time digital camera users often grumble about how lousy their shots turn out.

Through some ample combination of careful lighting, focusing , positioning and shutter-speed adjustments, you can take the exact stop motion shots. Even if you never take sports photos, knowing how to freeze movement allows you capture birds in flight, water splashes, and fleeting childhood moments etc.

birds in flight

  • This photograph was taken as follows:
  • Camera - Cannon EOS-1DS MarkII
  • Shutter Speed 1/3200
  • F-Stop 5.6
  • Exposure bias 0.33
  • Exposure Priority - Aperture Priority
  • Lens Focal Length
  • No Flash

  • Don’t worry, the best way to master your digital camera's many buttons and screen menus is through hands-on experience. If setting your camera's

    shutter to 1/500th of a second gets you that perfect image of your baby mid-bounce, you're more likely to remember how to activate shutter-priority mode next time. So don't spend your time memorizing settings. Instead, remember the following principles for good motion photography. Over time, making the camera do your bidding becomes second nature.

    1. Move in close. Using a zoom lens, digital zoom, or your own body, get as close to the movement as possible to eliminate distracting backgrounds.

    2. Increase your camera's shutter speed. If your camera has manual mode, shutter-priority mode, or even a preset action mode, use it to prevent blurring caused by movement.

    3. Anticipate the movement. When you see the perfect moment on your camera's screen, it's way too late to press the shutter, especially if your camera has a substantial shutter lag. Even if you use burst mode to fire off a bunch of shots in a row, the time to begin taking your shot is about a second before the best movement is likely to occur. It takes practice, but you will get the hang of it.

    4. Do as much as possible before you take the shot. Pre-focusing and spot metering are easy on most digital cameras. Get in the habit of setting them during breaks in the activity. Once your camera has focus and/or exposure locked in, you can concentrate on getting the shot without the drag of shutter lag.

    5. Above all, persevere. Don't get frustrated if many motion shots don't turn out, even when you use these techniques. Pros shoot dozens, sometimes hundreds, of frames just to get one good picture. By its very nature, action photography produces lots of wasted shots. Just remember you've got a digital camera, so mistakes don't cost you a thing. ...

    You must understand the sports game before you start shooting. You have to know how points are scored, what cause penalties, etc. This way, you will understand where the best action is likely to happen. Don’t forget to capture the emotion. Be ready to capture player’s faces on winning, or other emotional animation in the game. They should make your photos looks alive!


    On the next time you take such shots, do keep the above tips in mind, and I’m pretty sure your results will get better.

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