Choosing Optimal Shutter Speed for Sports Shots
Great sports shots can be very elusive and difficult to capture. For many years, photographers have had a love-hate relationship with taking action shots. As most sports require a player to move very fast, it can be hard to capture the action without blurring the ball or legs of a player.
For baseball and football, you will want to stop the action in order to capture a players emotion and movement. In order to acquire this, you will need a faster shutter speed. As a general rule of thumb, the minimum shutter speed for a lens is 1 divided by the focal length of the lens. For example, a 50mm lens should not be any slower than 1/50th of a second and a 200mm lens should not be any lower than 1/200th of a second.
Lack of Shutter Speed
Some cameras do not leave the option up to the photographer regarding the shutter speed. For these instances, your best bet would be to snap hundreds of shots while at the sporting event and hope that you got a few good shots. While this may not seem like an exact science, you may come up with some quality shots.
In the end, it comes down to experience. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with shutter speeds.