4 Tips for Action Photography

Venturing into action photography can be daunting both for amateurs and professionals alike. But, with the right preparation, equipment and a little bit of luck, you can come up with that winning action-packed shot. In composing your action photograph, visualize the image you want to achieve. Your equipment and settings will depend on the type of shot you want, whether you want to freeze the action or give a little bit of blur to depict speed. Here are some helpful tips for achieving that perfect action photograph.

1. Plan Ahead

As with any photography venture, proper planning can spell the difference between a good picture and a bad one. Knowing the situation can help you prepare the right equipment. If you’re far from the action, then you might need a telephoto lens. If it’s broad daylight, you might want a polarizing filter for a more dramatic shot. Whatever the circumstances, it might be wise to bring a tripod.

2. Visualize Your Shot

This will help you in finding a position to get that angle that you want. If it’s a sports event, you might want to go up in the stands to get some crowd shots too, or you might consider being right on the field for a more up close and personal feel.

3. Know Your Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is the crucial point in action photographs. First off, it’s recommended to set your ISO to 1000. This is the fastest film speed that can help you capture that action. Depending on the action you’re covering, you may consider shutter speeds from 1/250 up to 1/1000. The former is sufficient for freezing running motion, while the latter can crisply capture splashing water. If you want to capture some motion blur, set your shutter speed lower. 

4. Frame It Right

Framing and composition is also what would set your picture apart from the other action photographs with the same subject. Though you should be able to depict one particular action, your photograph should also say that more is about it happen. For instance, in races, you might want to frame your subject with room in front of him. Experiment also with high angles and low angles. Having dynamic shots will make your action photograph more exciting.