advanced photography :: sports, action, & wildlife

assignment : take a photo of someone or something in motion actually “stopping” the motion in your photo

our bradford pear photo shoot

This was, perhaps, my favorite class so far.  A few simple pointers had me inspired that I can get better at action photography!  Here’s a few pointers that I found helpful…

  • Knowing the sport you are photographing will help you know what shots to get.
  • Anticipate what’s going to happen and be there!
  • Pick a position that will give you a clean background and separates the foreground and background.
  • Follow the ball and be there with your camera.
  • Or…don’t follow the ball and get a reaction shot from another player.
  • Timing is key.  If you wait until you see it, it’s gone.  Pre-focus on where the action will be.
  • Try shooting with a slow shutter speed to create a bit of blur or try an unusual angle.

The above photo is Joshua jumping off of a small gate at their school.  Don’t worry he landed on his feet and no body parts were harmed.  {Smile.}  There’s several things I like about this photo, so I will use it as my example!  This was shot with at an aperture of f/11, shutter speed 1/200.  I could have upped the shutter, but I love how you can see the blur of his hands in motion.  The small aperture created a large depth of field which allowed me to get his face in focus as well as the tree behind him.  One key with motion photography is to show the eyes.  The eyes say so much, and I love that you can see the concentration in his eyes as he makes his jump.

I love shooting in manual, but I find with action shots, aperture priority is much easier to handle.  The best way to get better at action photography is definitely to practice, practice, practice!

Oh, and the title of the class had the word “wildlife” in it but really the only thing said about it was that you need a long lens.  I could have said that.  Every time we’ve gone to Kruger National Park my 200mm lens feels dinky compared to what some of those photographers have!

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