Action Sports Photography Is All About Finding The Right
Location And Good Timing To Get The Shot
Action sports photography is a demanding job contrary to what many
people may think. Whether it is in Football, Ice hockey or Baseball,
capturing the action as well as the emotion in the shot is the stuff
great photography is made of.
With action sports photography, the selling shots are those, which
capture the sportsmen right in the middle of the action. Whether it is
a basketball player making a shot while suspended in mid-air or a
baseball just a few inches from its receiver's eager hands; sports
photographs depicting frozen movements tell and sell more.
Freezing actions have been elusive for many sports photographers. It is
essential to have fast shutter speeds in order to freeze the action in
The modern high-end DSLR cameras with full frame sensors, such as the
Canon 1D Mk III, can record shutter speeds of up to 1/8000th of a
second with bursts of 10 fps (frames per second). This high speed can
capture even the fastest of actions on any sports pitch.
However, it is unsafe to assume that the right equipment will guarantee
you a captivating freezing action shot. The techniques you use will
determine the kind of photographs you get.
On this note, the minimal speed with which your hand holds the lens
matters most. When holding your lens with the hand, the minimum speed
of the shutter is determined by dividing 1 with the focal length of the
For example, if your camera's lens is 300mm then your shutter speed
when the lens is hand-held should be at least 1/300th of a second to
prevent camera shake.
If the camera you have lacks the shutter speeds you require, you can
round it up to achieve the relevant speed. This helps you to get the
best out of your handheld shots without an image stabilizer.
Practice makes perfect and the more shots you take using this rule, the
better you will get with time.
Freezing the sporting action by holding the camera with your hand is a
difficult task. The longer, fast lenses are heavy and hard to hold in
position. The movement of muscles and the heartbeat also interfere with
accurate capturing of still objects.
Monopods are handy for sports photographers who want to become steadier
and get higher shutter-speeds with their hand held shots.
The length of your lens is another vital aspect of action sports
photography. The longer the lens of a camera, the better its ability to
magnify both the scenes and movements in the sports pitch. But, longer
lenses also require higher shutter speeds to capture the action from a
distace, so your lens will need to be fast to let enough light on to
Mastery of the camera's actions has to be in tandem with personal
effort. Sometimes photographers have to move with the sportsmen in
order to capture superb shots.
You need to predict what's going to happen next and anticipate the
players movements. Panning along with them shooting in short bursts
will make sure you dont miss out on the perfect shot.
Once you master all these things and place yourself at the right place
in the sports field, you are bound to make news with your action sports
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