Roughly speaking, action photography means to capture any subject which is in motion and it is one of the most challenging aspects of photography from a photographer’s perspective.
3 main settings for action photography:
From keeping subjects in focus to entirely freezing the subject, you need to understand the basic terms which are responsible for this. Well, there are many things to keep in mind but mainly aperture, ISO and shutter speed needs to be mastered.
Aperture is basically the opening of a lens. It determines the amount of light that enters the camera. The bigger the opening will be, the more light will enter the camera hence exposing the photo properly. Aperture also controls the blur of background and foreground leaving the subject in focus. In action photography, keep the aperture stop lower in order to open the aperture to its maximum capacity. Hence it will give you a blurred background.
Shutter speed is the duration of time the shutter of the camera remains open. When shutter speed is low i.e, 1 sec, 5 sec or even more slower, more light will enter the camera. Hence everything will be captured in between that duration hence captures motion blur. So, in case of photographing the action shots, it is important to keep your shutter speed so fast that the subject wont get any motion blur. So go for 1/200 sec or 1/500 or even higher depending on the speed of motion of the subject.
ISO is the sensitivity of a camera’s sensor towards light. A lower value of ISO means the sensor is less sensitive to light and vice-versa. The con of ISO is that grains may appear if you increase your ISO too much. It depends on the quality of the camera when the grains will start appearing in the photo.
Note: A pro tip is always set your ISO setting at last.
Action photography mainly depends on Shutter Speed because it is subjected to freezing a fast moving subject. But, when it comes to low light, you need to keep your shutter speed lower and that results in blurry or shaky photos. But don’t worry, you can use these creative ideas to capture action photos even with low shutter speed.
3 unique ways to capture action photos:
Using Flash: Think of a situation where you need to freeze the motion even in Low- light situations and you need to increase your shutter speed which results in underexposed images. In that situation, Flash is going to be an awesome idea. Trust me if you master the amount of flash, you can create a dramatic composition
Motion Blur : Sometimes motion blur can give your action photos a splendid look. It will also let you portray a visual story in your action photos. To create motion blur, you need to keep your camera still and to do so, you need a tripod. Lower down your shutter speed and focus on your subject’s movement and you will be able to capture awesome action photos with motion blur.
Panning: One of the most beautiful techniques where you can capture your subject relatively sharp than the background. You just need to pan your camera the same as the subject’s movement.
Among all the genres of photography, action photography might prove a tricky one but once you understand how to play with shutter speed, you can achieve awesome shots.
In the end, one pro tip is to shoot in burst mode to continuously click shots, so you don’t miss any moments.