Ever seen those photos where you feel you are a part of the action? Action shots are a great way to convey the excitement of a race, a sport, or anything that’s moving.

You see them in the newspapers all the time.  At the back in the sports section you will find excellent examples of action photographs.  These photos show the agony of defeat, the winning goal, and the pain of exhaustion.

Taking your own action photos is a great way to learn about exposure, fast shutter speeds, ISO, and light. To freeze the action you will need a fast shutter speed, in order for your camera to get a shutter speed fast enough, you will need enough light.

If all your shots are coming out a little blurry, then you need a faster shutter speed, in order to do this you might have to use a higher ISO.  Watch out for noise though, higher ISO levels mean there will be more noise (also known as film grain) in your images.  Most DSLR’s nowadays allow you to go up pretty high without much visible noise but you’re almost sure to have some at higher ISO’s than 1000.  Though this does entirely depend on the camera you are using, some are almost noise free at much higher levels.

Using a monopod, essentially a tripod with only one leg, is a great way to cut down on camera shake and it can also take the weight of a longer, heavier lens which you will need for those frame filling shots.  200mm is fine if you are close to the action but 300mm or more gives you more scope.

If you are photographing a fast sport, shoot in continuous mode so that you don’t miss that decisive moment.  It can be devastating to press the shutter only to find out you were slightly too early, or late. Shooting in rapid fire means you will take many more photos of the same play, but it also means you are more likely to get the best shot.  You can easily go through all your photos later and weed out the ones that weren’t taken at quite the right time and keep the ones that were.

So I hope you have fun shooting any action you see from now on, whether it be your child’s school football team, or something quite a lot faster.

Happy shooting!

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