03 Capture moving action
With the Olympics underway, now’s the time to warm up your action photography skills. If you’re going to be at an event this summer, pack a telephoto zoom. You may also consider using a camera with a crop factor sensor, as this will further extend the zoom on your lens.
“To get a good sports shot,” says sports pro Kai Pfaffenbach, “one of the most important things is to expect the unexpected! You can try and predict things and get into the right position, but you need to be flexible. For example, during a 100m final nobody would expect an athlete in lane one or eight to win, as the favourites start in four, five and six, but during the World Championships in 2003, Kim Collins had the race of his life and won from lane one!”
Kai shot the image above during the men’s 10,000m final at the 2011 World Athletics Championships. To achieve the motion blur, he panned with the competitors.
“I experimented with different shutter speeds of between 1/30 and 1/10 sec,” he says. “I set image stabilisation to Mode 2 on my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, which corrects for camera shake in the vertical but not the horizontal plane. Using a very slow shutter speed to shoot athletes racing creates a real sense of speed.”
Get started today…
- Set your camera to Shutter Priority (S or Tv) mode. When panning runners, use a shutter speed of around 1/30 sec (find out some of the common mistakes at every shutter speed). To freeze the action, increase the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/500 sec (learn more about how to set up your camera to shoot any moving subject).
- It’s important to be aware of what might happen in a particular event, so you know where to be and where to point your camera.
- It’s not just the Olympics that offer opportunities for photography this summer. There are many events taking place around the UK throughout the year. Go to the UK Athletics website for details.
PAGE 1: Capture a bug’s life
PAGE 2: Shoot a summer wedding
PAGE 3: Capture moving action
PAGE 4: Capture action with drama
PAGE 5: Line up a summer beach shoot
PAGE 6: Photograph sea fowl
PAGE 7: Photograph your summer holidays
PAGE 8: Capture the colour of summer flora
PAGE 9: Take advantage of stormy skies
Creative photo ideas: shoot outdoor portraits with reflections
Frozen flower photography: the perfect rainy day photography project
Free lensing: dismount your lens for the ultimate creative effect
4 ways to make more creative zoom burst photos