You asked for it! Last week, we asked our Facebook fans what photography tutorials you’d like to see. And one of the most requested tutorials was ACTION SHOTS! Action shots are a great way to tell a story. They capture the motion of a moment and make your picture come to life. There are two ways to capture motion: freeze it or show the action.

how to take action shots

Before attempting to capture an action shot, here are a few things to consider.

Sports Mode. Most cameras have a Sports mode {it’s the running man}. This setting is great for catching things in motion and will automatically set the camera settings for you.

Focus on the Face. If you are shooting a moving person, make sure your focal point is on their face. This way, your camera and the person viewing the photo will have something to focus on. Blurry legs and arms are good. A blurry face is not.

Pan the Movement. Move the camera with the object you are trying to capture in order to achieve a sharp image.

how to take action shots

Here are some technical tips to help capture an action shot. When you combine the tips above and the technical directions below, you’ll get some really great photographs.

1. Set your camera to S Mode {shutter speed}. If you are more comfortable in Manual, stay there.

2. Set your Shutter Speed. You are going to want a very fast shutter speed when shooting moving objects. The shutter speed you will need depends on the type of action you are photographing. If you are shooting a child running, start by shooting with a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. If you are you shooting a race car, start with 1/4000th of a second.

how to take action shots

3. You may need to up your ISO if you are shooting in dim light. Take a few practice shots and adjust accordingly.

4. If you still need more lighting, and you aren’t in Manual, switch over to manual and adjust your aperture. You want to shoot with something wide like f/ 2.8 or f/4.0.

5. Shoot earlier and more. Your camera may have a slight delay from the time you push the shutter to the actual time the image is captured. If your camera has a delay, you can account for the delay by shooting earlier.  Also, when shooting motion, you want to take a lot of pictures. Just keep shooting! This will help you catch everything that is going on.

how to take action shots

Your challenge this week is to find some action. It can be running water, a running child or a car zooming down the road. Anything! And practice shooting! You’ll probably take more pictures this week than most. And that’s a good thing because when you’re capturing action shots, more is better.

Have you missed a Photography Tutorial? Don’t worry! Just check out our Photography Tutorial Library. It’s jam packed with over 30 photography lessons. And we add to it every week!

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