Great Action Photography Tips

Thanks to advances in today's cameras, action photography is simple, if you remember these basic action photography tips.

Shutter Speed
Shutter speed controls how long light hits the film or electronic sensors during an exposure. To freeze fast-moving subjects, use the highest shutter speed possible. Today's cameras use preset shutter speed and aperture combinations to automate the exposure, but this doesn't always provide the desired results. 

Many cameras allow you to manually set the shutter speed while automatically setting the aperture (a.k.a. "f-stop"), which controls the amount of light entering your lens. Simply determine the fastest shutter speed available that allows your lens to use the widest possible aperture, given your shooting conditions.

If you prefer to manually set the aperture, opening your lens to the largest aperture allows your camera to select the fastest shutter speed possible, given your shooting conditions. Remember, the smaller the number of your f-stop, the greater the light that enters through the lens. In other words, a setting of f1.4 results in a wider aperture than f11, which allows the camera to use a faster shutter speed for the exposure.

Panning
No, this isn't about searching for gold, though you may end up with some golden photos if you use the technique of "panning." Panning is one of the most basic yet effective sports photography tips employed, no matter whether you're shooting for the NFL or a Pop Warner league.

Panning involves following the action while looking through your lens and simultaneously pressing the shutter. Panning works if you release the shutter only once or if you're making a sequence of exposures. Oftentimes the resulting photo shows a crisp, sharp subject on a slightly blurred background, implying speed and motion.

Make sure you have a stable base when panning. Plant your feet and follow the action by rotating only your upper body. Tuck your elbows into your sides to give the camera that extra bit of support and you're ready to go!

Practice makes perfect. If you choose to use these photography tips, be sure to try them prior to the big game or that once-in-a-lifetime event. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the look on your friends' faces when you show them the jaw-dropping results!

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