Capture the action!


This month’s latest Snap and Sell Photo Challenge is all about summertime fun. This means capturing all the activities a summer day brings.

Photographing action, sports, and moving subjects can be tricky. Here are some tips that will help:

Tip #1: Use a fast shutter speed. This is crucial if you want to freeze motion. Switch your camera into shutter priority or full manual exposure mode so that you can select the shutter speed you want.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to use a shutter speed of at least 1/500th of a second or faster in order to freeze a jogger, bicyclist, or other action sports. If your subject is moving very fast, such as a speed boat, you’ll likely need to shoot even faster, with a shutter speed of 1/1,000th or 1/2000th of a second.

Tip #2: Take some test shots. It’s a good idea to take a few test shots, and then review them carefully on the back of your camera. Magnify the image to check for sharp focus if your subject is moving. This will help you determine if your shutter speed is fast enough or if you need to increase it.

Tip #3: Use burst mode. The key with photographing action is to take a lot of shots. With burst mode, your camera will fire multiple shots when you press the shutter button. It increases your odds of capturing the perfect moment.

Tip #4: Observe & anticipate. Rather than just settling for “lucky shots”, spend a bit of time simply observing the scene around you. Doing this will help you anticipate where the good shots will happen and help you get in position in advance.

Tip #5: Try continuous autofocus. When it comes to autofocus settings every camera is a bit different. It’s a good idea to practice with your particular camera and try switching to continuous autofocus mode. It will be called something like Al Servo or AF-C in your settings menu. This will tell your camera’s autofocus system to track your moving subject. Focusing on moving subjects is always tricky, so it’s worth putting some time in to practice with your camera.

— Daniel