Anyone Can Take Great Action Shots!

My #2 son tees off and watches his disc fly.

It seems like more and more parents are buying digital SLRs (cameras with interchangeable lenses) in hopes of capturing photos of their kids during their sports activities. And, unfortunately, it seems like more and more parents are frustrated that they’re unable to take great action shots. Or even good ones.

Jordan drives in for a layup.

I often have parents with cameras (aka, PWCs) come up to me at sporting events and lament about how they can’t get the shot they want . . . e.g., crisp and in focus . . . especially indoors. As they eye my Nikon equipment that looks very much like their own, I know they’re wondering why I get better results than they do.

Alex is about to have his flag pulled.

You might be wondering the same thing, too. Which is why I’m starting a new page on my blog called Photo Friday for PWCs. Look for it every—wait for it!—Friday. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve got a ton of experience (having started about 37 years ago during the predigital, dinosaur age) that might be helpful to the all-I-get-is-blurs PWC crowd. Hey, I used to get lots of blurs, too, and I still do. But, fortunately, I end up with more keepers (useable shots) than deletes. And you can, too!

My #2 son leads his teammate Eric in the 800 meters.

I’m going to challenge you to take better photos every time you use your dSLR by giving you the tools that can make the difference between so-so pics and ones you’ll be proud to show the world . . . or at least post on Facebook. If you’ve got questions, just leave a comment, and I’ll try my best to address them.

Nate at the top of his motion.

I believe there are several factors that result in good action shots:

1) You need to know photography. There just ain’t no getting around it. If you don’t know what aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are, you’re just going to spin your wheels. Ree Drummond, who writes the wonderful thepioneerwoman.com blog, has a series of informative articles about basic photography: What the Heck is an Aperture? Check them out!

2) You need to know your camera. And that means hauling out the manual and reading it with your dSLR in your hands so you know where everything is and what everything does. I’m like everyone else in wanting to just be able to pick up a camera and snap away. That’s fairly easy with a point and shoot but not with a dSLR.

3) You need the opportunity to get close enough to your subject to capture the action. That means a quality zoom lens and/or being at the fence or on the sideline.

4) Never discount the importance of luck!

I’ll be writing about all of these factors and more this year, so I hope you’ll stop back every Friday. In the meantime . . . get out your camera and its manual and practice!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s