For information on our writers and how to contact us, please scroll down to the very bottom of the page.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Your Guide to Interesting Action Photography

Action photography is a field that every photographer comes across in their career and should know how to shoot. Here is a photographers guide to getting that dizzying animal image or an eye-appealing basketball dunk shot. 

1. Balance aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Consider the fact that a fast shutter speed* freezes a given moment, while slower speeds record blurs and add a sense of energy to your shots.  You must ask yourself what is more effective here? If you find recording blurry movement appealing than you can use the pan technique or the still technique to achieve those effects. Panning involves moving your camera at the speed of the object your photographing, keeping your subject sharp and backgrounds blurry. The opposite occurs when you have a long exposure (or shutter speed) and don't move the camera with the object. Also remember that a wider aperture** makes faster shutter speeds possible, because it compensates for likely underexposure, while smaller apertures allow for long exposures (note that the aperture you shoot at effects the images depth of field***). A similar idea applies to ISO†, the higher it is the better it would work for fast shutter speeds.

2.  Equipment wise, having an arsenal of very fast and stable, wide and telephoto lens' are ideal. Carrying an extensive camera bag though can be problematic because most great action photos hinge on the ability to move around quickly. On the issue of focusing, usually automatic modes are your best chance, but preset focuses will work as well.

3. For sports photographers there are two issues that are important in giving you better photo opportunities. For one, knowing the sport gives a photographer a great advantage. They know which player to watch for, where to aim the lens, when to click the shutter and where to stand. Secondly, access is key. You don't want to photograph images of a touchdown from a upper deck where everything below just looks like a clutter.

4. Shoot lots of images. For faster continuous shooting, photograph in JPEG format not RAW (explained here: 

Helpful Definitions
*how long light is permitted into the camera in order to record the scene.
**how wide a space light is permitted to enter the lens
***the field or space that is focused. A small depth of field means only an area that is a specific distance from the camera will be sharp.
†a camera's sensitivity to light, serves a purpose similar to aperture.
‡a lens with a strong zoom, meaning isolating a small and tight area of the setting. In contrast to wide angle lens (which are lenses with a large scope on a scene), telephoto lenses have a small depth of field.

No comments:

Our Portfolio

Biography and Contact Information

Chase Guttman is a talented and passionate, award-winning photographer having shot everything from landscapes to wildlife to portraits and events all around the world. Chase Guttman is also an affordable NYC assignment photographer, ready to fulfill your photographic wishes with his distinct style and attention to detail. He also runs this popular photography tips and guide blog, with weekly insights into photography that helps everyone from amateurs to pros better their photographic skill. Visit us at our website:

For all questions, comments, suggestions or concerns of both technical and artistical nature, please feel free to e-mail us at: