Home Photography Ideas 7 Action Sports Photography Ideas and Tips You Should Know

7 Action Sports Photography Ideas and Tips You Should Know

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Do you want to capture great looking sports photos? Then read these action sports photography tips and ideas below and discover how to take sports photos that get noticed.

The most important aspects of taking good action sports photos are the camera’s aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. Of course, you’ll also have to make sure the images are in focus and you’re in good position to take the shots.

Below, are some important tips for you to learn from so you can take better shots.

action sports photography tips and ideas photo 1
Photos by ufopilot and nocklebeast

Action Sports Photography Tips

Tip #1

For sharp, crisp images you need to be sure the camera is getting enough light into it.

The aperture and shutter speed need to be balanced to achieve this. Remember, the lower the f-stop is, such as f/2.8, the more light you’re letting in. Also, the faster the shutter speed the more light is needed to expose the photo. When the shutter speed is slower more light gets in to the camera because the sensor is exposed for a longer period of time. The faster the shutter speed, the lower the F-stop needs to be. Remember this important action photography tips for every sport.

Tip #2

When it comes to freezing the action in sports photography, you’ll need a fast shutter speed.

If it’s too slow the shots will generally be blurry.

The best way to balance the shutter speed and aperture is to set the camera to manual mode and experiment. Set the shutter speed at 1/500th of a second and take a shot. If the image is too dark then you’re not getting enough light in the camera. In this instance, slow the shutter speed down until your action sports photography shots are at the right exposure or adjust the aperture to a lower f-stop.

The easiest way is to set the f-stop as low as you can and keep taking photos at various shutter speeds until the balance between shutter and aperture provides the right exposure match. In well-lit instances of sports photography you may be able to take shots as fast as 1/4000th of a second. action sports photography tips.

Tip #3

In low-light conditions you may not be able to get a properly exposed photo simply because your lens aperture doesn’t go low enough. A lens that gives you an f2.8 aperture or lower may be needed for very low-light action photography.

Tip #4

The ISO setting has to be correct as well in sports photography. This indicates the sensitivity of the image sensor to light. The lower the number, such as 100, the lower the sensitivity is and the finer the grain will be. Therefore a sports photo shot at 1600 ISO will be quite a bit grainier (noise).

sample photo 2
Photos by Dave_B_ and paddynapper

Tip #5

In darker conditions, you’ll need a higher ISO setting as it will allow for faster shutter speeds.

In well-lit conditions, 100 ISO may be perfect.

However, if it’s cloudy out you may want to experiment at 200 or 400. If you want less noise, try and get your shots with a lower ISO setting. However, if the conditions are dark, you may need to use 1600, especially if the subject is moving and you don’t have a tripod.

Tip #6

If you want to capture the action as close as possible you’ll need to get as close to the playing area as you can.

This isn’t always possible though. In the case that you’re quite a distance away you’ll need a telephoto lens of at least 300mm to make up for the distance. But remember, the more you zoom in, the less light you’ll be letting into the camera, which means you’ll need a slower shutter speed or lower f-stop setting.

Tip #7

Timing is very important in sports photography.

It’s important to know the rules and how the sport you’re covering is played.

To get great sports action shots you can pre-focus on a location where you know there will be plenty of it taking place. This will help you to be ready for the action before it plays out and ensure you have a properly focused image.

A Recap of Action Sports Photography Tips and Ideas

To sum up these photography ideas and tips, you need to have adequate camera equipment and lighting. A manual camera is definitely easier to work with in sports photography as it gives you more options. Long and fast lenses are ideal for action shots and high ISO settings are usually needed in darker conditions. A fast shutter speed helps to freeze the action while panning can show speed in an image. If you’re following an athlete with your camera, a continuous shooting mode is highly recommended. Most importantly, to take a crisp, clear shot, make sure you’re in focus.

Tell us what you think of these action sports photography tips or share your own by leaving a comment below.

2 Comments

  1. […] 7 Action Sports Photography Tips You Should Know – an introductory article into the genre of sports photography is presented here.  This challenging field presents its own technical challenges, as discussed, with a few tips and pointers on how to get that next great action shot. […]

  2. […] 7 Action Sports Photography Tips You Should Know – an introductory article into the genre of sports photography is presented here.  This challenging field presents its own technical challenges, as discussed, with a few tips and pointers on how to get that next great action shot. […]

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