Summer brings more opportunities for action photos. Whether it’s a stadium event or your friends and family enjoying the summer activities, you’ll want to capture the action in a way that tells the story. Most dedicated cameras have selectable shutter speeds and with the right settings you can convey motion and action. A fast shutter speed, such as 1/500 of a second or shorter, will stop the action in what we call “Freeze Frame”. The paraglider appears sharp and crisp with a 1/400 second shutter speed. This speed also means you can hand hold your camera and there is no need for a tripod.
If you slow your shutter speed in the range of 1/125 of a second then fast moving items will be slightly blurry which conveys motion. The slightly blurry rugby ball tells the story with more impact. You can still hand hold the camera if you have a steady stance. Separate your feet to shoulder width and at 90 degrees from each other and brace your bent elbow on your chest as you take the picture. Take a picture and adjust your shutter speed to fit the speed of your subject to yield the desired amount of blur.
Using a tripod you can slow the shutter even more and pan with the moving object for a more artistic capture. The shutter speed for the sailboat on San Diego Harbor was ¼ of a second. This technique requires some practice and a bit of trial and error but can be very rewarding as a photographer.
The great thing about digital photography is that you can capture several images at different shutter speeds, review
them immediately and then decide which is the best setting for your story.