Canon EOS 60D, Tips for Shooting Action

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GIVE THEM SOMEWHERE TO GO

It can be easy to get wrapped up in the moment when photographing fast-moving subjects, but it’s important that you remember some basic rules of composition and framing. One of my goals is to keep the elements of the photo within the frame so that the viewers’ eyes focus on what I want them to see. With action photography the subject is most likely moving, so you need to make sure that there’s room for the subject in the direction they’re heading. Do your best to keep from cropping the image too tightly or pushing the subject too close to the left or right edges of the frame (Figure 6.15).

I composed this image so that the biker would appear in the upper-left third of the frame and on his way down from the jump.
FIGURE 6.15 I composed this image so that the biker would appear in the upper-left third of the frame and on his way down from the jump.

GET IN FRONT OF THE ACTION

Another technique to keep in mind is to try to photograph the action coming toward you (Figure 6.16). When you are photographing people or animals, it’s always best to show their faces and expressions, which can convey a sense of urgency and the emotion of the moment.

PUT YOUR CAMERA IN A DIFFERENT PLACE

Finding new perspectives and ways to photograph your subject can be a fun way to add interest to an image. Sometimes you are limited in the location you shoot from, but there are still ways to add depth and uniqueness to your images just by finding a different spot to place your camera.

When photographing this motocross driver, I wanted to add some dimension to the image by blurring the foreground elements (Figure 6.17). I was in an open field with few other elements in the area, so I ducked down behind some tall grass and shot through it to add it to the foreground. I was still able to capture the driver and his bike exactly how I wanted while adding depth to the image with shallow depth of field.

Always try to capture your subject moving toward you. For this photo, I placed myself so that the rider and her horse would be facing me as they made the turn around the barrel.
FIGURE 6.16 Always try to capture your subject moving toward you. For this photo, I placed myself so that the rider and her horse would be facing me as they made the turn around the barrel.
I got down behind some tall grass to shoot this motocross driver as he made the jump— the foreground elements add depth to the photograph.
FIGURE 6.17 I got down behind some tall grass to shoot this motocross driver as he made the jump— the foreground elements add depth to the photograph.