Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shooting For Action

There’s nothing more thrilling in sports photography than nailing the climactic moment in a still image.
By Dave Willis Published in Shooting
Shooting For Action

Telephoto lenses are big, long and heavy. A tripod collar is included as a standard feature on many modern telephoto lenses for attaching the lens directly to tripods or monopods. This keeps the weight of the lens and camera more evenly balanced, and it prevents the lens from weighing down the lens mount on your DSLR, which can cause damage over time. Separate tripod collars are also available from companies like Canon, Kirk, Nikon and Sigma.

Monopods are popular with action photographers. The unique design of a monopod gives photographers the stability of a tripod while also allowing for the mobility that action photography requires. This means more fluid tracking and an easier time moving your camera when you need to.

Sports Mode

Get great action shots automatically

Often marked on the mode dial as an icon of a running figure, Sports Mode (or Action Mode in some cameras) is a setting on many cameras that tells the camera that it needs to configure the image-capture settings for rapid action, whether it be athletes or just your unruly kids. Sports Mode does this by metering the environment and automatically changing key settings in order to gain the optimum parameters for the situation.

Some of these variables include increasing the ISO depending on available light, usually starting at 400 or higher. The camera also will use a wider lens aperture for shallower depth of field and set continuous shooting to the maximum for bursting frames. Autofocus will be instructed to expect moving subjects, so it will use sophisticated algorithms to act predictively and anticipate the direction of your subject.

All of this is done rapidly in-camera, and then all you have to do is sit back, frame the shot and press the shutter. It’s a fast way to work and a great way to learn. By going back later and reviewing the metadata of your best shots, you’ll be able to determine how to get even better results by setting criteria manually in the future.

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