- Long zoom/telephoto lens
- Tripod or monopod – They will help you support the extra weight longer focal length lenses carry
Knowledge is power and this statement is very applicable for when it comes to capturing action. If you understand the sport/event you're photographing you'll stand a better chance of anticipating when the action will happen.
If you're photographing an activity where you can know when and where the action will take place, such as a car coming around a bend on a track, you can position yourself, pre-focus and use continuous shooting to burst off a series of images. Just make sure you hit the shutter button before the action happens as there's always a delay and even though it may only be a split second, this can be the difference between a perfect shot and an empty frame.
You obviously need to find a position that's perfect for capturing the action but you also want a place where the background won't be distracting. Don't go putting yourself in danger or in a location where you're not meant to be as you'll just end up upsetting officials and will probably have to move anyway.
To freeze action you need a fast-ish shutter speed but don't worry if some of your shots have a little blur from using a shutter speed that's a little too low as it can give your shots a creative spin, exaggerating the sense of speed. Panning's a great way to add blur to your background to add energy to your shot but this can be tricky to get right so it's worth having a try at this before you get to your chosen event. Just remember to twist from the waist, keeping your arms close to your body as you pan. You can, of course, create the look you get from panning in Photoshop when you're back at home if you don't manage to get it quite right on the day.
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