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Tips To Help You Shoot Sharp Action Shots

Here are a few tips on shutter speeds and how to focus so you get sharp action shots every time.

| Sports and Action

Tips To Help You Shoot Sharp Action Shots: Watersport


When it comes to action and sports photography, one of the main problems you face is your subject moves quick and they don't tend to stay in the same place for very long. As a result it can be a bit of a challenge to try and get a sharp photo where your subject is in focus, however there are a few things you can do to capture your moving subject perfectly.

Switch To AF

Most cameras feature quick and accurate AF (Auto Focus) systems, making them great for capturing fleeting moments or action shots. Of course, how fast your subject is moving, how much light is around and how quickly your lens can focus will come into play but at least your chances of capturing a sharp shot will be increased with the help of Auto Focus.

Manual Focus

You can try and focus manually but this isn't particularly easy to do with fast moving subjects but it can be useful if you plan on pre-focusing.


This is a little more tricky but once you get the hang of it, it can be a useful trick to know. It's not a very useful technique for subjects whose movement is unpredictable but get at the side of a track or a road where you know a car will have to pass through a certain point and it's extremely helpful.

Written down the technique sounds simple: Switch to manual, focus on a spot you know your subject will pass through, lock your focus and then just before you know your subject's about to pass through the point you focused on, hit the shutter. You need to hit the shutter just before as shutter lag can cause you to miss the shot if you hit it at the point they pass through your focus point.

Continuous Shooting

To further increase your chances of capturing your subject as they pass through your point of focus, switch to continuous shooting mode to capture a series of shots, increasing your chances of capturing the shot you're looking for. Again, start shooting just before your subject goes through your focus point and you should get at least one shot that's spot on.

Correct Shutter Speed

You don't want to use a shutter speed that's too high as this will just freeze everything and the shot will look static but you don't want to go too low either as you'll just end up with a shot that's full of blur. Sometimes lots of blur can give you something that's a little more artistic but most of the time it's worth firing off a few test shots to get your shutter speed spot on before the main action starts.


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Tooma 6 2.2k 3 Scotland
31 Jan 2018 1:18AM
Tooma 6 2.2k 3 Scotland
31 Jan 2018 1:20AM
Tooma 6 2.2k 3 Scotland
31 Jan 2018 1:22AM
sakisuki 16 248 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2018 10:08AM
pablophotographer 11 2.1k 432
1 Feb 2020 3:14AM

With Maximum available ISO setting of 1600, and Minimum aperture f/8, I think this lens extended and stabilised on a rail this, probably on Manual to keep me on my toes, I feel (seeing this at the small screen on the back) this consisted of a pic to make the photographer happy.

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