How to FREEZE a fast -moving subject
It’s not just the speed of your subject that counts, it’s where you stand and the angle you shoot from, too
01 Heading straight at you
If you shoot your subject head-on there’s no movement across the frame at all, only movement towards the camera, so a shutter speed two to three times slower is often possible. It becomes more of a focusing problem than a shutter speed issue – you need to get your camera’s autofocus system set up correctly.
02 Moving across the frame
This is where your subject’s speed across the frame is highest. If you check our table below you’ll see that a high shutter speed alone won’t always be enough to get a sharp shot – you will need to pan with your subject too.
03 45-degree angle
Your subject might be travelling at exactly the same speed as it was when seen side-on, but its speed across the frame will be halved. This means you can use a shutter speed half as fast to freeze its movement, and it will be easier to keep your subject centred in the frame. It’s now moving towards the camera, though, so the autofocus will need to keep up.
The key factor with moving subjects is their speed across the camera frame, not their speed in real life.