Cam­era tech­niques Be more dy­namic

How much drama can you pack into one ac­tion shot? demon­strates how to shoot great im­ages of peo­ple on the go

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

Ac­tion por­traits are, by their na­ture, quite dra­matic. To get the most out of pho­tograph­ing sports, how­ever, we need to think care­fully about an­gle, fo­cal length and light­ing.

Most sports fea­ture sub­jects that are mov­ing fast, so cap­tur­ing a clean, sharp im­age can be a chal­lenge, but no mat­ter what sport you’re shoot­ing, the fun­da­men­tal rules are the same: un­less you ac­tu­ally want to blur your sub­ject or the back­ground (see page 8) you’ll need to use fast shut­ter speeds and pre­dic­tive fo­cus­ing. For our ac­tion shoot, we pho­tographed rock climbers Ryan and Mark at Ched­dar Gorge near Bristol. Though rock-climb­ing might not be the most fast-paced sport, it cer­tainly has its fair share of deathde­fy­ing drama.

Adding ef­fec­tive drama is mainly done com­po­si­tion­ally, though some ad­di­tional kit can open up more op­tions to you. A tele­photo lens will al­low you to over­come dis­tance and is es­sen­tial for many sport shoots,

No mat­ter what sport you’re shoot­ing, the fun­da­men­tal rules are the same: un­less you ac­tu­ally want to blur your sub­ject or the back­ground, you’ll need to use fast shut­ter speeds

though as we were able to get closer than we’d usu­ally be to a sporty sub­ject, we used a 24-85mm lens for wider shots. A flash­gun also helped to high­light our ath­lete and darken the back­ground for a more dra­matic and harsh, iso­lated look.

One of the best meth­ods for en­sur­ing you get the best pos­si­ble shots is to try out dif­fer­ent an­gles. Climb­ing lends it­self per­fectly to this demon­stra­tion due to it be­ing more three-di­men­sional than tra­di­tional sports, where ath­letes stay firmly on the ground. To try out new per­spec­tives we got above the ath­letes, be­low them, and ev­ery­where in be­tween to cap­ture the ac­tion.

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