STEP BY STEP / Light up the ac­tion

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Turn on the light

At­tach the through the lens (TTL)-com­pat­i­ble wire­less trig­ger to your speed­light and the trans­mit­ter to the cam­era. Put the flash­gun and its trig­ger on alight stand and then power on in this or­der: flash­gun, flash­gun’s trig­ger, cam­era’s trig­ger and then the cam­era.

2 Set Auto FP

To set up your Nikon cam­era for Auto FP, dip into the Menu, scroll to the Cus­tom Set­ting Menu (pen­cil icon), go to Brack­et­ing/flash (e) and choose a Flash sync speed (e1). Se­lect 1/250 s Auto FP and click OK to get your cam­era ready to fire your flash us­ing Auto FP.

3 Try a test run

Have your sports model place them­selves in po­si­tion, ready to leap and bound into ac­tion. Our ath­lete Jack ran over two hur­dles, and we wanted to pho­to­graph the sec­ond hur­dle. So we po­si­tioned our­selves on the floor and the light cam­era-left to light up his right-hand side.

4 Open the aper­ture

To avoid mo­tion blur you’ll need a fast shut­ter speed. To achieve this, switch to Man­ual ex­po­sure mode on the cam­era and choose a large aper­ture such as f/2.8 or f/4. The re­sult­ing shal­low depth of field will also help your ath­lete stand out against the back­ground.

5 Set a fast shut­ter speed

Keep ISO at 100 un­less your shot is un­der­ex­posed, in which case raise it to 200 or 400. Now dial in a fast shut­ter speed. We started at 1/320 sec and looked at our im­age. The back­ground was still too bright, so we set it to 1/640 sec to fur­ther darken it.

6 Tweak your tech­nique

Once you have the set­tings nailed and your flash fir­ing, get cre­ative with com­po­si­tion. Think about the rule of thirds and tilt the an­gle of the cam­era for sporty fi­nesse. If you’re pho­tograph­ing a run­ner, leave neg­a­tive space on the side of the frame that they’re run­ning into.

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