STEP BY STEP / Light up the action
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.