Sports Photography Class: Shoot at a Fast Shutter Speed

March 19, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Sports Photography Tip: Shoot at a Fast Shutter Speed


When taking sports action photos, you want to freeze the action. A fast shutter speed allows you to do this.


A lot of times, families are impressed with grass flying, water sprays frozen in mid air, sweat beads on the face... They wonder how they can take these types of photos. Well, I will tell you that it's quite simple, shoot at the fastest shutter speed your camera allows. You may not have to go to the fastest like 1/8000sec, but the faster you shoot, the more frozen action you get.


When you increase the shutter speed, you will have to compensate with your ISO or f-stop. For instance, if I increase the speed from 1/250 sec to 1/1000/ sec (250-500-1000), that is two stops. I can either increase my ISO from 400 to 1600 (400-800-1600) or open up my aperture from f5.6-f2.8 (5.6-4-2.8) or a combination of both (my ISO could go from 400-800 and my aperture from 5.6-4.)


You can also go in 1/3 stops, but I am just focusing on full stops right now.


Instead of photographing professionals right now, all I could find was a soccer player practicing juggling. Here is a blade of grass falling from the cleat, and a shot from MLS of water frozen in mid-air. It was actually very cold that night and felt like it should have been snowing.


The grass is more frozen in mid-air because I used a faster shutter speed (1/4000 sec) compared to the water (1/800 sec).


So parents, go outside with your camera when your kids are trying to entertain themselves and try to get some action at a high shutter speed.



Tight soccer photo: 1/4000 sec; f5.6; ISO 4000; Manual

Rainy soccer game: 1/800 sec; f4; ISO 8000; Manual



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