29 Nov 2007

How to freeze the action

By speeding up the shutter speed – in this case as high as 1/1000sec, the action is almost frozen. You can even read the writing on the cart in the picture of the horse. Blur has been eliminated. Good timing is even more vital with this method of capturing the action because the horse’s hooves must by outstretched. Here, all four hooves are off the ground. This is not just luck – although that always helps - but good timing.

I do not like squirting off several frames a second. I use only single shot for this type of action. I watched the legs of the horse intently as it sped past in order to press the button at exactly the right moment. This does need practice – but surely, that’s part of the fun of photography!

And yes, I did pan the camera as the horse rushed past me.

The down-side of this sort of ‘frozen’ action shot is that it also 'freezes' the background and shows any ugly, unwanted detail.

The backround helps the shot of the beach tumbler (an old picture of mine) because the palm trees are essential to give a sense of context. Once again this was taken with single shot and a shutter speed of 1/1000sec. I did not like the motor-drive of the camera taking one shot just before his hands touched the sand and the next shot just afterwards. Far better to time the one shot perfectly.

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