Fast Shutter Speeds
One of the benefits of owning a Digital SLR or mirrorless camera is that you have the ability to adjust your shutter speed to capture images of fast-moving subjects.
Things Moving Fast
Shutter speed is the length of time your camera shutter remains open during a shot. Usually measured in fractions of second or full seconds.
With fast shutter speed (usually fractions) you're exposing an image over a very short amount of time. Short enough and fast enough to freeze your subject to avoid any motion blur.
Fast Shutter Speed Examples - 1/250th, 1/500th, 1/1000th
When Is a Good Time to Use Fast Shutter Speed?
Any time you're taking pictures at a sporting event, you need to use fast shutter speed. Any time you're at a race track, you will be using fast shutter speeds. Any time where your subject is in motion, think about shutter speed!
Shutter Settings On Your Camera
A go-to shutter speed during sporting events usually around 1/500th of second or faster. Pretty fast! Depending on the situation and available light, you can tweak this to freeze your subject, and achieve a decent exposure. During the day, if there is a ton of sunlight, fast shutter speeds are easier to reach (without dipping into your ISO).
At night, or any time the light is low, bumping up your ISO may be necessary. Sometimes a little bit of noise/grain from a higher ISO could mean getting a shot, or not. In my opinion, it's always better to get a shot than no shot at all!
Open your aperture for even more light. Try using a fast prime lens like an f/2.8.
Three Tips & Tricks For Fast Shutter Sports Photos
TIP #1 - Think About Your Settings & Dial In - Experiment and dial in your settings first, then just shoot, shoot, shoot! Unless the light changes, you're going to be OK.
TIP # 2 - Keep Your Eye on The Action! Looking at every image on your LCD screen after you shoot could mean missing a moment right in front of you. Keep your eyes up and look for important moments to capture!
TIP # 3 - Try Using Burst Mode In Sports Photography - This will allow you to take several images in a second. Spaghetti on a wall theory. See what sticks. A "happy accident" can occur where one of these shots is great!
In your head...
Motion = Shutter Speed = Motion = Shutter Speed!
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