I’ll be the first to admit that it’s tough to get a really good action shot, especially of sports. The subjects rarely stop moving, and when they do, the interesting action stops, as well. Still, since you can find some fairly advanced auto focus programs in many cameras, keeping subjects in focus is rarely the problem.

The real problem is keeping the subject inside that viewfinder, filling the frame with it without cutting off heads, hands, or feet. So, it’s not the absence of a crystal-clear and sharp image that is the problem; rather, it’s the absence of your subject inside the frame. Overcoming the problem of not filling the frame isn’t and issue of ISO or shutter speed. It’s a completely different hurdle that’s easy to overcome, but I’ll offer up ideas about how to compose action filled scenes with the emphasis on filling the frame.

No where else in the act of image-making is the use of a motor drive more important that in action photography. Most cameras today come fully equipped with a build-in winder or motor drive, allowing photographer to reach a higher degree of success when shooting action-filled scenes. (This is often refereed to burst mode on digital cameras.) Without the aid of a motor drive or winder, it is often a hit-or-miss proposition as you try to anticipate the exact right moment to fire the shutter. With the aid of a winder or motor drive, you can begin firing the shutter several seconds ahead of the peak action and continue firing until a second or two after the action has stopped – and it’s a very safe bet that one if not several, exposures will be successful.


If you know of any other tips or tricks for keeping a subject in the view finder please let us all know in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this post and try out burst mode on your camera. Once you figure it out you will never stop using it to capture the exact moment you want.

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