Photo Tip Friday - Photograph Action or Sport Shots, Part 2

Welcome back! 

Today is the second part in a series on how to take action shots. 

You can read Part 1 here

Today's shots are complements of another of my sons. This is my youngest. 

Let's get started learning what we can from these photos. 

First of all, these pictures happened in no more than 2.5 seconds. I didn't have time to "prepare" for them. 

I was taking pictures with my family at the Biltmore House. All of the sudden I heard my son's footsteps behind me. I turned, with camera in hand and started shooting. 

Action shots happen fast.

Real fast. 

You'll notice the ISO is on 100. 

Last week, I showed you how changing the ISO to 800 or 1600 will result in clearer action shots. (Click here)

So why was I shooting pictures of my son running at 100?
Because that's what my camera was set on for the shots I was taking just prior to my son running downhill. If I had stopped to change the settings, the opportunity to get any shots would be gone. 

How did I compensate for such challenging circumstances? 

Well, I focused on my son, hit the button to take pictures as fast as my camera could (3fps) and I turned with him as he flew past me. 

First off, notice he stuck his tongue out at me in the first photo. :) Yep, that comes from my kids being on the other side of the camera for so long. Doesn't bother me at all. I think it just adds to the joy of the pictures! 

Then, notice how the background is blurred and he is fairly clear. At the ISO I was using, and my son's speed, I couldn't get him completely clear. 

But that's okay. 

You get a great sense of action. A sense of speed. Of motion. 

His feet aren't even touching the ground. 

I want you to understand that in photography, a creative eye and a different perspective mean a lot in taking a good shot. 

You don't have to get all the technical aspects "just right."

But as you learn the technical aspects of your camera, you can then take challenging situations like this and still come out with some great shots. 

By turning and following my son with my camera, I got great action shots that would have just been totally blurry otherwise.  

Learn to follow your subject for action shots to create pictures that convey motion through appropriate blurriness. 

So which of these is your favorite? I love picture #5. And #4.

As always, leave me questions or comments below. Or links to your shots!

Thanks for dropping by

I hope this tips helps. 

Keep on clicking!



  1. How encouraging you are, Mary! Permission not to be perfect.

    Number four is my favorite (the flying feet!). Number one is very close to that (great sassy grin). Number five gets me all misty-eyed, because that's what our children do--fly past us at the speed of light, and we see them moving into their futures. It's GOOD. But it also wrenches a mama's heart.

    1. Robin, thank you so much for you comments. You're right, I want you to know you don't have to be perfect! :)

      And I agree with you, they grow up so fast! I'm glad I caught the moment. He was just straight up kid happy. They make me smile because of that. :)

  2. #4 and #5 are also my favorites. That's so cool about your son in Part 1. Great shots too! I've been having trouble logging in with Intense Debate, so I'm totally behind with moderating comments on my main blog. Have a fabulous weekend!

    1. Login issues are such a bother! But I'm glad you stopped by Tina. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

  3. This is really neat to show. I like #4 the best as well. My daughter is the photographer in our family and will show this to her!