b. Angle of Travel Relative to Film Plane.
Subject movement matters
most when the subject of the photograph is traveling parallel to or across
the film plane. If a subject is traveling straight toward or away from the
camera at 50 mph, it will appear as if it is hardly moving and will record
as a sharp image on the film. This is true even at a shutter speed as slow
as 1/60 of a second. However, if that same subject was traveling across the
field of view or parallel to the film plane, its speed would be quite
apparent in the blurred image produced on the film.
To eliminate the
blurring, you must use a faster shutter speed, such as 1/1000 of a second or
faster. Refer to the chart in figure 1-4.
c. Subject's Distance from Camera.
You must also consider the
subject's distance from the camera.
The closer a moving object is to the
camera, the faster the shutter speed must be to capture a sharp image. For
example, an aircraft flying at a great distance can be captured as a sharp
image on film at a slow shutter speed, while the same shutter speed will
give you a blurred image of a plane flying much nearer the camera.
d. Lens Selection.
Another factor that you must consider for action
shots is the lens selection. You may use a variety of lenses in sports and
action photography, depending on your distance from the action.
(1) For sports like boxing, wrestling, golf, or activities where you
can get close to the subject, a normal angle lens, or on occasion a wide
angle lens, can be used.
(2) The preferred lens for field sports is the long focal length
(telephoto or zoom) lens. By using a long lens, you can bring the subject
action up close. The inherent shallow depth of field of these long focal
length lens can also help you isolate the subject (separate it from
background and foreground). There are technical problems which you should
be aware of when using a long focal length lens.
focus can be more difficult, especially when the subject is constantly
moving. Camera movement or shake is more pronounced.
(4) A rule of thumb which helps to eliminate this problem is to use a
shutter speed which is the reciprocal to the focal length of the lens being
For example, if you are using a 250mm lens, you should not use a
shutter speed that is slower than 1/250 second. This will help you obtain
sharp images on the film.