b. Three other things to consider when shooting action photography are
the speed of the subject, its angle to the lens, and its distance from the
camera. If an object is moving fast, you will need to use a fast shutter speed
to stop its movement. The closer the object-lens angle is to right angles, the
faster the shutter speed you need to stop its action.
The closer the moving
subject is to the camera, the faster the shutter speed required.
(1) For example, if an object is moving very fast, it will be in front
of the lens only momentarily, so obviously you need a fast shutter speed to
capture it on your film. If an object is moving directly toward you, a slow
shutter speed will suffice, but if the object is moving at a right angle to
your position, you will need a fast shutter speed to stop its movement.
aircraft at a great distance can be captured with a slow shutter speed but not
one which is nearer the camera.
(2) By remembering these techniques, you can stop or emphasize the
action. You know that a slow shutter speed will make the object appear to be
blurred. A shot of a firefighter getting into his boots and coat, shot with a
slow shutter speed, will make the firefighter appear to be blurred. This shot
will emphasize the action even if the firefighter is a bit slow.
(3) When we think of action photography in the military, combat action
comes immediately to mind. Combat action may be air-to-air or air-to-ground.
It may be some form of ground support action.
But no matter what form the
action takes, it demands that you cover it from all angles or positions, in all
kinds of weather, and under all light conditions. A combat photographer takes
the risk of war to inform his commanders, comrades, and the American people
what the military is doing.
It is the most challenging and demanding of any
assignment a photographer can get.
Yet, it is the ultimate purpose of every
military photographer's training.
Most every base newspaper has a sports section to
display top photographs. Both players and spectators enjoy action-packed shots
that sum up the excitement of the various events.
Whether it is shooting a
company softball game, an interservice track meet, or the Olympic Games, there
are plenty of opportunities for the knowledgeable sports photographer.
a. The first step in a sports assignment is preparation.
research the sport. Usually, the sports assignment goes to the cameraman with
an interest and knowledge of the event, and you may meet these requirements.
But regardless of your knowledge of the sport, it pays to refresh your
knowledge by researching the players. Players are specialists in their field.
Some break fast and move with deceptive speed. Others excel under the basket
or at bat. Know the players and their characteristics. With this knowledge,
you can get the jump on the action when it is at its peak. For example, if a
ballplayer known for his base-stealing prowess is on first base, you should be
ready for the action of a steal. You should also know the stadium where the
event will take place so you know the best possible shooting positions.
b. The speed of action demands choosing equipment that is designed for
stop-action photography. Whenever available, use a 35mm reflex camera, a