Kayaker action photo for stock photography

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Last week, we looked at three camera tips for capturing action photos. If you missed it, you can catch up here.

Simply capturing action at all is exhilarating… but let’s take a look at what happens when we combine action with creative tricks…

1. Freezing. Stopping motion with your camera is almost magical. With a fast shutter speed, you can turn water to glass and make people hover in mid-air.

For example, in this image below, notice the detail frozen in the splash from a kayaker. It’s a great photographic trick, and definitely worth learning.

To do this, make sure your ISO is high enough to have a FAST shutter speed. Freezing water in mid-air requires a shutter speed of at least 1/500 of a second.

Stock photography capturing a kayaker in action

2. Panning. As your subject whizzes by, follow in a sweeping motion while holding down the shutter to take multiple shots. This works best if you set your camera to burst mode and choose a slightly longer shutter speed – between 1/20 and 1/4 of a second. It can be helpful to brace your elbows against your torso while holding your camera, and rotating your upper body as your subject passes.

The end result – when you get lucky – is a sharp subject on a blurred background. Takes practice to learn, but it’s worth it!

Stock photo showing a bicycle with motion blur in the background

3. Intentional Blur. It can also work to let the whole photo go blurry. For this technique, put your camera on a tripod and let the subject move past while your camera remains stationary. Again, you’ll want to choose a fairly slow shutter speed, such as 1/2 a second or slower.

These types of shots are all about the color, pattern, and design- they also make great backgrounds for stock photography!

Colorful blurred lights create a unique stock photo

The best way to try any of these is to experiment with your shutter speed — results are really going to depend on how fast your subject is moving.

Our Breakfast Stock Club Premium Challenge theme this month is “Play,” so there couldn’t be a better time to give these techniques a try! And if you want to join in our final Summer Sprint group photo review, you can sign up right here.

Have fun out there!

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