Sometimes you feel that you just captured a great sport or action shot only to find that you subject appears blurry in your photo ? It’s very common, it’s caused by slow shutter speed. Shutter speed is the length of time the shutter remains open.

To get a great sports action shot, the first step is to have a plan. Know in advance what kind of shot you want to get, of course being familiar with the sport helps you determine which shot would be interesting to capture. The next step is to position yourself in the best available location to capture the action. These locations may vary as the game, activity or time of day goes on.

In general keep the sun at your back. If you can’t get close to the action, a telephoto zoom lens will be helpful if you are shooting with the digital SLR camera. Your next step is to be in the right place at the right time. Take into account any shutter lag your camera has. Shutter lag is the time between when you press the button and the time when the camera actually captures the image. Sometimes the timing is so critical that you may need to be split second early to capture that peak moment.

Be aware of the background and elements around your area of focus. Unless a busy or cluttered background adds context keep it simple and non distracting.

Once you have your spot for shooting your photo, make sure your camera is set for sports photography, using the correct shutter speed or shooting mode selection is the key to capturing good action shots. If your camera doesn’t allow you to manually set the shutter speed, select the sports or action mode setting. This mode is usually indicated by an icon of someone running.

If you are able to manually set your shutter speed, set your camera to shutter priority mode, usually represented by an S, so that if the light changes the shutter speed remains the same. Shoot at a high shutter speed in order to catch action, a high number such as 1/250th or 1/500th should work for most sports. Shooting at a slow shutter speed such as 1/30th of a second, will result in motion blur for almost all action photos.

Once you begin photographing your event, review your photos in your cameras LCD screen and make sure the subjects are not blurry, if they are bump up the shutter speed to a higher number and see if that does the trick.

When shooting at lower light, try shooting at an higher ISO setting, ISO refers to how sensitive your digital camera sensor is to light . A higher ISO number picks up more light and a lower number less. Be aware that rising the ISO may add something called noise like graininess to your images. If you are trying to capture a sequence, like lets a if you’d want to capture a bowler delivering the ball in a cricket match, set your camera to continuous shooting mode or rapid frame advance and fire away

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