This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of our son. It was taken at “the trampoline place” – a local business on Cape Cod where it is, well, trampolines. Pay your money and the kids get to jump themselves silly for fifteen minutes (they last about 5). We’ve been going there for so many years it’s one of those “have to do every year at the Cape” kind of places – the trip is incomplete with it.
One of the reasons I love it so much is the the pure joy I see on my little boy’s face at jumping so high and being free and weightless. The other reason is it is a great example of how to shoot a good action picture. Here’s a few tips:
- It uses a high shutter speed (1/500 sec) to stop to action.
- I anticipated his jump – at the top of this jump he is virtually motionless. – Anticipate and it’s easier to get a clear shot because the subject is not moving.
- I also got the timing right by panning – following him up and down, looking through the viewfinder, to get a feel for where and how high he was jumping. And then continuing to follow him up and down to make the picture.
- I pre-focused by holding the shutter button 1/2 way down and letting it focus on where I wanted – and then keeping the shutter partial depressed as I followed him up and down. This takes the focusing action out of the equation. (In action shots, the camera often can’t focus fast enough and you miss the action.)
- And last – the tip that only us pros know – I took a lot of “failures” to get this one good one. Being a professional is often more about taking a lot of nearly perfect shots to get the one perfect one than expecting everyone to be perfect.
Here are two others from the same shoot:
Do you have any questions on action shots? Or on these three? Leave a comment!