Tip of the Day – Pay attention to the light
2 of 10 in the series 10 Tips for Taking Better Action Photos of Dogs
2. Pay attention to the light
Plentiful light is a crucial ingredient in creating sharp, in-focus action photos. Why? Because lots of light allows you to use a fast shutter speed and helps the autofocus system by providing more contrast to lock onto.
When you have a good location sorted, take an evaluative look at the light. Check the direction? Brightness? Quality? Any light blocks/sources of shade?
On a sunny day, shoot at the ends of the day – early morning or late afternoon – and shoot with the sun behind you. Even though it provides the most intense light, avoid shooting in the middle of the day – the direction of light from overhead is harsh and unflattering to your subject.
If shooting backlit action, make sure there is enough light to create contrast in your subject for the camera’s autofocus to lock onto, and avoid flare by making sure the end of your lens is shaded from the sun.
On cloudy days, don’t shoot too early or too late as the intensity of light is going to be drastically reduced. It’s especially important to steer clear of sources of shade when it’s cloudy. Clouds create soft, diffused light which means you can shoot from more directions – it can really open up the background possibilities of the location.
Backlit action: Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 90mm, ISO 640, 1/1600 sec, f/2.8
Full sun action: Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 135mm, ISO 250, 1/4000 sec, f/2.8
Cloudy day action: Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 155mm, ISO 500, 1/1600 sec, f/2.8
This daily tip is tip 2 of a 10 part series called 10 Tips for Taking Better Action Photos of Dogs. To receive a new tip each day from this series direct to your email inbox, sign up below.
For more free, bite sized ways to improve your pet photography, browse all the daily tip series. Pick and choose what’s right for you! Subscribe only to the series that are relevant to what you want to learn, or simply sign up to the complete collection and be whisked through every series in turn for 6 months worth of daily email tips!
Instant subscribe below to receive the 10 Tips for Taking Better Action Photos of Dogs series of 10 free daily tips in your inbox!
Dive in and get your paws dirty!
If you're keen to learn everything you can about pet photography, you should probably be on my mailing list. New FREE content is published weekly!