Tip of the Day – Use a fast shutter speed⠀

Tip of the Day – Use a fast shutter speed⠀

3 of 10 in the series 10 Tips for Taking Better Action Photos of Dogs

3. Use a fast shutter speed

The number one reason that people end up with blurry images when taking action photos is a shutter speed that is too slow to freeze the motion. You simply MUST use a fast shutter speed when shooting action.

So how fast does it need to be?

I like to shoot action at a minimum of 1/1000 second. Faster if possible! This is for a dog running towards you. For a dog running past you, it needs to be higher. I recommend a minimum of 1/1600 sec. To capture water droplets sharply, it also needs to be sharper, 1/1600 sec or preferably higher.

As a general rule, the closer you are to the dog and the wider the angle of view, the faster the shutter speed needs to be.

If you’re not shooting in manual exposure mode, make sure you are on shutter speed priority so you can fix the shutter speed high. If you’re shooting in aperture priority mode, make sure you have enough light so that the shutter speed won’t drop down without you realising – keep an eye on it!

Another mode that can work well (though it’s not available on all cameras) is Auto ISO. You set the shutter speed and aperture, and the camera decides on the ISO, between pre-defined limits.

Panning is a fun action technique to play with that doesn’t involve a fast shutter speed, but this will be the topic of a separate post in the future.


Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 190mm, ISO 800, 1/1600 sec, f/2.8

Freezing water droplets: Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 70mm, ISO 100, 1/2500 sec, f/2.8


Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 110mm, ISO 800, 1/1250 sec, f/2.8

This daily tip is tip 3 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.

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