9 Action & Sports Photography Tips.

Sports photography is a very fast paced field and a millisecond can be the difference between a perfect shot and a complete blur. Even something as simple as turning auto playback off can make a big difference to the speed of your camera when working under such pressure. It is always best to understand the shooting mode you are using and how the camera is set up. Thankfully sports photographer Ian Cook has been kind enough to share his 9 tips to help you on your way.


You want to select a focus point in the centre of the frame. This is because if someone came in from the side of the frame, for example, another player the focusing point could lock onto that player.


Make sure your focusing is set to continuous (AFC) this will allow the focus point to continually evaluate the moving subject.


Your shutter speeds should be no less than 1/1000 sec for freezing action. Any lower than this and you run the risk of a blurred image.


4K and 6K shooting is a useful tool when it comes to sports photography. Your frame rate is 30 fps compared to 10 – 14 fps on other cameras, however you still need to select your shutter speed.


Use the largest Aperture you can. The more light you can get to your sensor the better chance of getting a sharper image.


Don’t be scared of ISO. As long as you have the right exposure, any noise will be minimal. As soon as you start to increase the levels in post-production that’s when noise really starts to show.


The rule of thumb regarding Aperture, aim for f2.8 to f4. This not only allows more light to enter the frame but also isolates your athlete from the background to help them pop.


Set the camera to Manual (M), not Shutter priority or Aperture priority. Manual mode allows you to select both your Aperture and Shutter speed.

  • The rules to shooting sports is having a minimum shutter speed of 1/1000 sec, Aperture set to f2.8 to f4 and ISO set to balance the exposure once you’ve set those 2 things.
  • In Shutter priority (S) you run the risk of the Aperture going beyond f4 so your background will start to come into focus.
  • If you set your camera to Aperture priority (A) then the shutter speed could drop below the 1/1000 rule to say 1/640 for example.


Turn off auto playback. Having it on slows down the camera and you run the risk of missing the vital moment.

We hope you have found these tips helpful and good luck on your sporting adventures. If you have any images you are particularity proud of please share them with us by tagging @LumixUK on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

If you want to see more from Ian Cook see below!

Website – http://www.ijcphotography.co.uk/

Instagram – www.instagram.com/iancook647

Twitter – @icsportstog

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