Learn Sports Photography

Action photography tips

Written by Digicamhelp Editor

Photographing fast moving subjects with a digital camera is challenging. Here’s how to catch the action.

Capturing good photos of sports and other action scenes can difficult using a compact digital camera. Improve your shots using the basic tips and techniques offered in this section.

Plan ahead

SoccerBefore the actual event begins, take test shots and practice, practice, practice. Action photography by its very definition involves a lot of movement, often unpredictable. Become familiar with various camera settings and techniques needed to capture a subject.

When photographing people, remember to capture emotion as well as motion.

Find the best spot

Arrive early at the event so you have an unobstructed view. Get close enough so the action you wish to photography will fill the frame. Get down on the side lines if you’re permitted so you can move with the action.


Balance beamYour camera may not be fast enough to focus on a fast moving subject. Overcome this by prefocusing on something else of equal distance where the subject will come into view.

Depress the shutter-release button half-way to lock focus and exposure. While holding it down, recompose but don’t fully depress the button until the subject appears. You may have to pan a bit to follow the subject.

If your digital camera has a “quick release” setting or “high speed” mode, use it. Check the manual for other camera-specific prefocusing options, such as Manual focus and Focus Lock settings.