How to Capture Fast Paced Action

Motorsports are all about fast, blood-pumping action. From the fast cars or bikes that roar past in front of you to the crowd’s excitement that can almost be felt like a physical element, any motorsport event is sure to get your adrenaline going.

All of this, while very enjoyable, can become a tough job for a photographer to capture. The main reason behind this is the speed of everything. You need to be very quick with your decisions if you ever have to cover such an event. However, more than your own technique, you have to know some basics of photography for covering outdoor motorsport events.

  • Fast Shutter is a Must

You cannot freeze action without a fast shutter speed. The shutter speed of a camera determines how swiftly the shutter opens and closes. The quicker the shutter closes, the sharper a photo is. For fast moving objects, such as cars or bikes, a faster shutter is always recommended if you want a tack sharp photo. To ensure that you get a fast shutter, use a lens that has a wide aperture so that it can compensate for the light lost due to the fast shutter speed.

  • Telephoto Lenses Help

In a motorsport event, chances are that you’ll be seated somewhere far off from the main action for safety reasons, if nothing else. That means you’ll need a telephoto lens for more reach. If you don’t take along a telephoto lens then you won’t be able to take those close-up shots that you want.

  • You Can Get Creative

Why always take the photos people expect you to take? Why not take multiple images and compile them in an HDR editor? Or why not use an ND filter to use a slow shutter and get streaks of colors where the vehicle pass in front of you? There are many ways to creatively take photos at motorsport events, so don’t restrict yourself to the usual stuff.