How do you photograph action?
How do you show intensity and something more than just a frozen frame?
I have heard photographers say that some sightings are difficult or even impossible to photograph – really photograph – but I believe that the challenge is to think creatively about how you use the technical aspects of your photography.
Yes, it is important to understand the results you will get when changing your aperture and shutter speed, but it is more important to use the this technical knowledge and apply it creatively in your images.
There are a lot of photographers out there who just go for the clean shots, shots that follow all the technical rules all the time, but there is so much more you could do with your images. Sure, not everybody might like the results, but are you really doing it for them or are you doing it for yourself?
Take this scene for example.
Doesn’t seem very dramatic or action packed does it?
The reality is that this was an amazing sighting of two male rhino having a full on territorial dispute. Sure, the above image might set the scene but it does not show any of the intensity, the power of what we witnessed.
This then immediately became a photographic goal – show the intensity of the confrontation.
After watching the big guys for a while, we identified the dominant bull and how he, after walking horn to horn with his challenger for a while, would lunge forward to initiate his next attack. Powerful stuff and without a doubt the magic moment we were after.
So, in order to try and capture and show the explosive nature of this moment, we discussed slow shutter speed and how it could help to show the uncharacteristically quick movement. A straight up pan would have been a bit pointless as there was not enough lateral movement to really emphasise the speed and feeling of the moment.
Enter zoom blur.
A slow shutter speed and quick zoom blur was the necessary technical tools we needed to creatively convey the scene.
This was one of the images that, to me, felt like it told the real story!!
Nikon D3s, 70mm, 1/25, f/14, ISO 200
So, bottom line – don’t get stuck purely on the technical side of photography.
Know it, use it, and get creative!
Until next time!