For many reasons, it’s been a long time since I just went out and took pictures for the fun of it. This weekend I finally did just that. With my daughter in color guard and my son playing the bass drum in the pep band, I made it to my first high school football game of this season. While I took some nice shots of my kids, I also got a few good shots of the action.
Action photography is my passion and my escape. I love to look for unique angles and trying to capture that instant that tells the story. I watch other photographers and try to avoid the same shots they take, but also pay attention to them; to see if maybe they thought of a new angle that had never occurred to me. I’m constantly moving around and looking for something fresh. I, mentally, become part of the action, anticipating the next move, guessing the flow, and setting myself up to capture that perfect moment.
In addition to trying to capture that moment, I also look for new ways to tell the story. It might be using a fast shutter speed to freeze every bit of motion in its place, stopping time. It could also be using a slow shutter speed to capture the motion blur and bring the viewer into the scene so they can experience the rush of the moment.
Lighting also plays a big role in action photography. Rarely do I have control over the lighting situation. During long outdoor events, the lighting situation often changes. For any outdoor event, knowing where the sun is going and planning where I want to be at any moment is an important part of my strategy.
In the end, very few shots capture that perfect moment. I have had two-day events where I have shot 5,000 to 10,000 pictures. It’s sometimes days or weeks before I find one of those perfectly timed shots, among all the not-quite-perfect shots. However, the rush of finding one and reliving that moment is almost as powerful as the moment itself.
It is indeed my passion, my escape, my addiction.