How To Shoot Fast Action Shots

How To Shoot Fast Action Shots


Capturing high-speed action shots can be a challenge for even the most experienced photographers. Whether you’re shooting a sporting event, wildlife, or just trying to capture fast-moving objects, getting the perfect shot requires a combination of technical skills, preparation, and a bit of luck.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started with shooting fast action shots.

  1. Choose the Right Camera

The first step to capturing fast action shots is to have the right camera. If you’re looking for speed, you’ll want to choose a camera that can take high-speed shots, such as a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) or mirrorless camera. Look for a camera that offers a fast frame rate (e.g. 10 frames per second or more) and fast autofocus. Some of the best action cameras fast shots include the Canon EOS-1DX Mark III, Nikon D5, and Sony Alpha A9.

  1. Select the Right Lens

The lens you choose will also play a crucial role in your ability to capture fast action shots. A fast lens (e.g. f/2.8) will allow you to capture more light and achieve faster shutter speeds, which can be essential for freezing fast-moving objects. For sports or wildlife photography, a telephoto lens (e.g. 70-200mm) will allow you to get up close to the action without having to physically move closer.

  1. Use Continuous Autofocus

Continuous autofocus (AF) is essential when shooting fast-moving objects. This mode allows your camera to continuously track the subject and adjust the focus, ensuring that the subject remains in focus even if it is moving. For the best results, choose a camera that offers a good AF system, such as the Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF or Nikon’s 3D Tracking.

  1. Choose the Right Shutter Speed

Shutter speed plays a critical role in capturing fast action shots. The faster the shutter speed, the more likely you are to freeze the action. However, if your shutter speed is too fast, you risk underexposing the image. As a general rule, a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second or faster is ideal for capturing fast action.

  1. Use A Fast Memory Card

A fast memory card is essential when shooting fast action shots. A slow memory card can slow down the camera’s ability to write the images to the card, which can result in missed shots or buffer delays. Look for a fast memory card with a high write speed (e.g. UHS-II or V90) to ensure that your camera can keep up with the action.

  1. Pre-Focus and Anticipate the Action

To capture fast action shots, it’s essential to anticipate the action and pre-focus on the subject. This means choosing the right autofocus point and focusing on the subject before the action starts. As the action starts, keep your finger on the shutter release button, and be ready to capture the moment as soon as it happens.

  1. Use a Tripod or Monopod

Using a tripod or monopod can help you stabilize your camera, which can be especially helpful when shooting fast action shots. A tripod will keep your camera steady, while a monopod can help reduce camera shake and provide some stability while allowing you to move more freely.

  1. Experiment with Panning

Panning is a technique where you move the camera with the subject as it moves, creating a sense of motion in the image. To capture successful panning shots, choose a slower shutter speed (e.g. 1/60th of a second or slower) and pan your camera in the direction of the subject’s movement. This technique can add a sense of speed and motion to your shots, and can be especially effective for capturing fast-moving objects like cars or athletes in motion.

  1. Use Burst Mode

Burst mode, also known as continuous shooting, allows you to capture multiple images in rapid succession. This can be especially useful when shooting fast action shots, as it increases your chances of capturing the perfect moment. To use burst mode, simply hold down the shutter release button, and the camera will capture a series of images as long as you keep the button pressed.

  1. Pay Attention to Lighting

Lighting can have a significant impact on your fast action shots, so it’s important to pay attention to the lighting conditions. When shooting in low light, a fast lens and high ISO can help you capture sharp images, while shooting in bright light may require you to use a faster shutter speed to prevent overexposure. If possible, try to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon, when the lighting is soft and even.

  1. Review Your Shots and Make Adjustments

Finally, after each shoot, review your images, and make any necessary adjustments to your camera settings. Experiment with different shutter speeds, ISO settings, and lenses to find the right combination for your specific shooting situation. With time and practice, you’ll develop a good sense of what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments on the fly.


In conclusion, shooting fast action shots requires a combination of technical skills, preparation, and a bit of luck. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing stunning images of fast-moving objects. Just remember to practice, be patient, and keep experimenting until you find the right combination of settings and techniques that work best for you.

Author Bio

I am Zoya Arya, and I have been working as Content Writer at Rananjay Exports for past 2 years. My expertise lies in researching and writing both technical and fashion content. I have written multiple articles on Gemstone Jewelry like Monstone Ring and other stones over the past years and would love to explore more on the same in future. I hope my work keeps mesmerizing you and helps you in the future.

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