Go for action or something unique

June 11, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Which of these two images do you find the most interesting?:


I like the color of the first image more. It was taken closer to sunrise on a different day. The second image was taken later in the morning on a different day with different light, so the colors are not that pleasing. But look at the subject matter only. The single bird is okay but to me the interaction and action of the second image are much more engaging. While more static images are okay, they are not often great (there is always exceptions).

          Try to get action images when photographing wildlife, or try to get something different, unique. To do this it is helpful to get to know the subject's behavior so that you can anticipate when the action is going to happen. In this case, this was the first time in my life that I saw these birds in real life. However, I prepared by watching videos on them. Furthermore, they start their action just before sunrise. I took about 20 minutes to have enough light to start shooting. That 20 minutes was valuable because I intently watched them to learn how they behave. The more you know about your subject the better photographer it will make you. It will increase your chances of getting action or something unique because you will be ready.

          The action happens far to fast to be able to get the unique shot or that perfect action shot by waiting for that right moment. Rather, we shoot in short bursts when things happen. We use the highest frame rate the camera will allow. We take hundreds of images in that one shoot. Then when we get home we select the winners and discard the rest. Another reason to shoot at a high frame rate is not just linked to getting that look, the action, or that unique moment but focus. The best image becomes a bad image if it is not sharp. Sometimes a camera can take a fraction of a second to acquire focus. The images taken before nailing focus are useless. Shooting at a high frame rate highly increases the chance that you will get a sharp image as the auto focus system catches up to the action.


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