Action Photo Assignment

This was a really fun assignment for me. Shooting videos is why I’m in the digital media production program, but I’ve always wanted to be able to take good action photos, mostly for family.

After watching all the videos for the assignment, I then downloaded and watched some videos specific to the camera (the Canon 80d) I’m using with those settings mentioned in the assignment videos. Getting to know this camera better was really fun.

At first I set it to full manual with burst shooting (the Canon 80d does 7 frames per second). Then I used autofocus servo mode with face tracking on manual mode. Then I tried out the tV (time value) setting, which let me control the shutter speed while the camera did the rest.

It was really fun. I got some good pics in all the modes I tried. My only complaint after looking at the photos on the computer was from my framing- the feet were often cut off. I guess I was concentrating a lot on the face and hands. But, I still did get some good full body shots and the ones with the feet cut off I just cropped in even further, making them nice tight action photos containing the actual action- throwing a frisbee. Yay!

Anyway, my biggest takeaway is that this is the type of photography I am probably most likely to actually use when I am not shooting videos; even for portraits of family. I like the portraits that came from this WAY better than just having someone sit for a nice picture.

Plus, the sound of the camera rapid firing is awesome. I’ll play around with timing single shots more as I get better, but often when I clicked the shutter in single shot mode the camera wouldn’t take the shot. I think it was waiting to get focus. Thus, autofocus was not usable unless in multishot burst mode, which is way more fun for me anyway right now at my level of both shooting and knowledge of camera functionality.

Next time I shoot action, I want to experiment more with multiple levels of blur to the frisbee, while keeping the person clear/clean. I don’t really know how to keep his arm clear, while blurring the frisbee because at the point of release, they are both kind of moving at the same speed. I think that is where the single shot mode perfectly timed would come into play- catching the shot right as his arm slowed after release and the frisbee is speeding away. It would be the moment when the frisbee is about a foot away from his hand. As one of your videos pointed out, that exact moment is difficult to catch in burst mode and more practice with single shot mode would really pay off there.