Freezing action with fast shutter speeds or an accessory flash

Today's athletes are well trained, well conditioned, and well prepared. As a result, they're faster than ever. To freeze their movements, you need to use either a fast shutter speed or an accessory flash unit. Another consideration is the relationship between the direction in which your subject is moving and your camera's orientation. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

♦ Fast shutter speed: If your subject is moving toward you or away from you, you can get by with a slower shutter speed than if your subject is moving across your field of view. It's hard to say generally what a good minimum shutter speed is because the shutter speed needed to stop action varies from sport to sport, but faster is always better. Figure 5-8 shows a speedboat and water skier headed away from the camera. The action was stopped at a relatively slow 1/125 of a second.

Figure 5-8: Action headed toward or away from the camera can be stopped at a relatively slow shutter speed.

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