We all have heard sports shooters say that the shoot in Aperture priority mode when covering a event. I can understand why they do, and I am one of them that does it myself. As long as you can keep your shutter speed up where you need it. 800-4000 then it’s all good. When shooting sports I like to shoot as wide open as I can. So fast SS are not that hard to achieve in good light.
This is all good if you have good light, but when you have high dynamic range it can get tricky. What I mean is a huge swing between highlights and shadows. Shooting in these conditions is hard to do. Either you meter for the highlights or the shadows. Remember once you blow out your highlights it’s tough to get them back, if not impossible. Keep your highlights from blowing out, and bring up your shadows in post. Doing this might introduce some noise but it’s not a big deal.
Late week I spent 5 days in a row with my Fuji Cameras in my hands. I started out shooting in Apeture Priority mode, but the way the sun was over the track all day I switched to manual mode and made adjustments on the fly. So you choose the aperture, and ISO, and your camera will choose the shutter speed. This is all good until until your SS drops to low and you are wide open.
Now what? Put on a flash or bump up your ISO. Today’s cameras are amazing in low light so this is almost a non issue. Plus with post processing software light Lightroom noise is a breeze to take care of.
Above image was shot at 180th, 3.5, 6400 ISO. Not bad for just the track lights with a car doing well over 100mph. So in this situation I take my camera out of Apeture Priority and go full Manuel. The lighting is tricky, your camera will do every thing it can to get it correct, but the SS would be so low the car would be a yellow blurrrrrrrr.
My final thoughts are in good light it is easy to shoot in Apeture a Priority. If freezing your subject is what you are looking to do, open up your Apeture and get a crazy fast Shutter Speed. Theses shots look super sharp and cool.
If you want to show movement, or speed in your shots? Slow down your shutter speed and pan with your subject. You will see a big difference in your images.
Ok so look at these two images from a super Dirt Week last year. The top one is a fast SS, and the bottom one was a slow SS. The top one is very cool because of the angle and subject in the shot. Now the bottom one is just more pleasing to the eye to look at. As far as I’m concerned. I find my self shooting more and more slow Shutter Speed images then I do Fast SS shots. Now shooting football, lacrosse or any stock and ball sports freezing the action seems to be the norm.
I really would like to master getting movement in those kinds of images. I’m sure people are doing it, but not as much as the other way. Shoot both ways to change it up some. You will get more keepers with the fast shutter speeds, but I love the look of slowing it down to 60-180th of a second.
Get out there give it a shot and have fun doing it.
Thank you for stopping by