How to take amazing action sports pictures

action sports


IBS Publishing Team


To capture the perfect moment, that’s what many photographers dream of. Yet, the art of photography is not easy. And if you shoot action photos, it is even harder due to the quick movements of the athlete. We have five very useful tips which will definitely guarantee you amazing snaps.

Know you sport

For magnificent snaps, it is definitely worth knowing the sport you’re taking pictures of. By that you understand the rules and movements of the discipline better and can anticipate the perfect moment for your photo. Also, it never hurts to know the athlete you take pictures of personally. Then you can talk about his or her routines and movements which raises the chance for your perfect picture.

Just shoot the picture

You expect a stunning jump every second – and now it’s gone. Sports photographers always live with the anticipation that something amazing will happen any second. This is why it is worth to just press the trigger instead of waring for the right moment. It also might be a good idea to not watch the action through the lens. When you see something with your own eyes, you might be able to capture it even better then when you see it through the lens.


Source: unsplash / Philipp Kämmerer

Continue shooting

The word action already suggests a lot of action and movement. Yet, if you have found a good angle, it is worth to activate photo series. Depending on the camera, you get 6-9 pictures/second and will probably have a perfect snap among them. Yet, you should definitely activate autofocus, otherwise you will get unfocussed pictures.

The tripod

Tripods are quite heavy and unhandy. Yet, when taking pictures of action sports a good tripod can be of advantage. The usual 200mm lenses are usually not sufficient for action photos, thus you’ll need a telephoto lens. And telephoto lenses are, as commonly known, quite heavy, which makes it almost impossible to keep the camera still. So: Better trust in the tripod for focussed pictures.

Your creativity is asked

Pictures which everybody has already seen before are boring. Everybody agrees with that. This is why your creativity regarding the perspective is demanded. Walk around, squat down, climb onto objects – all for the perfect moment. A good knowledge of the surrounding often also means a good picture, which is why you should plan some time on location to familiarize yourself with the surrounding.


Whether you are just a hobby photographer or a semi-professional photographer in action sports – these tips will definitely help you shoot breathtaking pictures. So, get your camera and let’s go!

This article is based on an article by Explore Magazine.

Source of title image: unsplash / Léa Dubedout