Action photography can be one of the most exhilarating and challenging forms of photography.

Whether you’re trying to freeze the motion of a surfer catching a wave, a car racing around a track, or a dancer leaping through the air, getting the perfect shot can require a combination of skill, timing, and a little bit of luck.

But with the right techniques and equipment, you can capture stunning ActionShots that will leave your viewers breathless.

In this article, we’ll explore the world of ActionShots in photography, and give you some tips and tricks for capturing the perfect shot.

What is an ActionShot?

An ActionShot is simply a photograph that captures the motion of a moving subject.

This could be anything from a person running, jumping, or dancing, to a car racing, a wave breaking, or a bird taking flight.

The key to a great ActionShot is capturing the subject in motion, while also conveying a sense of energy, speed, and momentum.

This can be achieved through a variety of techniques, including freezing the motion with a fast shutter speed, panning with the subject to create motion blur, or using creative angles and framing to convey a sense of movement.

Equipment for Action Photography

To capture great ActionShots, you’ll need a camera that can handle fast-moving subjects, as well as some specialized equipment.

Here are some key pieces of equipment to consider:


A camera with a fast autofocus system and a high frame rate is essential for capturing fast-moving subjects.

Look for cameras with at least 6-8 frames per second (fps) and a fast autofocus system that can track moving subjects.


A fast lens with a wide aperture (low f-stop) is essential for capturing ActionShots in low light or indoor environments.

Look for lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or wider.



While not essential for all ActionShots, a tripod can be useful for stabilizing your camera and keeping it level while you pan with a moving subject.


A flash can be useful for freezing motion and adding a pop of light to your subject.

Remote trigger:

A remote trigger can be useful for capturing ActionShots from a distance, or for triggering your camera remotely while you’re shooting.

Techniques for Capturing ActionShots

Now that you have your equipment ready, it’s time to focus on the techniques for capturing great ActionShots.

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started:

Use a fast shutter speed:

To freeze the motion of a moving subject, you’ll need to use a fast shutter speed.

Depending on the speed of the subject, you may need to use a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second or faster.

Experiment with different shutter speeds to find the right one for your subject.

Anticipate the action:

To capture the perfect moment, you’ll need to anticipate the action before it happens.

This means keeping your eye on the subject and predicting when they’ll make their move.

This can take some practice, but with time and experience, you’ll learn to anticipate the action and capture the perfect shot.

Use continuous autofocus:

Continuous autofocus (AF-C) mode can be useful for tracking moving subjects and keeping them in focus.

This mode will continuously adjust the focus as the subject moves, allowing you to capture sharp ActionShots even as the subject moves around.



Panning involves moving your camera with the subject to create motion blur in the background while keeping the subject in focus.

This can create a sense of speed and motion in your images.

Shoot in burst mode:

Shooting in burst mode (continuous shooting mode) can be useful for capturing a series of images in rapid succession.

This can increase your chances of capturing the perfect moment, as well as give you a variety of images to choose from.

Use creative angles and framing:

Experiment with different angles and framing to create a sense of movement and energy in your images.

This could involve shooting from a low angle to create a sense of height, or using a wide-angle lens to capture the subject in context.

ActionShot in Photography – Wrap Up

Action photography can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding.

By using the right equipment and techniques, you can capture stunning ActionShots that will leave your viewers breathless.

Remember to anticipate the action, use a fast shutter speed, and experiment with different techniques to find the perfect shot.

With practice and patience, you’ll be able to capture the perfect ActionShot every time.