Sports Photography: How to Emphasize Speed by Contrast Static with The Cave

Sports Photography: How to Emphasize Speed by Contrast Static with The Cave

For taking photos of 1: 1 fighting sports such as sword fighting, you often want your photos to portray the exciting atmosphere of the match. In this article, we will look at how we can effectively do this by using panning techniques to show the athlete’s static and movement in a single image.

In fencing, it only takes a fraction of a second to determine the winner. I want to depict the second part in which an athlete is moving and the other athlete is standing still, in a single photo. When both objects are moving, to capture both static and motion at the same time, your shutter speed must not be too high, nor too low. I want to avoid both objects being blurred, but I do not want both objects to “freeze“. Although this may vary depending on the movement speed of the object, you can Want to change the shutter speed based on their movement speed. In this case, I tried to create motion blur from the swordsman moving by using a shutter speed of 1/10 second, while the swordsman with smaller movements could be clearly captured at the door speed. Another shutter is about 1/2 second. Another trick is to use panning techniques when shooting. When panning, focus on the standing athlete, instead of watching the athlete move more. Because a standing athlete can still move a bit, the image must predict and follow the small movements of the athlete. In doing so, the athlete who moves more in the opposite direction of your movement will create a more blurry effect while the athlete you focus on will still freeze.

Freezing the decisive moment Actually, a certain charming point can be found in the speed and movement of that unique fencing moment. However, there is another way to capture the moment in which the two swordsmen oppose each other – by freezing the whole action with a fast shutter speed. With the picture below, shooting at 1 / 2,000 second, I focused first on one of the swordsmen, then released the shutter when ready.

Freezing both players who were playing with a high shutter speed of 1 / 2,000 seconds highlighted the tense atmosphere of the decisive moment.