Digital photography tips: capture summer action

Follow these expert action photography tips to take top-notch images of subjects in motion.

Shut down shutter lag

Shooting action photos — such as a fleeting moment involving wildlife — requires you to freeze the action that you see in the viewfinder. Unfortunately that can be tricky with digital cameras due to shutter lag, which is the wait between the time you press the shutter release and when the camera actually takes the picture.

All cameras have some sort of shutter lag. On some cameras the lag is almost imperceptibly short, but on others it can be long enough to make you miss a great shot — like this bird, which nearly flew out of the frame while I waited for the camera to take the picture.

Here's why: When you press the shutter release, the camera has to focus the lens, measure the white balance (so that the colours look right in the final image), and perform a host of internal housekeeping duties, such as preparing the sensor to capture the image. If your camera suffers from noticeable lag, you can do a few things to minimize the delay when you press the shutter release.

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