Obviously a sharp picture doesn't take itself! There's more to it than pushing the shutter button once you see the carbon, Lycra and cyclists line up in the viewfinder.
Here are three simple tips to helping you get better shots when out on the bike.
1 - It's All About Focus
Get to know your camera (or phone-cam's) focus settings. AF-S or is best if you have a single shot in mind. With this it's critical to push the shutter at the precise moment.
Continuous Auto Focus is best used for multiple shots e.g. a group of riders approaching a corner. In this useful mode the camera detects the subject’s movement and focuses constantly and accordingly.
2 - Pan & Push
It's a simple fact that if the subject of your photo is moving at a different speed to the lens, the shot will be blurred. The secret to a sharp action shot is to ensure you are moving the lens (be it a camera or mobile phone) at the same speed as the rider passing by. Practice panning the camera at the same speed, tracking your subject as it approaches and push the shutter the moment you see your shot.
3 - Fill With Flash
See that super-sharp photo on the cover of the latest cycling magazine, how could it be so sharp considering the sped the bike was moving? Answer: Fill flash.
Flash is not just for night time - it is incredibly useful in all lighting conditions particularly bright daylight. Fill flash doesn't freeze all motion but can dramatically help.
TeamCar owner Nat Bromhead is an award-winning press photographer. He enjoyed official media accreditation at the 2014 Tour de France.
TeamCar is a support, safety and photography service for Sydney-region cyclists. We are available for event, ride or race support & photography! Phone Nat on 0409 849 362 for details.
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