How to Photograph Moving Objects

Sometimes the things that you want to photograph are best captured in motion. Whether this is an animal in flight, someone involved in sports or simply an action shot that catches your eye, getting it right can be tricky.

Have you ever looked at photos on the internet of a moving object and wondered how the photographer achieved such a clear shot when all you can manage is a blur? Perhaps you have seen photos on ClickASnap and wished that you could achieve similar results? Our guide on how to photograph moving objects has been put together to help you with the basics when it comes to taking pictures of subjects in motion.

Shutter speed

When your subject is in motion then you need to think about using fast shutter speeds, that means using something that is at least 1/500th of a second, or higher if possible. It is however important to remember that the faster the shutter speed you use the more likely you are to end up with a photograph that is underexposed. When you use a shutter speed that is faster than you are limiting the amount of light that you let into your image sensors. The higher your shutter speed the more likely it is that the photographs you end up with will be dark.

Whilst this may not represent too much of a problem outside, if you are indoors then this is something that you will need to consider. A flash will help you to counteract any underexposed photographs. Alternatively, you could increase your ISO or even change your aperture.

Increase the aperture

The aperture on your camera is a hole that allows the light to enter your camera and fall onto the image sensor. You should choose a lower f-stop in order to open up the aperture and this will let more light in. Doing this will allow you to counter the low light that faster shutter speeds will give you.

Of course, increasing your aperture may decrease the depth of field that you get in your photograph. This means that in addition to the main subject of your photograph there will be a significant number of other elements in your picture that could also appear out of focus. Whilst a high f-stop can help you to put your whole scene into focus a lower one will have the effect of making the entire background seem out of focus.

Use a flash

When you use a flash, you can counter the low light conditions that you evoke by using a faster shutter speed. Remember, however, that the majority of cameras have a short range on their flash so you will need to be just a few feet from your subject. Flashes may not be allowed at some events so check in advance.

High ISO


This can help you increase the aperture and shutter speed of your camera whilst not increasing the possibility of dark or blurry [photos. A high ISO can however create a noisier photo with a grainy image. In order to get sharp focus when photographing something that is moving you should increase your shutter speed and use the flash to correct the darkness in your photos, as well as either using a high ISO speed or increasing the aperture. If you want a more dramatic shot, try panning.


Instead of holding your camera in one place, panning involves moving – panning – your camera to follow the moving item. This results in the moving image being captured in focus whilst the background becomes blurred. Unfortunately this technique is not as easy as it sounds so it is worth practising with a slower moving target to start with.

Now we’ve covered photographing moving objects in some detail, why not try out some of these methods and see if they work for you?


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