mtb photography action shots advice….

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  • mtb photography action shots advice….
  • Premier Icon AlexSimon

    Before you go have a look at lots of shots on the web. Choose ones you like and that you think you’ll be able to get the positioning for. Copy these.

    If you want to isolate the subject from the background, then you can either use a shallow depth of field (might struggle on your lenses unless at full telephoto), or try to pan the camera with the subject on a slowish shutter speed (try 1/15th and work from there).

    General tips:
    Take lots
    Repeat shots (reviewing on the camera in-between)
    Perhaps use continuous shooting
    If you camera has an intelligent tracking focus, use that.
    Vary settings
    Put the subject where you are going to get the shot to frame it before sending them back up the trail to ride through it.
    Choose dynamic body positions. Bike leaning over or extended over a jump. Just a comfortable jump wont look as impressive.
    Leave a little room in the frame in front of the rider to give a clue to where they are riding towards.


    Just some quick tips..

    1/250 shutter speed is a good start. Adjust your ISO to allow more light in if need be.

    Generally your lenses are sharpest in the middle of their range, in the same way that a fork can bottom or top out.

    Consider your composition..


    Sorry not familar with the Nikon V1, but as a rule you should always select a shutter speed faster than the focal length of the lens, so for example 30mm = 60th sec or faster, 110mm = 125th or 250th sec or faster.

    I would sit yourself somewhere with the sun on your back with the cycling action passing you left to right or the other way round 😉 then pan (follow) your shot to capture the action mid point as it passes.

    Sorry not sure if that makes it clear, but if you google sports shots and panning, there are loads of websites out there with better info

    No filters needed to start with.

    Have fun,


    this is a good read from a guy who knows what he’s talking about


    Will be a sunny day

    Not in the UK or an eternal optimist then?

    I’m no expert, but from my dicking about you have a couple of basic options (1) use ambient light and a fast enough shutter to freeze the action or (2) use a flash (off camera if possible) on second curtain sync to freeze the action with a shutter speed to give an amount of motion blur (3) panning.

    IMO it is much easier to convey a sense of dynamism if you get some blur in the shots, so I would either pan or use flash. Panning takes some practise; of course you can combine it with flash to give you a better chance of getting the rider sharp. The smaller the aperture you can use the more likely you have of getting something in focus, again totally IMO but you are better upping the ISO and having some noise than getting every shot out of focus.

    If you’re in the trees then riders can be in and out of shade meaning the correct exposure will be hard to nail. I find manual easier, when you get it wrong it’s massively wrong, but on average I think I get more keepers.

    Get the riders head sharp, fill the frame, take lots of shots.

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    Was going to try and get some dirt jump / fast berm shots in a few weeks.
    I’m pretty new to photography so anyone got any good tips advice for getting some decent shots.
    I have a Nikon v1 and a 10_30mm and a 30-110mm lens.
    Will be a sunny day.. so any tips on shutter speeds, lenses, filters, positioning for shots etc

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    Thanks.. any recommendations for a future lens that would be good for action shots

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    There seems to be only one wide aperture lens for the V1:
    10mm F/2.8

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    There’s also an 18.5mm f/1.8 for about the same money

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    If it’s the same money, I’d get that (18.5mm f/1.8). It’s about a standard field of view lens equivalent. The wider aperture the better imo for having a play with photography.

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