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Article Time Stamp: 24 August 2008, 11:35:08 GMT+7

Tips For Sports Photography

It's your child's first soccer match and you want to snap it with the digital camera you've just bought. After a few shots you realize your photos all tend to be blurry with people looking away. What happened? You've just met the "shutter lag." One major problem you will encounter in sports photography is the delay on digital cameras from when you press the shutter release button to when the photo is taken. Let us show you how to overcome it.

1. Test it
Most digital cameras have a shutter lag ranging from half a second to 2 seconds. The best way to ensure this is to test the camera before you buy it. To find out how much shutter lag the unit has, observe it through the LCD screen. Making sure the camera is already in a photo-ready mode, press the shutter release button, and time how long it takes to snap the photo.

2. It's all about pre-focus
Pre-focusing is a technique where you depress your shutter button half way before you get ready to shoot your subject in action. This means you point directly at your object while at the same time press the shutter release button down halfway. Doing so, you can save time and snap your picture much faster as you are already halfway through the process.

3. Lower your format
In digital cameras, the CCD takes a longer time to wipe off the image before recording the next picture if you were to use a larger image size. In short, the larger the image file, the longer it will take to wipe from the sensor. When it comes to sports photography, it would be best for you to employ compressed formats such as JPEG. Uncompressed formats like TIFF are great for shots like landscape or portraits. Always remember, shoot at the highest quality when you have plenty of time for each photo. Otherwise, lower your quality to enable faster snapping because we all know sports photography often requires spontaneity, and every second can make a difference.

4. Size up your memory
The camera's memory plays a part when it comes to accelerating your shots. Memory cards of a larger volume tend to drain more battery power and also demand more from the camera's system to search for an appropriate location to save the photo in. To overcome this, you should purchase a collection of smaller cards rather than just one big media.

5. Don't be flashy
When you use flash, it takes some time for your camera to "recuperate" before moving on to the next shot. This results in wasting a few seconds before being able to take the next shot. To speed things up in this area, turn your flash off when you do not need it. This way, your camera saves time by not needing to warm up again.

By Michelle Chew, CNET editor

Article Source: Monx Digital Library

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