I was looking for an event to do movement photography like panning and blurs. Found a high school Track and Field meet which would be prefect for such endeavors. Not only that but the weather was perfect and the track oriented for great afternoon sunlight. When everything comes together (weather, light and subjects) there is only one thing to do: shoot!
Local amateur events are great in that photographers can get close to the action. I was able to get right next to the track to photograph all the running events. Sprints, distance events, hurdles, and relay races. I used my favorite lens for sports, the Nikon 70-200VR f/2.8. My camera can only do 3 frames per second so I went old school and set it in single shot mode. As I do with all sporting events, I put my camera in Shutter Priority mode.
During the distance events I used a slow shutter speed and panned with the runners as they came by. Panning takes lots of practice and many photos to get a few keepers. As I mentioned in the assignment for this month on creative exposure, showing movement is one of the ways to add interest to your photographs.
Opposed to using a fast shutter speed to freeze the action and see everything sharply as I have done in the photo showing two runners jumping over the hurdles. Another important aspect of sports and action photography is timing. You want to catch the action at its peak. Not only was I able to do that here but I had a great race. These two went right to the wire with the blue racer edging it out for the win.