Three Tips For Shooting Action Page 2
TIP 3: Composing Action Shots
Most action happens too quickly to allow you to carefully compose each image and check the background for distractions. But you can check the background (and lighting) before the subject arrives, and move to a different spot if background or light aren't good.
While it's easier to keep a camera's wide, multi-point AF area on a moving subject, most AF SLRs will respond more quickly if you use only the central focusing point. If your camera doesn't seem to respond quickly enough with action subjects, try using single-point AF instead of multi-point AF.
If you know the subject will pass a specific point, such as second base at a baseball game with an expert base-stealer on first, you can prefocus manually on that point, and thus be ready to shoot as the subject arrives. This eliminates the time consumed by (and possible inaccuracy of) autofocusing.
Continuous advance (continuous drive with digital SLRs) lets you shoot a series of exposures at one touch of the shutter button. This can yield nice action sequences, but also use up lots of film rather quickly--a big advantage to digital cameras here. Bear in mind that with many AF SLRs, only the first image or two of a moving-subject sequence will be really sharp, so it's probably best to stick to 2-5-frame bursts.
There is a brief lag between the moment you fully depress the shutter button to take a shot, and the moment the camera actually makes the exposure. With pro action cameras, this lag is very brief, but it's there nonetheless. You have to develop a feel for your camera's lag if you want to get great action photos. And that just takes some practice.