Our Favorite Reader Photos from the "Capturing Action" Assignment


Now And Then
Kat Stiennon captured dancer Abigail Henninger in this dazzling 2.2-second exposure with a Canon EOS 70D and an EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens at f/9, ISO 100 using rear curtain sync.
© Kat Stiennon

Today’s camera gear is faster than ever and much of it is tailor-made for capturing any sort of motion or movement. So then why do so many photographers struggle to shoot compelling images of action? Part of it has to do with timing and part of it has to do with composition. Your camera and lens can only do so much and there’s more to a great action shot than simply capturing the moment and making sure it’s in focus. For this assignment, we were looking for images of anything from basketball to dance to wildlife, just as long as there was some kind of action in the scene. For the winning images, we were looking for great composition, effective use of backgrounds and scenery, and powerful emotion: human, animal, or otherwise. Here are our six favorites.

Three Penguins Leaping
“The chinstrap penguins were photographed from a small ship near Monroe Island in the South Orkney Island group, Antarctica,” Irwin H. Segel explains. He captured them with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens at 300mm. The exposure was f/11 and 1/1000 second at ISO 3200. “It was fast enough to freeze the motion of the airborne penguins even though they and the ship were moving in opposite directions.”
© Irwin H. Segel

Barrel Racer
Ronald Havard captured this young cowboy competing in a junior rodeo barrel racing course in Texas with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II and a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L lens with a Canon 2x teleconverter at 1/5000 second, f/7.1, ISO 5000.
© Ronald Havard

The Windup
“Speed, technique, and skill come together and are captured as this polo jockey and his horse prepare to strike the ball and rocket it toward the goal,” Ralph Tedesco says about this shot. He used a Canon EOS 7D and a Canon 70-300mm lens at 1/40 second, f/32, ISO 400.
© Ralph Tedesco

Catching Air
Sue Balk captured this dirt bike action shot with a Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D at f/11, 1/300 second, ISO 100.
© Sue Balk

Delivering Lunch
“While observing an osprey nest, the male came in with a lunch delivery and I was able to capture the action using a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with a 100-400mm Canon lens at 248mm, f/8, 1/1250 second,” Pam Randolph explains.
© Pam Randolph

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment

There’s nothing quite like red to catch the eye, whether it dominates the photograph or is a spot of bright red within a complementary color field. In fact, one travel photographer we know always carries a red umbrella in his travel kit, just to add some visual spark when he’s on assignment and gets stuck with a murky, overcast day. Your “Red!” assignment shots should pop the color as well. You can boost saturation a bit if you like, but keep it as close to the “real” red as you can. We’re looking for the color red in your photos as a key part of image composition, not as something that completely overwhelms the shot. Do it but don’t overdo it.

Deadline for submissions: December 1, 2016 (Images will appear in our March 2017 issue.)

Red, Black & Blue
I was photographing the striking, red-and-black Parque de Bombas (aka Firehouse) in Ponce, Puerto Rico, when someone suddenly pulled up in a (nearly) matching motor scooter and parked it right in front. Not wanting this bit of photographic kismet to pass me by, I quickly fired off a half dozen shots with an Olympus E-3 DSLR. Something, however, was not quite right with the images: the red and black seemed to suffocate the shots, making them seem flat. So, to add a touch of contrasting color to the frame, I crouched down and captured the scene from a lower angle, adding the blue sky and white cloud at the top of the shot. A few seconds later, the guy got back on the motor scooter and drove off.
© Dan Havlik

How To Submit Online
1. Go to www.shutterbug.com and register. Scroll down the page and on the right side you will see a box for entering your username and your password. If you have already registered and/or submitted images for the Galleries you can skip this step. Respond to the activation e-mail. Registration is free. You will use your username and password whenever you visit or, with some systems, it will automatically load for you when you visit www.shutterbug.com.

2. Check the assignment and closing dates in the magazine. When the magazine is printed we will create an appropriate gallery for your images. The limit is two images per assignment.

3. Select and prepare your images. We only accept files at a maximum 5MB size, JPEG format. Save the JPEG at a quality level of 10 or higher. Note that file size in your image folder directory will determine upload size, not the “opened” file size, as JPEG compresses at 1:4 at higher quality ratings. If your images do not load it probably means you have exceeded the file size or have not used JPEG format.

4. Click on the Galleries tab on the homepage. In the Category section use the drop-down menu to select the Picture This! assignment. Note that images are simultaneously loaded into the assignment category as well as your own personal gallery. When the Picture This! assignment deadline date has lapsed the assignment gallery will be removed, but your images will still reside in your own gallery.

5. In the Description box add title, camera, lens, exposure information, and your full name. Also add any other comments or anecdotes you think relevant. We reserve the right to edit comments as needed.

6. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. This uploads the image.

7. You retain copyright on the image.

8. We will choose the images after close of the due date.

9. Please feel free to comment on images submitted by other readers.

Please Note: If the photograph includes a minor or a recognizable individual or group you are guaranteeing that you have a signed model release form, and especially a parental or guardian release form for minors. You should keep a copy of that release in your files. Scan that release and keep it handy. If an image is chosen for publication, failure to provide a form when requested will eliminate the image from consideration. You can find release forms at http://asmp.org/tutorials/model-release-minor-child.html and other resources on the Internet. By uploading images you attest that the model release form is valid, that any depiction of a person is with their consent, that you have a model release form available on request, and that all images you submit have been made by you.

Deadline for Red! Submissions: December 1, 2016.
Images will appear in our March 2017 issue.

Upcoming Topic: Wild Weather
Deadline: January 1, 2017
Publication Date: April 2017

Please Note: By submitting you agree to give us the right to show the image(s) on the web and for publication. You give us publication rights in the magazine and on the website(s) of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC.

Want to see images selected for past picture this! Assignments? Go to www.shutterbug.com and click on picture this! In the “more articles…” box on the homepage.

If you have any questions or problems e-mail us at editorial@shutterbug.com with Picture This! in the subject line.