Freezing motion moment in high speed photography

Photography in terms of speed, is divided into 2 categories, namely High Speed ​​Photography and Slow Speed ​​Photography. Both have their own preoccupations.

Slow speed can result in fast motion becoming very slow, so that the waterfall can be captured by the camera to be soft like cotton. Meanwhile, high speed photography, capturing fast-moving moments, even very fast, is frozen with the camera without any blur. There is an extreme high speed like a bullet that penetrates a balloon filled with water can be caught in one photo frame.

This time, I will only discuss high speed photography, not extreme high speed. There are at least 5 tips that can be applied in high speed photography:

1) How to set focus

For Nikon, select AFC (continuous auto focus) mode, while for Canon select AI Servo. This type of focus detects focus on a moving object. After setting the AFC/AI Servo, press the shutter halfway, select the object to focus on, and when the object moves, it will stay focused on the object.

2) Burst Mode

Change the burst mode from single shot to continuous high speed. So, once you press the shutter, you will get several frames/images.

3) Lens selection.

Actually almost all lenses can be used for this type of photography, but my favorite is 70-200 f2.8 because the focal length is quite long and the aperture can be wide, so it can separate objects from the background perfectly. Objects stand out in one frame.

4) Shutter speed and F number.

For action sports, you should set the shutter speed above 1/500 and the f number at f/3.2. ISO keep at 100 or 200. However, for very fast moving objects such as flying birds, the minimum is 1/1500 seconds.

5) RAW or JPEG?

Because we choose continuous high speed burst mode for this action activity, we will produce a lot of images. If you bring a limited memory card, it will run out quickly. then I suggest selecting JPEG FINE is enough. Another reason for not using RAW, it is feared that the process of writing to memory will be hampered.

My photo uses a setting of f/3.2 Shutter speed 1/640 ISO 100 FL 150mm. Camera D7000 lens 70-200 f2.8 Sigma


How to capture ray of light (RoL)

I love to capture ray of light. I usually get this moment when rain season. In Indonesia, rain season usually around September until April.


I have been lucky enough to shoot them under different conditions, so I was able to experiment a bit with settings and what equipment to use. I have refined my shooting to use the following

  • Tripod (or flat surface to place camera) – all shots I take of beams are with a slow shutter speed
  • Wired/wireless remote (or set your camera to 2sec self-timer) – will stop camera shake and keep the shots nice and crisp
  • DSLR or Mirrorless using Manual settings, or using mobile phone
  • Wide angle lens

I have even been successful shooting beams on my iPhone or Android.


First and foremost, shooting sun rays can be tricky even when you’re ready. They can appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. You might need to take one or two test shots depending on the light, and adjust your camera accordingly.

So once you have all your gear ready to go, venture out to a place that has the 3 essentials listed above.

If you venture into the forest, look for a spot that has a little stream or a small water source that is being warmed by the sun. If you can see the steam rising up, that would be a good spot to set up your tripod.

Make sure to look for a good composition and see if you can get a sunburst in the shot as well. If you are planning on taking a selfie, just remember you need to hold really still as it’s a slow shutter