Photo Tips for Freezing Action

Andre Costantini here with you CK readers today. I’m a freelance photographer and educator and I have a couple of photo tips if you are out on an overcast freezing day and looking to freeze some action and maybe even get a good portrait.  Actually, believe it or not, in this case the settings are pretty much the same for each photo.

First thing first, set your camera to the A or Av mode and then turn the dial that controls the aperture until it says f6.3.  This is a good starting point.  If you took a picture now, your camera would likely make images darker then you would like.  That is because the snowy situation can confuse the camera.

To make the picture brighter, use your EV or Exposure Compensation function (+/- button) to overexpose (that’s the plus side) by moving approximately three clicks to +1.  Usually this button is on the back of your camera but, if you have trouble, consult your camera manual.  By making this little change, the images will come out like you see them.  

Your camera likely has a zoom lens.  If you can zoom out really far you can catch the sledding action up on top of the snowy hill.  

Zooming in for a portrait when the subject is close can make for a really nice shot too.  Just because your subject is close doesn’t mean that you have to use the wide angle setting on the lens. Shoot that and then zoom in close for a dramatic portrait.  



When you are out documenting some activity or event, be sure to shoot a combination of action and portrait shots and use that zoom lens.  By having some far away and some close shots, you’ll have a nice group of photos to scrap or frame when you are done.

All photos by Andre Costantini using the Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD 15X all-in-one zoom lens (model B008) designed for Canon, Nikon, and Sony APS-C format DSLR cameras.

Would you like to win the world’s lightest, smallest 15x all-in-one zoom lens, valued at $649? The acclaimed Tamron 18-270mm VC 15X all-in-one zoom for APS-C format DSLRs has reached  an astonishing new level of compactness, performance, and speed with the addition of PZD (PIEZO Drive), an innovative ultrasonic autofocus motor based on an advanced piezoelectric design. The new lens is considerably lighter—by 18%, 24% shorter, with a much slimmer profile than any previous lens in its class, and provides faster, quieter auto-focusing. Signature features that have made this amazingly versatile lens the world standard in its class have been retained. They include a an all-in one wide to ultra tele 15X zoom range so no lens switching is required to get closer, an improved, lighter and more compact Vibration Compensation (VC) system, macro focusing to 19.3″ and excellent image results.

Leave a comment on this blog post telling us what outdoor winter photos you enjoy capturing for a chance to win!  (US residents only please.)

Andre Costantini

P.S. Don’t forget Free Font Friday! Download the CK Brittany B font for free!

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211 Responses to Photo Tips for Freezing Action

  1. Debra Campoli says:

    I LOVE taking kids playing in the snow! Sledding down a hill toward my camera at the bottom doesn’t come as clear as I see it can be with the correct lens! Good luck everyone…but I still hope I win!

  2. Diane B says:

    I love to capture pictures of my grandchildren playing with the dogs. The dogs take off running at a full bore and the kids chasing right after them through the walnut orchard! Or in the summertime running through the sprinklers. So much fun!

  3. Nancy Redmond says:

    I have two granddaughters, age 6 and 5. Both are
    full of energy and zip. I take pictures of them
    all the time outside. Trying to get them to slow
    down for a picture is almost impossible. To be
    able to take pictures of them from a distance would be wonderful, it would be more natural shots
    instead of posed. I live in the country and they have the run of l 1/2 acres. We also live at the coast and we go to the beach alot. Winter and Summer. It would be wonderful to have a lens that
    does what this one does.

  4. BETH HOLLY says:

    I’m new to the DSLR world and love experimenting with actions of our little grandchildren and the miraculous beauty of nature – both bright sun in snow and blizzard. So much to learn but the possibilities are absolutely endless and I love the challenge. Thanks so much for your lessons.

  5. Aparna says:

    I live in Sunny South Florida—and I actually envy all the beautiful snow y’all get! My winter photos are usually of my family at the beach! (which look oddly similar to our photos from Spring, Summer, and Fall!)

  6. ScrapJAG says:

    I would love to be able to catch my dog playing in the snow. He has so much fun, and makes me laugh! Capturing that on my camera would be awesome. I can imagine the layouts I could make!!!

  7. Ange Weisbeck says:

    My favorite photos are of my kids playing in the snow with their pink cheeks.

  8. Pam says:

    I love to take winter scenery photos over looking the lake in our back acre with the snow contrasting the bright blue sky. I would love to be able to: capture the sparkle of the snow on a sunny freezing cold day… The deer leaping through the snow and winter sunsets – it gets dark so fast & with the snow contrast makes it hard to capture the beauty. Surely a lens like this would make it easier!!

  9. elena says:

    I do enjoy taking pictures of the kids playing in the snow! on our last trip to mammoth I also took some pictures of the scenery! than you for the chance to win!

  10. Jeff says:

    Winter scenery especially full moon pictures with snow cover.

  11. Jaya Weber says:

    Fantastic content. Could I usethis on some of my sites? I would like to place it as a reference for my fans in a link pointing back here. Thanks. =) Weber (=

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