14 High Speed Photography Tips & Ideas

High speed photography will come in handy when you need to capture fast-moving objects. It allows making a quick photo of a particular scene. Thanks to it, you can take a series of pictures at an amazingly quick shutter speed.

Top 14 High-Speed Photography Tips

This post will provide you with a handy guide on how to improve your speed shot photography skills. Here, you will find the most necessary info concerning gear, settings, subjects, etc. After learning all these useful tips, you will become an expert in shooting sports, wildlife photography and photos of fast-moving subjects.

1. Shoot with a DSLR Camera

high speed photography camera

You need high speed photography equipment to become successful in this genre. First of all, you should purchase a DSLR camera for taking excellent pictures in high resolution.

Photographers can also use a camera for sports or action with manual controls. You can also try using the Canon EOS 7D or Nikon D5 cameras.

2. Choose the Right Lens

high speed photography lens

The equipment is not a problem if your budget is not limited. For taking close-up images like liquid sculptures opt for a macro lens like the Canon EF. For balloon photos, you can use a Sony 70-200mm lens.

Professional photographers use a 300mm or a 70-200mm telephoto lens with f/2.8 aperture. However, they are quite expensive, so most amateurs cannot afford them. A decent option is a telephoto lens with a maximum focal length of 200 mm, with a low aperture and image stabilization feature.

For taking clear photos of moving objects, you need to select the lens and the body with shutter speeds of 1/500 or higher, which will be perfect for football photography.

3. Fix Your Camera with a Tripod

The next important piece of high speed photography equipment is a reliable stand. It is extremely useful when you need to solve multiple tasks at once. To keep your camera stable, you need to acquire a tripod for DSLR photography. Neewer tripod is probably the best option for high speed photography. Additionally, you should use a cable shutter release or release the shutter remotely.

4. Choose the Right Flash

high speed photography flash

For taking photos quickly, you need many camera flashes. It’s better to opt for Canon Speedlite or Nikon Speedlight.

Sometimes you will even need to use four flashes at once to get the desired result. For flash photography, it’s crucial to correctly adjust the output power as it affects the duration of the flash.

5. Set Your Shutter Speed to Fast

high speed photography shutter speed

A high shutter speed is required for capturing sports events or other fast-paced scenes. Besides, when increasing the shutter speed, you should make sure that the lighting level is sufficient. Keep in mind that by changing one of the variables, you will need to adjust other settings as well.

6. Use Small Aperture

If you are interested in speed photography, try using a small aperture for getting the largest depth of field. With an f/8 aperture, the focus will be on the entire scene and the lighting level will be sufficient for activating the sensor. We advise you to take several photos before the photo-shoot to check whether the aperture is set properly.

7. Focus Manually

high speed photography focus

Activate the flashlight and point it at the subject. Then, you can focus on it manually or automatically. After completing this step, turn off the automatic mode to ensure that the configurations you’ve chosen will remain the same.

8. Shoot in Dark Area

dark area high speed photography

One of the best high speed photography ideas is to take photos in a fully darkened room or at night. For instance, you can put a wine glass on a table covered with black cloth. This way, there won’t be any unnecessary objects in a resulting image. Such a technique is especially suitable for dark food photography.

9. Diffuse the Light

diffusing light high speed photography

Some surfaces, like glass, are highly reflective. If you direct the flash on a clean glass container, your camera will capture even minor imperfections like fingertips, dust, etc. You need to soften the light by positioning the reflector’s translucent diffuser panel between the setup and off-camera flash.

10. Pop the Balloon

popping balloon high speed photography

Speed shot photography can be very creative. Try to pop a balloon filled with water, and the water will stay in the same shape for a few seconds. Capture this moment and you will get an amazing picture.

popping high speed photography

Lift the balloon, check the flash, make certain that the room is fully dark and open the shutter. Once the shutter is open, pop the balloon. The flash should be activated automatically, and then you will need to close the shutter again.

11. Create Water Galaxy

water galaxy high speed photography

One of the most creative high speed photography ideas is to spin a water-soaked ball to create an amazing galaxy shape that can be captured with the help of a laser trigger mode. When the ball appears between the trigger and the laser, the camera and the flash will be activated automatically, snapping an amazing galaxy shape.

We also recommend you adjust the sensitivity of the sensor, specify a time delay and turn on the continuous shooting mode.

12. Make Paint Sculptures

paint sculptures high speed photography

Speed shot photography also allows capturing amazing paint sculptures. To achieve such an effect, you need to cover the speaker with paint and turn the music on. The paint will start jumping because of the vibration, producing impressive shapes.

Using the smart sound mode and time delay feature, you can capture these sculptures as they are raising and falling, modifying their height to get unique forms.

13. Shoot a Water Drop

water drop high speed photography

Refraction refers to the bending of the light that passes through water. This phenomenon is used in water droplet photography. First of all, you need to make a setup for releasing drops of water, and then choose the background image that should be snapped inside the drop.

14. Collide Water

colliding water high speed photography

Try creating an amazing splash by collapsing two glasses and spilling the liquid for creating interesting shapes. One of the glasses may be filled with wine to add some colors to a photo and achieve a more original effect.

Freebies for High-Speed Photo Editing

high speed photography editing freebies

After studying this high speed photography tutorial, you can now start practicing to refine your professional skills. Try applying these free presets, actions and overlays that will help you create amazing shots even if you don’t use photo editing software.