Have you ever wondered how to make a perfect action shot in food photography? There are many options on how to do it but today I will talk about the way I use 99% of all the times – taking action shots remotely with my mobile.
Action shots are always on my checklist when shooting some meals. After all, food is for people, and capturing a moment of cutting a cake, or pouring a sauce over your meal, makes an image much more human and welcoming.
You do not need to have any expensive camera to take action shots. All you need is to understand the right camera settings for capturing a movement. This is what I cover in this article too.
If you do not have a camera without wifi, do not worry. You can take action shots with a remote control or remotely from the computer too. How to do this, I will explain the next time.
What you need for a remote mobile shooting:
This is more a necessity I would say. I can’t imagine creating action shots without a tripod. The reasons why are simple: If you shoot alone, you need to use your hands for creating an action.
Tripod will also make your images super sharp and with high quality. Your hands are constantly shaking, even if it’s not visible to your eye. This micro movement creates a noise in the image, which is not what you want to achieve.
If you have a recent camera, most probably it will be a wifi built-in. This will allow you to connect your camera to the mobile and shoot remotely. At first, go to your camera settings and activate the wifi. Then, go to mobile settings and connect to your camera wifi network. Once you are connected, you are ready to open the mobile app from your camera provider.
App for mobile
For remote shooting via mobile, you need to download an app from your camera provider.
If you have Canon, the application you will need is the CameraConnect. Nikon’s app is called the Wireless Mobile Utility app. After your wifi is activated in the camera, you will be able to see the live-view in the app on your mobile, shoot directly from there, adjust some settings, and preview images too.
How to make action shots in 3 steps:
1. Preparation of your scene:
First thing you need to do, is to prepare the scene. Put the camera on a tripod, find the best angle for shooting, and prepare your props.
Make sure everything is as you want it to be – the main subject and props are perfectly placed. Try to create a contrast between the action and the background. For example: white powders (sugar, flour) or liquid splashes contrast perfectly with the dark background, the cocoa powder goes better with a light background, etc.
2. Camera settings:
Camera settings are the most important when it come to shooting an action.
To capture a perfect action you need to have your shutter speed at least at 1/160, but higher the number, better is. Then, adjust the focus and ISO – this will depend on the light available. Do not worry to increase it up to 800.
See some examples:
AI Servo – focusing mode
For an action shot, change your camera setting to AI Servo AF (Canon)/AF-C (Nikon). This serves for keeping moving objects sharp.
Continuous shooting mode
Another important setting is to change your camera mode from a single shooting into continuous shooting.
A continuous shooting is for an active movement – such as pouring a liquid, powdering a cake with sugar, cocoa powder; pouring a sauce over a meal, water/drink splashes, etc. Here, you can also choose how many images the camera will take. I like keeping it at 10. Then, you can choose which image is the perfect one. Practically said: while you wait for the timer, find the best position, and when the camera starts shooting, make a movement!
3. Connect your mobile and shoot
Now, you are ready with your scene and the right settings, connect your mobile to the camera, and open the live view on the mobile app.
This is how it looks when I shoot remotely. You are able to adjust settings also directly from the mobile.
Practice your action shots with me!
If you want to practice your action shots, join my photography challenge from 15-29 May. The challenge is about creating an action shot in food photography!
Read more about it here.
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