Canoeist whirling up the water while paddling

Sports Photography: Summer Edition

Dynamic shots of sporting holiday activities

The rising temperatures also bring the desire for adventure and activity. In the summer holidays people go on mountain bike tours, do water sports, play beach volleyball and so on – the main thing is that there is fun and action! From the many activities that summer makes possible, subjects for spectacular action photos emerge.

We have put together a few photo-motive ideas and tips to make impressive sports and action photos during the summer holidays.

Holiday activities for action-packed sports photos

On the next trip you want to try something new and capture the experience in an impressive snapshot? In these sports and activities, it pays to keep the camera ready for spectacular sports photos or to equip oneself with an Actioncam:

  • surfing, kite surfing, windsurfing
  • waterskiing, wakeboarding
  • Jetpack jumping, Jet skiing
  • canyoning, white water rafting
  • mountain biking, downhilling

As impressive wall decorations, the most successful snapshots will guarantee a real eye-catcher in your home.

Keep the greatest photos in an ifolor booklet

Keep hold of your best shots. With our free app for iOS and Android, you can instantly create a Booklet with your coolest shots. Use the Booklet as an original holiday ´post card´ or share your best tips for a great outdoor experience.

An action fan performing a feat on a wakeboard

Waiting for the perfect moment

Fast movements, fast-changing poses, splashes of water and dust clouds – the most important and at the same time the most difficult aspect of sports and action photography is to press the button at the right moment. If you’ve tried a certain activity before or even exercise it regularly, the athlete’s movements are more predictable and you’re better at catching the right moment.


Use the continuous shooting function of your camera to capture a whole scene, from which you can later select the best snapshot or make a thrilling series of pictures.

To freeze very fast movements, use short shutter speeds in conjunction with high ISO values. In this way, the moving motif is clearly displayed in the foreground against blurred surroundings. Alternatively, you can try out the sports mode of your camera.

Depending on the distance of the athlete you should try to capture the concentration and passion of the athlete. Focusing on the eyes and facial expression, you get even more drama in your action photos.

Using picture detail and change of perspective

In order to capture the dynamics and energy of an activity in the picture, the picture detail and the perspective are decisive. The frog perspective is best for most sports photos as it makes the athlete taller and the movement more spectacular. If you take pictures from a larger distance, you should try different camera positions. Perhaps a hill, a wall or something similar will allow a view down to the action?

A mountain biker from the frog perspective

For sports photos as well, the rule of thirds or golden ratio ensures a harmonious image composition. You can also try subdividing the image into layers – foreground, center, and background – to create more depth in the shot. For example, in the forest a branch could be seen in the foreground, followed by the main motif and the background. You can also play with the available light to conjure great effects in the picture.


Vary the focus to capture a sharp image of the foreground, the center or the background and to create exciting photo motives.

Use a tripod or stabilize your camera with the help of a jacket or a backpack to keep the camera steady and avoid camera shakes.

Suitable equipment for summer action photos

For really good action photos, of course, you need the right equipment. For spontaneous action photos on the go, however, extensive equipment is not always practical. Aside from high-quality technology, compact cameras and even modern smartphones now offer effective sports modes and also allow for individual settings that make it very easy to record moving subjects. In addition, there are special outdoor cameras that even work underwater and, thanks to their robust housing, are equipped against sand and dust.

Surfer on the crest of a wave

Due to the wide variety of settings and interchangeable lenses, SLR cameras still deliver the best results for moving subjects. If possible, choose the lens according to the circumstances which the activity to be photographed entails.

  • Use a high-speed lens to counteract difficult lighting conditions, such as those in the forest, in fast changing light or overcast skies.
  • To photograph distant subjects such as a surfer or wakeboarder, a telephoto lens is best.
  • The counterpart for rather short distances is the wide-angle lens, for example for the downhill rider who passes right by you.


Avoid frequent lens changes while you’re taking pictures to prevent the intrusion of moisture, dust and sand grains and thus possible damage to the equipment.

Close up with the Actioncam

In some sports, using an action cam is a possibility to take exciting shots from an unusual perspective. For example, while mountain biking, downhill riding or canyoning, you can simultaneously play the role of the athlete and the photographer and create unique snapshots. Thanks to various fastening systems, the robust and waterproof cameras can be attached to the helmet or directly to the upper body.

Your very best shots will make an impressive wall decoration in your home.

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