- Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography
- Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
- Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
The magic of photography has always been in its ability to capture a unique moment in time in a way that is inaccessible to the naked eye. I think these days this unique ability that sets photography apart from other visual mediums is being overlooked and it’s ironic if you take a look at the amazing capabilities of today’s cameras.
Obviously, your subject should be an interesting one and it should be well suited for the technique. A static portrait definitely doesn’t fall in the category of freezing action. The first rule of choosing a subject for motion freezing is to have a moving subject. This is the main technique used by sports and action photographers, so consider practicing on the side of a sports field.
However, ideally you want to work with a subject that can repeat the action until you nail the perfect shot. Trust me it’s a little harder than it sounds. Dancers, athletes and martial artists all make awesome subjects for freezing action.
From a settings point of view, each situation brings its own limitations, but there a few rules you should follow. Never use a shutter speed slower than 1/250th. Ideally, you should stay in the range of 1/500th and 1/1000th. Aperture settings depend on lighting conditions, but if the ambient light allows it, try to use a small aperture, like f8-f11.
I personally think freezing action works very well with combining flash and ambient light. Using just one Speedlight can greatly improve your shot at it can give you a lot more flexibility.
You also might want to use a wide angle lens to capture the environment.
Here’s a great field tutorial from Bryan Peterson.