Tripod Techniques: The Sequence of Action
Learn how to build a composite action photograph in an extremely simple and hassle-free manner. The next time you happen to witness an action sports event or happen to take a part in some yourself, you could try this technique to get a really unusual image! It could be at a local sports event or even a major league competition.
A Fairly Simple Technique
All you need to do is select a good enough frame for all the action to take place in and keep the camera on a tripod. Choose the Continuous AF option, so that your camera can track the subject as it moves across the frame and use one constant aperture and shutterspeed. You will need to shoot in the Burst mode.
Stacking the Images
Once you have several images of the subject in different positions, combine these photos in a software like Photoshop. This will involve selecting all the images and opening them within one file. Now, there are two ways to do this. You can use Adobe Bridge and select all the files. Then, you need to navigate to the Tools menu > Photoshop > Load Files into Photoshop Layers. If you don’t have Bridge, then you can simply open Photoshop > File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack. This will do the same thing as Bridge.
Masking the Composite
Once you have all the layers in place, you can select one of them, preferably the starting point of the action, as the background. Switch off visibility for the all the layers except the background layer and the layer that has the action that will be placed second in the sequence. Add a Layer Mask and erase away all the parts that are not needed. Repeat for all images.
Photoshop also has an Auto-Align and Auto-Blend option for stitching panoramas and stacking images. While Edit > Auto-Align works quite well, Edit > Auto-Blend can give you strange results when you choose the Stacked option.
For more cool tips on tripods, click here.
This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Better Photography.Tags: Shooting Technique, Ambarin Afsar, Action Photography, Sports Photography, Multiple exposure, tripods, multiple shot