Get Low For Better Action Photos
One thing that you will find right away with your photos is that getting lower can make them better. When I started making photos at my kids preschool the photos looked different than most of the photos that were being made. I was getting down to the eye level of the children to make my photos. They had more impact than a photo made while pointing the camera down at the young ones. For the most part when making action photos the lower your camera is, the more athletic the athlete will look. For wildlife you want to get at least to eye level with them. For birds on the water that means that you are making photos from water level.
A Wildlife Example
None of the photos above will win any awards. I made them to show what getting low will do for you. The first photo was made while standing. The middle photo was made from my knees. The bottom photo was made with the camera on the ground. You can see just how much more the bird stands out in the bottom photo. You take all of the distractions out of the equation. The background melts away more because it is farther away.
Can You Break The Rule?
Saying that you always have to be low for sports or wildlife is constraining. There are times when you need to break the rule. One of those times is when the stands are not full. When I made photos for the triple A team in Indianapolis they didn’t always have a full crowd in the stands. They wouldn’t use anything with empty seats in it so I would go up to the concourse to make photos. By doing that I took the stands out of the equation. The photos were not as dynamic, but I got rid of the stands. For every rule in photography you could find times to break the rule. It all comes down to what you want to say with your photos.