Action and high speed photography are some of the toughest pictures to nail.
It starts with the trifecta of skill, timing, and use of quality equipment then even if you have all of that going for you it could easily be ruined by weather, lighting, your target under preforming, the list goes on.
We recently reached out to Taylor McPhail, one of the best action and high speed photographers out there for some expert hints.
So Taylor you have the cleanest stunt pics I've seen in a long time. Mind passing on a few tips to all the riders and adrenaline junkies out there who aren't photography experts?
Is there a simple rule you use for for taking all of your action pictures?
Panning shots are tricky. The slower the shutter speed you can use the better. But it gets harder to keep a steady hand the slower the shutter speed also. Find your balance and click away!
What is a good starter camera, and any mandatory mods or accessories, for a beginner action photographer?
I do not know much about Canon or Sony but I started with a Nikon D5100. It was just a notch above entry level so I had room to learn without outgrowing it too much. But all camera brands offer a great selection. Do your research before buying. Some are better for video, and some are better for photos. Battery life, image size, and even included gear are some things to look for! Polarizer is a great accessory to have on your lens. Don't buy a cheap one!! They don't work and scratch easy.
When it comes to editing your action shots. If you were only allowed to do one thing from here on out - what would it be? (a favorite filter, setting, etc)
Editing is something that you can't force. It has to grow on you as your learn different techniques. When I started editing... I didn't just pick a style...it found me! As cheesy as that sounds! You will change something about the photo and either love it or hate it. After learning different styles you start to take a little bit of everything and build on your own!!
What was the biggest obstacle you faced in your action photography career?
Getting my name out at first was very difficult. It took lots of dedication and time to send all the event/meet coverage to all of the big names in social media just hoping one would share a photo! That and my D610 having a mirror issue.
Which action shot you are most proud of?
Easily my stunt bike/ drift car photo set!!!
Big congrats on over 35k followers, any final words of advice for riders out there trying to boost their follower count?
Appreciate the support! Boosting your followers isn't easy. You need to be consistent with your work. Find a watermark and stick with it. And find your favorite pages and tag them in your posts. Send them a DM. A lot of people over Instagram have KIK messenger. Send them photos over that app with photo/ car credit.
And best of luck to all!!