Photographing Action: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!

by Jim Zuckerman

© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
I have noticed on my photo tours that too often when a photographer misses a special moment, he or she will take their eyes away from the viewfinder and express their frustration and disappointment to others nearby. So many times that proves to be a mistake because another opportunity quickly follows the first one.

When photographing subjects like wildlife, birds, children, dancers, horses, and other fast-moving subjects, you must constantly watch them through the finder. As soon as you take your eyes away to look at something else, or to talk to a friend, you can lose the chance to get the best shot of the day.

The hippos you see here were photographed in Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania just before sundown. When they exhibited their aggressive behavior by opening their mouths, it happened very quickly and the peak of the action lasted only fractions of a second. I kept my eyes glued to the viewfinder, not daring to look elsewhere in the hope of capturing something like this.

Editor's Note: This article was adapted from one of Jim Zuckerman's BetterBlogs. For more information on Jim Z and his online courses at, check out his bio. Also, get inspired by reviewing Jim's Premium BetterPholio online gallery and his Pro BetterPholio Web site.

Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at