For the forth year the Bradford Dragon boat festival was held on the river Aire at Roberts Park Saltair. It is the only three day festival for Dragon boat racing in the country. I have covered it of the last few years. as it is a good opportunity to get some different type of sports action images. It can give you some good colourful images too.
Over the last few events I have taken a number of approaches to photographing the Dragon boat racing. If you want the standard freeze the action shot then a high shutter speed does the job. However for me the approach I really perfer is using a show shutter speed together with a panning action to get the background blurred.
I usually start with my shutter speed set at around 1/30 sec ( but it can vary downwards to get the really blurred colourful shapes). I also add an on- camera flash unit, with the output dialled down. (-1 is a good starting point ). But check the images to make sure that you can’t tell that there is a flash being used. This helps to freeze the water droplets spray that you get from the paddlers paddles as they work to propel the boat forward.