I want to try to shoot some sports action, for example shattering bricks and wood. My lighting equipment is not so advanced and needs 0.8 sec to recharge for the next flash, so I can't use high fps. My question is:

Am I able to use cinematic continuous lights? Are there any tips to action photography with this kind of lights?

And if you know any good resource on studio sports photography please share.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd love to see "shattering things" as an olympic event :D \$\endgroup\$
    – Dreamager
    Feb 5, 2012 at 15:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I've not done this, so I can't really provide this as answer -- but you might want to google "diy sound noise photo trigger" (w/o the quotes). It seems fairly common to trigger a flash using sound (i.e. the sound of the shattering bricks) to do high-speed photography. You would have to be able to dim the ambient lighting, as most of the DIY techniques depend on leaving the shutter open and using the flash to control the exposure. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5, 2012 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


You can use continuous lights to shoot sports in a studio but you're going to have to up the ISO a lot to get a fast enough shutter speed. A better solution however is to use flash. The shortness of the flash duration when using a flashgun that uses trail trimming (where a transistor cuts power after a certain delay when lower power is required (thus giving a very short pulse)) such as most hotshoe flashes is ideal for stopping motion, and you'll maintain image quality as you'll capture a lot more light than continuous lighting will provide.

You'll lose the ability to shoot at a high framerates, but the action you're trying to capture will most likely be over in a shorter time than the gap between frames anyway, so you're better off working on your timing and shooting the same action many times to get the shots you want.


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