People often wonder how an old geezer, like that guy in my Bio picture, can capture birds in flight, fish jumping out of water or a singer’s eye on a poorly lit stage. It takes practice and a little trick they don’t teach you in camera school. Here’s my secret and I do it without a camera. Every night before I go to sleep, I play Solitaire. There are probably other games you could use to do this but, I’m not really a gamer; this game works just fine for me. I just do this to improve and sharpen my reaction time.
When you first start playing a score of around 100 is probably average. Move yourself back from the monitor so you can have the whole screen in your field of view. Play as fast as you can. Make mistakes and correct them as fast as you can. Find out if you have a weakness, like always missing a possibility on the far right of the screen, my weak point. Maybe you start paying attention to one side of the screen or another and start missing the moves at dead center; right in front of you. Move back a bit further. Soon, you’ll notice your reaction time, peripheral vision, ability to correct mistakes quickly and your score improving. This training will carry over to your camera shooting and you’ll start to notice you are catching action shots like never before. Bonus: When your mate catches you at Solitaire, say “I’m not playing a game; I’m improving my camera skills”. Happy shooting!
A wildlife photographer living in Okinawa, Japan, Mike has been featured in Matador Abroad and is published in Apogee Photo Magazine, Boots N all, The Nihon Sun and Photo Guide Japan. He has recently joined the ranks of travel writers, capturing Nature, Festivals, Castles and Cultural shots of the Ryukyu Islands to share with the world.