Things you will need…
- A DSLR camera
- A somewhat wide angle lens with an aperture of at least f/2.8
- A swivel head external flash
- High quality batteries for the flash
- A corgi
- An image editing program that does RAW photos
The first thing to do is figure out the highest ISO you can use without the photos being unacceptably noisy. I set my camera to max out at 1600. Then I put the ISO on auto. That way it will use a lower ISO if possible, but it won’t go above 1600.
Next you must figure out the fastest shutter speed your flash can use. Usually it is 1/200 or 1/250. Some flashes have a special mode that lets you go higher, but I find that really slows down the rate at which you can take pictures.
In order to capture motion, it is best to use a burst mode. Trying to capture moments one picture at a time is often impossible. You need to set the action in motion and just rapid fire pictures. That is why the fancy batteries are important. They can recycle energy much quicker and allow you to do burst sets with a flash. (These are fantastic.)
You also need to set up the environment as best you can. Turn on all the lights. Perhaps even bring in a few more if possible. Those tall lamps that reflect off the ceiling are really good.
You’ll want to aim your swivel flash at the ceiling. By aiming it at the ceiling it will diffuse the light and give you much nicer results. If you have a high ceiling or it is a weird color, you can try bouncing the light off the walls or using a sto-fen diffuser. Just make sure you don’t point the flash directly at the subject. You’ll get laser eyes and it will look like they are staring into a nuclear blast.
A wide angle lens, say 30mm or less, will help because you can get much closer to the subject and your flash will be more effective. Even flashes that boast long ranges look much better if you can get close to the subject.
Be sure to shoot the images in RAW format. Even if they turn out a bit dark, you will be able to adjust the levels afterward. Lightroom 5 just came out and it is pretty snazzy for that kind of thing.
The last and most important tip… take a ton of pictures. Fill up that memory card. The more pictures you take, the more likely you are to have good ones. I will sometimes take 200 photos just to get 10 usable ones.
Follow these tips and you should be able to get decent indoor action photos.