Jeff Berting: Man of Action
The art of the action shot often eludes even the most talented and resourceful photographers.
Capturing a blurred image of an athlete whirring by is no great shakes; managing to focus on bodies in motion is only slightly more impressive. But freeze-framing high-speed subjects mid-spin, -kick or -jump, at exactly the right moment, in exactly the right light … that ain’t easy.
By remembering two key pieces of advice – one from a high school art teacher, the other from his wife (a fellow photographer) – California photog Jeff Berting has become a master of dynamic photography. His “Surf/Sup/Body,” “Active Lifestyle” and “Craftsmen” portfolios are filled with unparalleled examples of humans doing their thing, captured at precise angles and in moments that add beauty and depth.
For a fantastic example of this you need look no further than the above image, part of a shoot Jeff was hired to do for Southern California skateboard manufacturer Maki Longboards. The image was selected as part of PDN’s recent “The Shot” Sports Photography competition, and it perfectly frames one of the moments Jeff knows so well, “when you wish your eyes had cameras in them.”
“That moment when everything just lines up and comes together, so viewers can relate, whether they actively participate in the sport or are a fan,” Jeff says. “My goal with active-lifestyle photography is to capture those moments.”
That always leads Jeff back to the good advice from his high school teacher (“take the ordinary and make it extraordinary”) and his wife (“don’t just use the camera to describe what you see, use it to interpret what you see”).
“By taking this advice to heart, I’m constantly challenging myself to keep looking for new perspectives,” Jeff says, “to go beyond the immediate and give the work my thumbprint.”
Click here to check out more of Jeff’s signature, action-packed work.