A word of warning must be added against too much duplication of action. If you are drawing several figures, all walking, unless they are marching soldiers, do not make them all walk alike. Interesting action derives from contrast. All the variety you can achieve is needed. A figure appears to move faster if he is passing a stationary or slow-moving figure.
Important, also, is the handling of mass action: soldiers in battle, race horses grouped together, figures scattering away from some danger. Always pick out one or two as the key figures. Put all you have in these. Then group and mass the rest. If you define the individuals equally, the drawing becomes monotonous. Battle pictures should concentrate on one or two figures in the foreground, the rest becoming subordinated to these. It is safe to handle subjects filled with action in this way, since too much attention to the individuals who make up the mass makes for confusion. A group is more powerful than many units.
There is a trick you must learn in order to capture poses that cannot be otherwise obtained —for example, a falling figure in mid-air. You pose the figure, as you want it, on the floor. Use a flat background, get above the figure with the camera, and shoot down. Place him head first, feet first, or any way you want your model. I once did a swan-dive subject by having the girl lie face up across the seat of a chair, and from the top of a table I used a downward shot. You can take the figure this way and then reverse it. By shooting from a very low viewpoint or a high one, many seemingly impossible action shots may be obtained. They must be skillfully done. The artist can disregard the shadows that fall on his background, but the photographer cannot.
Do a lot of experimenting from imagination, from the model, and with your camera. If you can draw well, that is good. If you can add convincing movement, so much the better.
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