Friday Photo Tip: an object in motion…

Sometimes blur is good. In fact, oftentimes blur is good. You can have a blurred subject and a sharp background or a sharp subject and blurred background. There are even times — if you’re feeling impressionistic — you may want everything in the frame blurred.¬†Sometimes you want to stop the action, and sometimes you don’t.

Let’s say your young daughter and her friends are running all over the place having themselves a blast. This is the time to pick up the camera and start shooting. Choose one child at a time and pan with them as they run past, clicking the shutter all the while. Practice it with as many of the kids as possible. Every few kids, check the back of the camera to see how you’re doing. Next, set yourself up in one spot and without moving the camera take the shot as they run through the frame. It’s even cooler when you’ve got one of the kids standing still and another blurred in the same picture.

Too many people with cameras don’t give any consideration to the concept of motion. Commuters on a busy street, cars passing by, children playing games. Everybody is moving. So why is everyone in that box of family photos standing perfectly still? Even the family pet is posed! Photographs of people arm in arm with big smiles are great. Sure. But those people were moving right before that shot, and they began moving again right after it. Try catching them in the before and after.

Getting a good motion-blur shot isn’t easy. There will be a lot more misses than hits in the beginning, but keep at it.

The world is in constant motion. Show it.

2007 Potomac Whitewater Festival

A moderately slow shutter speed (1/40th sec) allowed the
kayaker to blur, but kept the video guy and the rest of the scene sharp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *