Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Friday #9......

Capturing Motion!! 

No matter where you are, movement is constantly surrounding us.  It could be cars passing by, people walking on the streets, toddlers racing through the house, or pets playing in the yard.  Each of these daily occurrences can easily turn into amazing photographs if you understand how to convey motion effectively.

There are a few things to take into account when trying to accurately capture movement.   First, because there are so many ways to communicate motion, you need to decide the objective of your photo.  Do you want to freeze the motion in mid-action,  or do you want an artsy blurred effect?  Secondly, you need to factor in the speed of your subject, and the speed of the shutter on your camera.  

So what is shutter speed??  In my super easy terms....It is the amount of time your shutter stays open when you click the button!  So, the longer your shutter stays open (slow shutter speed) the more motion it will have time to record, thus blurring the image.  The shorter amount of time the shutter is open (fast shutter speed) the more motion it will freeze! Easy enough? break this down a little bit, let's study how the shutter can effect the look of your picture.......

Fast shutter speed=freezing motion (sharp focus on your subject)  1/500sec or faster
Slow shutter speed=blurred motion (ANYTHING that moves will be blurred)
Fast shutter speed- you need more light for correct exposure
Slow shutter speed - you need less light for correct exposure
Slow shutter speed (anything under 1/60 sec) a tripod is recommended

ok, ok....enough lecturing.....let's play a little......

These first two pictures were my little experiment.  I shot the same image, at the same time, using different shutter speeds.  As you can see this first photo was taken with a fast shutter speed (1/1000 sec) thus FREEZING the image of the water.  Now, lets compare it to the next photo.....

ISO 125, 1/1000sec at f/2.8, 50mm 1.4 lens

This second picture was taken with a slow shutter speed.  1/30 sec, thus blurring the motion of the water!  See the difference?  Now a tripod is recommended if you shoot slower than 1/60.  I do not own a tripod as of right now (hint hint daddy K) therefore I just held the camera as still as I possibly could!  The effect is still there......

ISO 125, 1/30sec at f/16, 50mm 1.4 lens

This is Max racing through the backyard.  Does he even have eyes!!  ahah  I think it's time for a good shave down!!  Anyway....this was shot with a fast shutter speed (1/1600sec) to FREEZE his every hair!! Pretty cool huh?

ISO 110, 1/1600sec at f/2.8, 50mm 1.4 lens

This next picture I not only shot with a slow shutter speed for the blur, I did a panning effect.  Panning is where you follow your subject as it moves. Keep panning as you press the shutter!  Ideally if your camera moves at the same pace as your subject, the subject will be clear and in focus, while the background is blurred.  Here, Max outran me a little bit.  I obviously was not up with his speed or he would be clear in this shot.  Either way, I think the shot turned out pretty cool, and the effect is there!  This is a technique you have a practice a lot!!
ISO 125, 1/30sec at f/5, 50mm 1.4 lens

After playing with bubbles the entire afternoon, I do believe this is the only bubble that made it out!  As you can see, all other attempts are drippy spit!  God bless her!!  I used a fast shutter speed (1/1250sec) and put my focus point directly where the bubbles were forming......

ISO 125, 1/1250sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

Here is a close up....

ISO 125, 1/1250sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

And lastly, I attempted dropping an apple into a coffee cup to record the splash!  After dropping the apple 20ish times, this is the best splash that came out!  As cool as this photo looks, it can definitely be perfected.  Because I shot this in the late afternoon, right before a rain storm, I clearly did not have enough light for an extremely fast shutter speed.  The fastest I could get was 1/125sec which is actually considered slow when trying to freeze motion!  So even though I captured the splash as it happened the water is smooth and blurry looking.  If I had shot this mid-day then I could have gotten up to 1/8000 of a sec and gotten an extremely sharp image!!

ISO 840, 1/125sec at f/1.4, 50mm 1.4 lens

Whewww...that was a lot to take in on a Friday!!  I hope you enjoyed the photos and took a few tips with you!!  Have a great weekend, and I'll see you in a week!!


  1. Awesome pictures! These are the kind of pictures I have the hardest time with. Thank you for your tips, I will definitely be trying these out!

  2. Love these pics! At first, I though Max running through the backyard was a stuffed animal! Oh is so adorable!

    Thanks for sharing with Foto Friday!

  3. I love the close up of the bubble one. nice!

  4. YOu are getting so many fantastic shots!! The close up of the bubbles is amazing...really great work!!

  5. Absolutely love the second (close-up) of the bubbles! Love the coloring and the drips from the bubble wand!

  6. Oh how informative! Love that bubbles shot!

  7. love your post...the close up of the bubbles is just adorable! is your puppy a doddle? i have a mini goldendoddle and just love him!

  8. love the pic of the dog running!

  9. I LOVE the bubble photo! You did a great job on the movement in the running dog photo!

  10. these are great tips and awesome shots!! I love that first shot of the dog with the sharp focus! Soo cute!!