The right technique to capture the movement in images is one thing many photographers want to master, especially those who specialize in street and sports photography. Many photography enthusiasts and hobbyists alike acknowledge that knowing the right technique in capturing motion blur of fast moving subjects is a challenge that can be surpassed as long as one uses the right photography equipments and the right photography techniques.
Aside from sports and street photography, the technique in capturing motion blur will also come handy in other kinds of photography. Many photographs can be enhanced when the movement is emphasized by a motion or movement blur. If you want to capture the movement of your subject, even its very slow, small, or subtle movements, here are some of the things that you can try:
If you want to emphasize the movement of your subject and create a motion blur for your photograph, switch your camera settings to Shutter Priority Mode or full manual mode. Doing so will give you full control over your shutter speed. Shutter speed is very important when capturing motion in photography so switching to full manual mode or selecting the shutter priority mode in your camera will allow you set your camera to your preferred settings.
Select a longer shutter speed if you want to capture the movement of your subject. You need to slow down your shutter speed to allow the image sensor of your camera to “see” your subject’s movement. Fast shutter speeds will not see much of a subject’s movement unless the subject is moving very fast. With slower shutter speed, you can start to see a movement blur even when your subject does not move that much.
When determining your shutter speed, remember that it will depend largely on your subject and its movement. You would need a different shutter speed when capturing the motion of a train than when capturing the movement of a snail. Another factor in determining your shutter speed will be the available light. Longer shutter speeds allow more light to enter your camera so you run the risk of overexposing or blowing out your shot if you don’t find the right balance.
As to the question on the right shutter speed to use to capture motion blur in your shot, there is really no definite answer. It will depend on your subject and its speed, on how well-lit your subject is, and how much movement blur you want to capture in your shot. To know what works for you, you need to experiment. With digital cameras, you can take as many shots as you want without worrying about the costs.
As previously mentioned, getting the right balance between shutter speed and the amount of light you let into your camera can be quite tricky. The longer a camera’s shutter is open, more light will enter the camera and you run the risk of overexposing your shot this way. You can wait for the light to change or to get darker before taking your shots or you can take your shots in the presence of much light while doing something to avoid overexposure.
One way of compensating for longer shutter speeds is by adjusting the aperture of your camera to cut down the amount of light that will get into your camera. If you are using the shutter priority mode of your camera, your equipment will automatically do this for you. If you are on manual mode, decrease your camera’s aperture proportionally vis-à-vis the amount that you lengthen your shutter speed.
Another way of compensating for slower shutter speeds is by decreasing your ISO to make your camera’s image sensor less sensitive to light. You can also try using a neutral density filter to cut down the amount of light that enters your camera while using slower shutter speed.
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Ray Baker 🙂