Show some Motion – Redux

Following in the footsteps of my previous post, here is a more advanced way of showing motion in your pictures. Instead of staying still and letting the motion pass in front of your lens, pan along with a moving subject to keep it sharp, while blurring out the stationary surroundings.

This takes some practice and a degree in patience (from an accredited institution ;)). But don’t give up on it (unless you are on the verge of destroying your equipment) because the results can really wow people.

By panning along with the train and using a slow shutter speed, I was able to keep the moving train sharp while blurring the foreground with the movement of my camera.

Recipe for this shot:

  • Shutter Priority mode (S or Tv)
  • Dial in a shutter speed of 1/15 of a second to start, then adjust to taste
  • Use a low (100-400) ISO value
  • Set your autofocus to Continuous (or AI Servo for you Canon shooters)

Execution:

  • Handhold your camera and start tracking along with the moving subject well ahead of where you will actually be taking the picture (the apex).
  • Press the shutter button halfway down to initiate focus.
  • Twist/pivot at the hips while tracking along with the moving subject.
  • When the moving subject is almost directly in front of you, press the shutter button the rest of the way down, but keep panning, follow through with with shot. If you stop abruptly, your subject will likely end up blurry.

A great way to practice this technique is to take pictures of cars passing by on the street.

Comments or suggestions about this post? Feel free to post them below.

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