Blur and the impression of speed.

Two weeks ago I posted about the need for speed and the fast shutter to freeze the action and give sharp in focus images.
This post is going in the opposite direction, the use of a slow shutter speed to give the impression of, or to convey to the viewer the motion and speed of the subject.
Remember, each image should be telling a story.
Scale, placement, the use of background or foreground are all aspects that help tell that story , but sometimes we need a bit extra, movement of the subject.
Movement , can tell the story for you.
Let me show you.

In the first image , the bird is sharp and it’s the arrow like shape of the bird that tells the story, but its not all of the story.

Takapu the Australasian Gannet    (morus serrator )

In the second image, the bird might be quiet as sharp but we can see the subject speeding past the background.

Takapu the Australasian Gannet    (morus serrator )
The most powerful tool we photographers have when we present a image for someone to look at is the initial emotional impact that the image invokes.
To show the movement of an object moving through the frame the object must interact with the foreground and background.
We do this by slowing the shutter speed by either increasing the depth of field F.stop  which by default slows the shutter speed down if your in AV mode or decreasing the ISO sensitivity to light, causing the same shutter speed reaction..
You can also choose a dark background which will cause the sensor to drag more light through the lens  keeping the shutter open a bit longer, but the trade off will be an over exposed subject that may end up rendering the image unusable .
There is no substitute for experience and no excuse in this day of the digital photographer to go out there and practice, practice and practice until we can use our cameras intuitively and on the fly, I call it using the force.
Experience will teach you which technique to use.
One good way to practice is to find a good spot along a stretch of roadway and take photos of the cars as they speed past.
Close down you aperture to around F 16-22  and try and pan with the car as it speeds past

this image of a windmill gives the general idea of movment

Windmill in Foxton
Once again this was simply taken out of the window as we sped past the trees on both sides of the road.

warp speed
This tui was defending his territory  wildly flapping his wings

The New Zealand Tui-3069-Edit-2
when it comes to wildlife and movement  you must try and get the head in focus or the shot doesn’t normally  work.

this young red deer hind has been caught out in the open early morning and doesnt like it one bit lol
notice that if the head was not sharp, the image would not have the same impact.

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
then again this works and nothing is pin sharp.

Black Swan-
once again sharp head, blurred wings

Pāpango the New Zealand scaup or Black Teal(Aythya novaeseelandiae)
one last one , nothing is sharp in this one, I spose you cant win them all

Kakī, the Black Stilt  (Himantopus novaezelandiae)
Most of all go out and have fun with your camera , try different things, tell your story through the lens of the camera.

If you want I can do a one on one or a small group workshop on this technique anywhere in the wellington region , just contact me .


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