Show motion using a fast or slow shutter speed !
Fast shutter speed
The world is full of fast action, and you can stop it in your photos by using a fast shutter speed. Choose at least 1/500 for fast action or you will get some blurring of your subject. Faster shutter speeds of 1/1000, 1/2000, and so on, give you even more options for stopping faster action.
Action is hardest to stop when it is close to you and moving across your image area from one side to another. Action gets easier to stop (and allows a slower shutter speed) when it moves toward or away from you and is farther away. Still, it can be helpful to check your LCD review to be sure your images show
that you are stopping action with the right shutter speed.
You may have to use your widest
f-stops paired with fast shutter speeds and even change your ISO setting as your shutter speeds need to be faster. As shutter speeds get shorter, less light gets to the sensor, often requiring you to increase the ISO setting. Although there can be a trade-off in increased noise, it is still better to have sharp action with noise than blurry action without.
Slow shutter speed
Action looks great frozen in a photograph due to the use of a fast shutter speed. However, you can gain a really creative effect that shows action as movement- in-progress by using a slow shutter speed that blurs your subject. In general, this means shutter speeds of 1/15 second or less, but it depends on your subject. To avoid getting a blurred background, use a tripod to limit the blur to the moving subject. Try shots both with and without a tripod.
Choosing the right shutter speed is critical. Choosing one that is too slow yields too much blur, but choosing one that is too fast eliminates any sense of movement. The digital camera is ideal for this because you can experiment with different speeds and quickly check the results on your LCD. If the light is too bright, you might not be able to get a slow enough shutter speed. In such cases, you can use a neutral density filter (a dark gray filter) to block some of the light entering the camera, which enables you to choose a slower shutter speed.
Another technique for showing action is to follow a horizontally moving subject with your camera while using a slow shutter speed. This is called panning and gives varied effects depending on the shutter speed. The result can be a dramatic photo showing the subject in a variety of blur/sharp views contrasted with a nicely blurred background with blurred horizontal lines that emphasize the movement.
The challenging parts of this technique are to choose the right shutter speed, pick the right background, and pan with the subject so that the moving subject is not double-blurred because the panning speed does not match the speed of the moving subject.
Getting the effect you want when panning requires a lot of experimentation and practice. Do not get hung up on a lot of details: Just set a slow shutter speed and photograph a moving subject as you follow the movement with your camera, and then check your LCD to see the image you captured. You will get a
lot of junk, but you will also start finding some interesting and creative interpretations of movement.
Munish Khanna is a well experienced creative photographer based in Delhi, India
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