Friday, August 20, 2010

Motion in a Still Image

A moment frozen in time.  Photographs are often described in this manner.  However, Sometimes we like to see movement  in our photographs.  This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.  This week, I will show examples of images which show an object in motion achieved by slowing down the camera's shutter speed during exposure.  A perfect time to experiment with this technique is at night, when the light is low enough to naturally produce slow shutter speeds.  (This technique can be successful during daylight, as well, with the use of a neutral density filter.)
This week's images were made at the Indiana state Fair. 

For this image of the Yo-Yo, I had my camera mounted on  a tripod to keep it steady and waited for the ride to begin to make my exposure.  Using a slow shutter speed keeps the lens open longer allowing the moving lights to paint across the sensor.  One can get a feeling of motion in this example because of the contrast of the spinning ride vs the static lights at its base.  (Canon EOS 1-D Mark IIN, Canon 16-35mm f 2.8 lens, 1/5 sec. @ f 5.0, ISO 200)

Again, with camera mounted on a tripod, I made this image of a ride called "The Mix."  I knew by watching it twist and turn while spinning, the photographic result would be a colorful whirl of motion. For this image, I lowered my ISO and stopped down to get the slowest shutter speed needed for the desired results.  (Canon EOS 1-D Mark IIN, Canon EOS, Canon EOS 24-105mm f 4 lens, 2 seconds @ f16, ISO 100)
Finally, I spotted the Yo-Yo from this angle and set up for another shot.  As the ride geared up to full speed, I captured this moment when it looked like a flying saucer rising above the concessions stand.  Mixing movement with a static object accentuates the feeling of motion. (Canon EOS 1-D Mark IIN, Canon 28-105mm f 3.5-4 lens, 0.5 sec. @ f 20, ISO 100)

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