Slow it all down
For beautiful blurry effects, shoot subjects in motion using a long exposure
Fast-moving subjects require an extra-fast shutter speed to freeze the action. A shutter speed of 1/200 sec sounds fast, but if there’s any significant movement in either camera or subject, it’ll usually result in blur. One of 1/2000 sec is more suited to fast-moving subjects like birds.
The problem with freezing movement is that we can lose the sense of speed that is so vital to the shot. This is why sports and action photographers will often look for ways to imply the speed, perhaps by including a spray of water, or hair billowing in the wind. Another way to give images a sense of movement is to use a slow shutter speed, so that the moving parts of the image are recorded as blur. With action shots you can either blur the subject and keep everything else sharp, or try panning with the subject so that they are recorded sharply and everything else comes out as blur. Or there’s a third option: blur everything and rely on the smudgy shapes and colours to tell the story. It’ll result in a complete loss of fine detail, but with the right subject, sometimes the sense of motion trumps the need for detail. (See page 86 for more on ways to capture speed.)