STEP BY STEP / Get set for motion blur in your motor
1 The gear We’re using a Nikon D750 with a wide-angle 24mm f/2.8 lens, as we want the full-frame sensor to capture as wide a view as possible from the passenger seat of the car. We’re also using a Manfrotto monopod held firmly against the windscreen, with the leg positioned carefully. 2 The road A quiet and smooth country road is best for these shots, as you’ll need to drive up and down a few times to nail the technique. We found roads without potholes, flanked with high hedges either side, worked best. It also helped to wait until passing cars were no longer visible.
3 The focusing and placement With the camera in position we pre-focused on the bonnet of the car by disabling autofocus and manually
adjusting the focus. We shot in Shutter Priority mode to control the shutter speed, so our DSLR set a matching aperture for a good exposure. 4 Too fast! Getting the car frozen but the scenery blurred meant balancing the driving speed with the shutter speed. We tried driving at 30mph and using a fast shutter speed of 1/100 sec, but it froze everything and made it look static. To add blur, we needed a slower shutter speed. 5 Too slow! We next tried driving the car at 20mph and slowing shutter speed to 1/2 sec, but this resulted in the car bonnet blurring as well as the scenery. We needed to speed up the shutter somewhat, but also to drive faster to keep the scenery outside the car blurred. 6 Just right We found the optimum combination was a car speed of around 30mph with a shutter speed of 1/10 sec. Bear in mind your settings will depend on your lighting conditions, the smoothness of the road, and the state of your own car’s suspension.