Be inventive with exposure
Synonymous with short exposures, action images sometimes benefit from longer shutter speeds for creative effects
Selecting the right shutter speed is essential for action images to work. Whether you choose to freeze action or blur movement with creative longer exposures, you need to commit to one or the other for the effects to appear intentional. Karl Lundholm’s area of work requires short exposures by default. “I love to freeze that big incoming wave so you can see every drop and texture of the water. To do this I will not go slower than 1/1,250 of a second,” he explains. However, shorter speeds also play a role in his creative workflow: “I love when the sun has set and the surfers are coming to the beach. To get [natural-looking] silhouettes of surfers and a beautiful sky in the background, I do not keep my shutter speed that fast.” moving past a fixed point, such as the use of panning in athletics or motor sports. When shooting cars or bikes, there is very little about the subject that suggests it is moving when using a very fast shutter speed. An exposure of 1/2,000sec will freeze movement
Beyond essential exposure calculation, shutter speeds are a critical consideration when attempting to portray motion creatively. Professional sports shooters often use slower exposures to convey speeds of subjects of the vehicle and the wheels, making it appear as if it is simply parked on the track. By lowering the exposure time to around 1/60sec and tracking the subject with the lens as the image is taken, the important areas of the shot remain sharp, while the background is reduced to a creative blur of motion. When attempting this technique, practice is required to gain the correct balance of subject sharpness and creative blur. By firing a burst of images in continuous shooting mode as you pan the camera, you can increase your ‘hit’ rate, as you have more coverage of the scene as it unfolds. Variances on this theme include zooming during an extended exposure or moving ahead of the subject, to produce different blurring effects.
“Shutter speeds are a critical consideration when attempting
to portray motion creatively”
suBjeCt foCus Blur minimises distractions for added subject emphasis suBjeCt shArpness In all action images, the main subject should be blur-free Added enerGy Wheel effectively conveys subject’s speed