Be in­ven­tive with ex­po­sure

Syn­ony­mous with short ex­po­sures, ac­tion images some­times ben­e­fit from longer shut­ter speeds for creative ef­fects

Digital Photograper - - Creative Sport & Action -

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

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