Ex­per­i­ment with slow shut­ter speeds and use sub­ject move­ment for cre­ative ef­fect

Digital Photograper - - Contents - DIF­FI­CULTY LEVEL: In­ter­me­di­ate TIME TAKEN: 30 min­utes

A step-by-step guide to shoot­ing and edit­ing an artis­tic land­scape im­age

When did you last take a pho­to­graph where some, or all, of your sub­ject was blurred? The rea­son we ask is be­cause noth­ing di­vides opin­ion among pho­tog­ra­phers like blur. Some love it, but oth­ers hate it and will go to great lengths to make sure that ev­ery shot they take – and ev­ery­thing in those shots – is tack sharp, us­ing fast lenses, sturdy tripods and high shut­ter speeds to freeze ev­ery­thing.

How­ever, as this tu­to­rial demon­strates, by al­low­ing mov­ing el­e­ments in a scene to blur, in­stead of al­ways stop­ping them dead, you can cap­ture a won­der­ful sense of mo­tion in your images that adds at­mos­phere and in­ter­est.

There is no sin­gle way to achieve the de­sired ef­fect, so ex­per­i­men­ta­tion is usu­ally re­quired. The two main fac­tors are how fast your sub­ject is mov­ing, and the shut­ter speed you use to pho­to­graph it – the faster the move­ment and the slower the shut­ter speed, the more mo­tion you’ll record. Those shut­ter speeds will be dic­tated by light lev­els, lens aper­ture and ISO, and if re­quired, neu­tral den­sity fil­ters can be used to slow the shut­ter speed down even more.

To give you an idea of what can be achieved, we pho­tographed a clas­sic Vene­tian scene at dawn that in­cludes both static and mov­ing el­e­ments.


Above GONDOLAS AT DAWN, VENICE, ITALY For the fi­nal im­age, an ex­po­sure of 50 sec­onds was used to cap­ture lots of mo­tion in the bob­bing gondolas so they con­trast well with the static el­e­ments in the scene. The wa­ter in the fore­ground has also been...

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