Dealing with motion

Dealing with motion can be complicated becuase it involves multiple aspects of photography:

  • Are we talking about your motion , or the subject’s motion?
  • Do you want to show motion, or freeze motion?
  • How do you Focus?

So here, in my usual quick tips format, are a few tips that may help:

These are simple pointers to good camera technique:

  • To avoid motion blur, ensure your shutter is set to “1 / lens focal length” – or faster! I.e. if using an 18mm lens. at least (roughly) 1/18th of a second; when using a 100 mm lens at least 1/100th of a second; and so on. Preferably twice as fast or better!
  • To freeze rapid motion, like a race car: 1/500th, or preferably faster, like 1/1000th.
  • Use VR/IS stabilization, it rocks – unless you are moving the camera or are using a tripod.
  • On that subject: tripods are cool – use one whenever you can.
  • Pan (follow the subject while pressing the shutter) when shooting a moving object.
  • Try AF-C / AI Servo focus if your subject’s distance from you varies (it is coming to you, or moving away from you).

Use of these techniques maximizes the chances of an image that uses, or freezes, motion the way you want it.


2 thoughts on “Dealing with motion

  1. Well this is rather fitting…I’m actually in the process of conducting an experiment (and writing a report) on this very thing! I’m comparing the horizontal motion of an object to the shutter speed you need to “freeze” that object in your picture.

    In essence, if you multiply the distance that your picture is capturing (in meters in the direction of whatever motion) by your shutter speed (so if your speed is 1/1000 of second, multiply by 1000) and divide that all by the number of pixels in the direction of motion in your picture, you will get a number (in meters per second). The speed of the object cannot be faster than that number.

    Imagine my reaction when I take a break from writing to check out and the daily post is on the same topic I just left!

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