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Project 3 – Photographing movement

Following movement with the camera known as panning refers to the horizontal rotation of a still camera. To avoid the unwanted motion blur, the camera could still be used on a tripod with a looser head or taken off if you have steady hands. Thinking I can do this, I’ve chosen to shoot without tripod.

On this occasion I decided to visit The Extreme Stunt Show which was just near where we live thinking the excellent opportunity for this exercise. The weather was fairly good, light conditions kept changing so I needed to try different settings and do it quickly to get a better exposure, also I needed to watch their speed and distance to adjust my shutter speed accordingly, I was quite limited on space as I was outside the barrier with the rest of the audience, it was more difficult than I thought it would be.

85 mm, f/2, 1/250, ISO 1250

85 mm, f/2, 1/250, ISO 1250

85 mm, f/4.5, 1/100, ISO 100

85 mm, f/4.5, 1/100, ISO 100

There is no motion blur on the first and the second picture, the shutter speed I’ve chosen was too high compare the speed of the cars (pardon me, monster truck) I should have chosen a very low value and probably stood back a bit as well as the subjects are filling up the whole frame giving less chance to show the motion blur.

85 mm, f/6.4, 1/80 ISO 100

85 mm, f/6.4, 1/80 ISO 100

85 mm, f/8, 1/60,  ISO 100

85 mm, f/8, 1/60, ISO 100

85 mm, f/4, 1/60, ISO 100

85 mm, f/4, 1/60, ISO 100

The next two pictures are better examples, I was pleased with the one closer to me as it shows more motion with the shutter speed of 1/80 than the other, even though I shot that a higher shutter speed than the one is much more far away from me. The car in the distance appears to be slower, I couldn’t catch more motion even with the slower shutter speed of 1/60. The image with the motorbike has taken with the same shutter speed as the car above from the same distance and there is significantly more blur… Actually I think the man in the car drove slower…or I have done a better job with the motorbike.

85 mm, f/9, 1/50, ISO 400

85 mm, f/9, 1/50, ISO 400

85 mm, f/9, 1/50, ISO 400

85 mm, f/9, 1/50, ISO 400

I managed to get a good example to demonstrate the differences in motion blur on these quad bike images. They’ve been shot with the same settings, the only thing has changed is the distance between me and the subjects. It clearly shows that if the subject is closer to me the faster it looks and more blur I get and if it’s in the distance the slower it looks and I get less of the effect.

85 mm, f/10, 1/40, ISO 400

85 mm, f/10, 1/40, ISO 400

85 mm, f/10, 1/30, ISO 500

85 mm, f/10, 1/30, ISO 500

85 mm, f/10, 1/25, ISO 500

85 mm, f/10, 1/25, ISO 500

It occurred to me that while at 1/50 of a second the subject is still sharp, from the shutter speed of 1/40 to 1/25 results blurry images overall, but the subject is still visible. I wanted to continue to stop down but unfortunately I ran out of time, the show was over. I am still pleased with the results considering this was the first time I ever done this.

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For this project I visited The Old Stone Bridge over the River Wharfe in Ilkley and its tiny waterfall. It was a beautiful day… until I started shooting, thankfully the rain stopped quickly.

I’ve set my camera to manual mode on a tripod with my beloved Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 lens and a shutter speed of 1/500 stopped all the way down to 2 seconds while taking 12 pictures. This time I needed to pay more attention to adjust aperture and ISO accordingly in order to get the same exposure.

f/7.1, 1/500, ISO 1600

f/7.1, 1/500, ISO 1600

f/11, 1/200, ISO 1600

f/11, 1/200, ISO 1600

f/11, 1/100, ISO 800

f/11, 1/100, ISO 800

f/16, 1/40, ISO 800

f/16, 1/40, ISO 800

f/11, 1/20, ISO 250

f/11, 1/20, ISO 250

f/10, 1/10, ISO 100

f/10, 1/10, ISO 100

f/11, 1/6, ISO 100

f/11, 1/6, ISO 100

f/14, 1/4, ISO 100

f/14, 1/4, ISO 100

f/18, 0.4 sec, ISO 100

f/18, 0.4 sec, ISO 100

f/22, 0.6 sec, ISO 100

f/22, 0.6 sec, ISO 100

f/32, 1 sec, ISO 100

f/32, 1 sec, ISO 100

f/36, 2 sec, ISO 100

f/36, 2 sec, ISO 100

At a shutter speed of 1/500 the droplets are visible, truly capturing a moment of motion;  I noticed that it stays fairly sharp until a shutter speed of 1/100, than it starts blending giving a silky smooth effect. At 2 seconds it blends beautifully creating a rather striking image.

Personally I love the first and the last image for capturing feelings that completely opposite of each other, the first not only has the moment frozen, it has a strong, harsh feeling of the cruel nature; yet the last one symbolize calmness, it’s peaceful and relaxing to look at. Or maybe I watch Nat Geo and Eden to much…

Anyway after this exercise I found myself having another favourite subject to photograph. Every time we go on holiday, I like to capture “water” related things. Last time we visited Rhodes and the Valley of the Butterflies, we witnessed our mother nature “good and bad moments”, excellent chance to capture stormy conditions, not so great for the butterflies…yes…we haven’t seen a single one…or maybe one…that poor chap didn’t notice the devastating storm coming.

Learning from this exercise, the first picture has taken with a very low shutter speed of 4 seconds to achieve an even better smoothing effect, the last two picture has taken with an extremely high shutter speed of 1/2500 sec to properly freeze the raindrops. I am not completely satisfied with the second picture, I should have done it with either a very slow or a faster shutter speed to achieve the effect I was after and described above, but it also demonstrates how heavy the rain was.

85 mm, f/16, 4 sec, ISO 100

85 mm, f/1.8, 1/400, ISO 320

85 mm, f/1.8, 1/400, ISO 320

85 mm, f/1.4 1/2500, ISO 800

85 mm, f/1.4 1/2500, ISO 800

85 mm, f/1.8 1/2500, ISO 800

85 mm, f/1.8 1/2500, ISO 800