As beginner photographers we were taught the misconception that in order for images to be great they need to be tack sharp. Ya’ll, that just isn’t true! As artists we may have a vision and showing some form of motion is exactly what you need! May it be freezing the motion of your little one in their soccer game or capturing the headlights of moving cars. If you’ve ever wondered how you can incorporate motion into your images I’m going to share with you 3 tips to capture motion!
Your shutter speed is going to vary depending if you want to show motion or not. In many cases, photographers want their images to be tack sharp. This way you can freeze your subject and catch their action. Typically you’ll want to start around 1/125th of a second if not faster. It will depend on your light situation.
Maybe you saw a really cool image shot from a bridge looking down at a freeway and the images showed the path of the headlights. These images are always so cool! In this case you will want to put your camera on a tripod and slow down your shutter speed. Try starting around 1/30th of a second and adjust accordingly! This is similar to the idea of “painting with light.”
Setting the drive mode on your camera can be super important to make sure you don’t miss a single moment! If you want your subject to be tack sharp and they’re moving at a fast speed, switch to a high speed continuous. This will set your camera to take multiple frames at a quicker rate! You wont have to worry about trying to refocus if your lens didn’t hold focus and you will quickly capture the different positions of the subject. Over on The Inspired Club I go further in depth about the drive modes and other basic dSLR settings!
Use a Flash
By adding a flash (on camera or studio equipment) can add a whole new creative way to capture motion! When a flash is used it’s usually to freeze all motion! That’s the fun part to using strobes, you can have your subject moving even slightly and you don’t have to worry about there being any blur! Since I got my Profoto A1 I’ve started bringing it with my on my engagement shoots. I’m usually shooting close to the sunset so I notice more blur when I start loosing light. Adding an extra pop of light helps reduce that problem.
OR! If you want to get really creative, by adding a flash and “dragging your shutter” (slowing down your shutter speed more than you normally would when using a strobe) you can select which part you want in focus ad then you see the same light streaks you would see if you were taking a long exposure of moving cars. This technique can make for some really interesting and creative photos at your next event!
Now that you know it’s okay to have some blur in your photos, I recommend going back through your old images! There may be some real gems mixed in there that you overlooked because they were blurry! I hope these 3 tips to capture motion helps you stop time for a second or get your photos moving! For more tips on how to use your dSLR head to my shop or over to The Inspired Club where we go more in depth!