Friday, November 11, 2011

Capturing Motion

My first graded assignment in my photography class was all about shutter speed and the different ways to capture motion.

There are three ways to capture motion in a photo.

  • Freeze the action
             To freeze the action into a still image you need to shot at a fast shutter speed.

  • Blur the action
            This type of photo has a clear background but the action is blurred.  For this type of image you shoot at the slowest shutter speed for your settings, without breaking the Golden Rule. (see below for Golden Rule).  The trick to this shot is that the background should be clear and crisp.

  • Pan with the action
             This shot breaks the Golden Rule big time.  Once again you will shot at a slow shutter speed. It's best to set your camera to continuous shot to help capture the subject.  As the subject moves into view you will pan your camera with the motion.  The end result will be a clear subject and a blurred background. 

So what is this Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule states: 
Generally speaking, when hand holding a camera, your shutter speed should be equal to or greater then the focal length of your lens.
You might be saying What?? right now.  That was my reaction the first 5 or 6 times my instructor said this. For most people this will mean you should shoot at 1/60 or faster when you are holding your camera.  This will eliminate hand shake in your photos. 

There are two other rules my instructor taught us.

1.  Follow the Rules.
2.  Break the Rules.

Learn the rules and how to use them and once you understand them, break them to expand your knowledge.


  1. Great photos - I'm hoping to take some photography classes next year. This post really peaked my interst . . . and, yes, I was thinking What?? LOL

  2. Oh I like this lesson! My favorite pic is the last....slow shutter speed...I'll have to remember that!