Category Archives: 3 Photographing movement

Exercise 3 (b) – Panning


Image 1 – 1/60 at f/4

To complete the photographing movement exercises we are asked to compare panning at different shutter speeds.

Using the same modelling team who assisted me with the shutter speed exercise I took a series of photographs at comparatively long shutter speeds.

I knew that panning is normally successful at fairly slow speeds. For example 1/125 for cars and motorcycles, 1/60 for bicycles and 1/30 or 1/15 for people running.

However, I found that hand holding the camera at slower than 1/60 was not practical for me and using a tripod was highly restrictive given the erratic nature of a four year old’s running. Consequently I concentrated on achieving a set of images that expressed dynamic movement.

The subject ran very close  to me in the above image 1 and although I have not achieved effective motion blur in the background there is a good overall sense of movement with blurred grass and parts of his body in motion.


Image 2 – 1/60 at f/4

Image 2 was taken immediately after the previous shot, his head and body appear still but his legs and hands are pleasingly blurred, as is the football. As with the first image my panning technique is poor and the shutter speed probably too fast but I like the photograph as it shows a mixture of concentration and motion.

1/60 at f/6.3

Image 3 – 1/60 at f/6.3

In image 3 I think that I am too front-on to the subjects to get any degree of motion blur streaks in the background and I suspect that a shutter speed of 1/60 is too fast but I have captured a real sense of motion, the blurred feet, grass and background but quite sharp faces work for me.

Image 4 - 1/60 at f/6.3

Image 4 – 1/60 at f/6.3

Image 4 taken in the same sequence is very similar to image 3 in terms of what is blurred or not blurred but probably because the subjects are now more side-on to the camera there are the beginnings of motion blur streaks on the goal posts.


Image 5 – 1/60 at f6.3

The final image, image 5, is the nearest to achieving “classic” motion streaks in the background but there is also the most shake on the subject’s faces. I have consciously left this a little dark as I like the contrasting light on the women’s face. It might have been worth while to put a little more light onto the boy’s face as well but overall I like this image the most. I find it powerful and full of energy and leaves no doubt as to what is happening between the older women and the young boy.

Exercise 3 (a) – Shutter Speeds

1/2000 f/2.8

1/2000 f/2.8

This exercise requires the selection of a subject that “moves several times or continuously”.

The process is to make a series of exposures ranging from the fastest available to the slowest available shutter speeds.

The images are to be compared and the slowest shutter speed that freezes movement identified.

To complete this exercise I chose three different subjects, firstly wine being poured into a glass, secondly a child playing football and finally car lights at dusk.


I found this a useful exercise as the three subjects were very different reinforcing the point that the “right” exposure is dependant upon the subject and the objective of the photograph.

On reflection I felt that freezing the streams of wine created the most powerful images for that subject. For the footballer the most interesting images were captured by freezing the footballer but blurring his feet and the ball (1/80) or having the completely blurred boy running at the goal (1/30).

There was less variation with the car lights and I preferred the faster shutter speed of 1.3 seconds to the light streams produced at 20 seconds; however, this was probably because the light streams were too much of a cliché whilst the partially blurred cars at least asked the viwer to look twice.

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