Photograph moving subject

Photograph moving subject

There are many subjects who refuse to stand still. In fact, most of them move constantly. Generally the photographer aims to freeze the movement in his subjects to obtain clear and sharp images. However, in some occasions we can capture the idea of movement, speed and action through the controlled use of blur in the whole image or in part of it.

Freeze the action

A very fast shutter speed implies a large aperture and little depth of field. Anyway, you can balance the effect according to your preferences by adjusting the ISO value. So, if the action follows a tight rhythm, a faster exposure time of 1/500 will freeze the movement and return the moment with a high level of detail.
When the subject moves towards the camera, you do not need such a fast shutter speed. In fact 1/160 can often be fine, but you have more reliable results with a maximum time of 1/250. What you need to do is select the predictive autofocus or focus on a predetermined point on the ground (or in the waves) and press the shutter button when the subject reaches it.

The panning when Photograph moving

The panning techniques allow you to give the idea of movement with a still image. Usually is well use when you shooting people and get their action. Rather than freezing the subject for maximum detail, part of the image is blurred: the background or the subject, and sometimes both.

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Usually, panning is used to keep a moving object in focus and cause the background to move, giving an impression of movement and speed. The speed at which the subject moves determines the shutter speed. Starting from 1/30 and 1/15. Point the camera at the subject and follow it as it moves. When it is perpendicular to you, press the shutter button and continue following it. The shutter must be opened when the camera is still in motion. Don’t expect a high success rate but, with the right subject, panning allows you to take pictures with a remarkable effect.

Photograph moving subject
Dancer, Rajasthan, fine art photography, India


To Photograph moving and action you can also select a slow shutter speed to make an element move, keeping the rest clear. The effect can be barely noticeable or brash. In fact, the important thing is to keep the camera steady and not have blur in the wrong place of the photograph. For example, if I photograph the movement of the water in a waterfall or at sea , I can make it look like a silky drape. But the effect will be lost if the surrounding rocks and vegetation are not perfectly clear.
In photos without people, the best effect we can achieve is when we mount the camera on the tripod and take various photographs at different times, until we get the desired result.

Photograph moving
Waterfall, Botanic Garden, Penang, Malaysia Rolleiflex Planar

Flash Blur to Photograph moving

Another way to photograph moving is the flash blur technique. So, if the subject is within the range of the flash unit, you can express the movement and add atmosphere to the photos, obtaining surprising results with the flash blur technique. Select a slow shutter speed, adjusting the exposure on the ambient light, and if the camera allows it, synchronize on the second curtain. Any movement of the subject or of the machine results in blur due to the long time, but the action is stop and the subject is capture clearly in the instant in which the flash starts. This can be point at the subject or bounce with a spotlight or from the ceiling. You can use the technique during the day or in an interior illuminated by incandescent light.

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