Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flow of Action vrs. Stop Action

I picked these few images to demonstrate a couple of ways to let your pictures give the feeling of action actually taking place within the image. Many times it is our "instinct" to use a fast shutter speed on a bright day and capture that moment in time. This is a great idea if it is a birthday party or wedding reception. That fast shutter speed freezes the subject and the background forever.

However for an action event...if everything in the photo is frozen loose the feeling of movement or action. So often it is better to use a slower shutter speed for action. I know this sounds counter intuitive but here is a technique you can try.

If you use a slower shutter speed...any movement will be blurry. You can either have the subject in clear focus or the background...either way works. This just depends on your taste in pictures. In the first photo, I had the camera on a tripod and clicked the shutter as the pack of riders passed in view. Anything that didn't the background or the female photographer is clear and in focus...the subject is blurred but not unrecognizable. The contrast of the clear background and the blurred riders gives one the feeling of the pack of riders "speeding" by in a blur.

The opposite technique of the the first and third photos is seen in the 2nd and fourth. Instead of letting the riders pass in front of the lens...I panned with the pack as they passed by. So the riders are in clear focus but notice that the background is a blur...indicating movement.

The main thing to keep in mind if you photograph an event such as this is mix things up. Don't shoot every picture the same way. There is a place for blurred subjects, blurred backgrounds and even stop action frozen completely (both background and subject). Diversity of techniques is what keeps things interesting.



Sunny said...

All I can say is Wow!
Sunny :)

The Lly Dilettante said...

very nice :)

Anna said...

Dan and you did give a feeling of action. The second one is looking really good, you could sell this one as a poster, excellent work on the all of them after all. Thanks for sharing. Anna :)

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Sunny...I hope I am not boring folks on the bike racing. It is a bit of departure from my normal images. I will be heading back to the "norm" later this week when I post some images taken on the trip back home.


Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Lly...good hearing from you again!


Dan Felstead said...

Thank you is often hard to show movement with a still image so it is a trade off of clear images vrs. showing movement.