How to Capture Motion Blur in Photography - Digital Photography School
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How to Capture Motion Blur in Photography

Motion-Blur-1

Capturing movement in images is something that many photographers only think to do when they are photographing sports or other fast moving subjects.

While there is an obvious opportunity in sports photography to emphasize the movement of participants – almost every type of photography can benefit from the emphasis of movement in a shot – even when the movement is very small, slow and/or subtle.

Last week I featured 15 images that capture movement with creative blur – today I want to take a few moments to suggest some tips on how to do it.

Tips for capturing movement:

1. Slow Down Your Shutter Speed
The reason for movement blur is simply that the amount of time that the shutter of a camera is open is long enough to allow your camera’s image sensor to ‘see’ the movement of your subject.

So the number one tip in capturing movement in an image is to select a longer shutter speed.

If your shutter speed is fast (eg 1/4000th of a second) it’s not going to see much movement (unless the the subject is moving mighty fast) while if you select a longer shutter speed (eg 5 seconds) you don’t need your subject to move very much at all before you start to see blur.

Movement-2

How long should your shutter speed be? – Of course the speed of your subject comes into play. A moving snail and a moving racing car will give you very different results at the same shutter speed.

The other factor that comes into play in determining shutter speed is how much light there is in the scene you are photographing. A longer shutter speed lets more light into your camera and runs the risk of blowing out or overexposing your shot. We’ll cover some ways to let less light in and give you the option to have longer shutter speeds below.

So how long should your shutter speed be to get movement blur in your shot? There is no ‘answer’ for this question as it will obviously vary a lot depending upon the speed of your subject, how much blur you want to capture and how well lit the subject is. The key is to experiment (something that a digital camera is ideal for as you can take as many shots as you like without it costing you anything).

2. Secure Your Camera
There are two ways to get a feeling of movement in your images – have your subject move or have your camera move (or both). In the majority of cases that we featured in last week’s post it was the subject that was moving.

In this type of shot you need to do everything that you can to keep your camera perfectly still or in addition to the blur from the subject you’ll find that the whole frame looks like it’s moving as a result of using a longer shutter speed. Whether it be by using a tripod or have your camera sitting on some other still object (consider a shutter release mechanism or using the self timer) you’ll want to ensure that camera is perfectly still.

3. Shutter Priority Mode
One of the most important settings in photographing an image which emphasizes movement is the shutter speed (as outlined above). Even small changes in shutter speed will have a big impact upon your shot – so you want to shoot in a mode that gives you full control over it.

This means either switching your camera into full Manual Mode or Shutter Priority Mode. Shutter Priority Mode is a mode that allows you to set your shutter speed and where the camera chooses other settings (like Aperture) to ensure the shot is well exposed. It’s a very handy mode to play with as it ensures you get the movement effect that you’re after but also generally well exposed shots.

The other option is to go with Manual mode if you feel more confident in getting the aperture/shutterspeed balance right.

How to Compensate for Long Shutter Speeds When there is too Much Light

I mentioned above that one of the effects of using longer exposure times (slow shutter speeds) is that more light will get into your camera. Unless you compensate for this in some way this will lead to over exposed shots.

Below I’ll suggest three main methods for making this compensation (note – a forth method is simply to wait for the light to change (ie for it to get darker). This is why many shots that incorporate blur are taken at night or at dawn/dusk):

1. Small Apertures
So how do you cut down the amount of light that gets into your camera to help compensate for a longer shutter speed? How about changing the size of the hole that the light comes in through. This is called adjusting your camera’s Aperture.

If you shoot in shutter priority mode the camera will do this automatically for you – but if you’re in manual mode you’ll need to decrease your Aperture in a proportional amount to the amount that you lengthen the shutter speed.

Luckily this isn’t as hard as you might think because shutter speed and aperture settings are organized in ‘stops’. As you decrease shutter speed by a ‘stop’ you double the amount of time the shutter is open (eg – from 1/250 to 1/125). The same is true with Aperture settings – as you decrease the Aperture by one stop you decrease the size of the shutter opening by 50%. This is great because an adjustment of 1 stop in one means that you just need to adjust the other by 1 stop too and you’ll still get good exposure.

2. Decrease Your ISO

Movement-Blur-2

Another way to compensate for the extra light that a longer shutter speed lets into your camera is to adjust the ISO setting of your camera. ISO impacts the sensitivity of your digital camera’s image sensor. A higher number will make it more sensitive to light and a lower number will make the sensor less sensitive. Choose a low number and you’ll find yourself able to choose longer shutter speeds.

3. Try a Neutral Density Filter
These filters cut down the light passing through your lens and into your camera which in turn allows you to use a slower shutter speed.

It is sort of like putting sunglasses on your camera (in fact some people actually have been known to use sunglasses when they didn’t have an ND filter handy).

For instance, if you’re shooting a landscape in a brightly lit situation but want a shutter speed of a second or more you could well end up with a very over exposed image. A ND filter can be very helpful in slowing the shutter speed down enough to still get a well balanced shot.

It is the use of ND filters that enabled some of the shots in our previous post to get a lot of motion blur while being taken in daylight.

Another type of filter that can have a similar impact is a polarizing filter. Keep in mind however that polarizers not only cut out some light but they can impact the look of your image in other ways (ie cut out reflection and even change the color of a sky – this may or may not be the look you’re after).

Two More Technique to Try – one more technique to experiment if you’re wanting to capture images with motion blur is to experiment with Slow Sync Flash. This combines longer shutter speeds with the use of a flash so that elements in the shot are frozen still while others are blurry. Read more about Slow Sync Flash. Another technique worth trying out is panning – moving your camera along with a moving subject so that they come out nicely in focus but the background blurs.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like...

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Jay

    Great article. Just tried this
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/ironbull/8393241950/' title='DSC00104' url='http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8497/8393241950_32e7274cdc.jpg']

  • Jay
  • rutul

    Classical images

  • DMFLACK.COM

    I have used my sunglasses in front of the lens to achieve the shot, it does work if not facing the sun in any way.

  • Patrick

    Screens Off

Some older comments

  • rutul

    July 25, 2013 10:18 pm

    Classical images

  • Jay

    January 19, 2013 06:14 am

    Great article. Just tried this
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ironbull/8393241950/in/photostream

  • Jay

    January 19, 2013 06:13 am

    Great article. Just tried this
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/ironbull/8393241950/' title='DSC00104' url='http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8497/8393241950_32e7274cdc.jpg']

  • Austin Moore

    November 7, 2012 04:48 am

    Wouldn't increasing the f-stop work also? I think it's just like adjusting the ISO for brighter situations, besides then you dont have to use a high ISO get more grain. Just a thought.

  • Zuha

    February 16, 2012 10:25 pm

    I have a Nikon L120, which doesn't have the option to set your shutter speed and doesn't have manual focus.
    What do I do? :|

  • earcons

    November 13, 2011 08:36 pm

    It's appropriate time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting issues or suggestions. Maybe you could write subsequent articles relating to this article. I desire to read more issues about it!

  • GPS Tracker

    November 4, 2011 05:47 am

    Very cool stuff on here. I am just not a huge fan of the tripod motion shots. I like the pan motion images

  • Blog This Momet

    November 4, 2011 05:46 am

    Really cool information. Does anybody know of a good resource to find motion shots that are used without tripod during a wedding ceremony?

  • Boyd

    October 24, 2011 04:42 am

    I love motion blur for wedding photography! You can see a few of mine in this album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150426333636140.413327.266948181139&type=1

  • nomad

    September 28, 2011 08:21 pm

    Steff the shutter speed controls the blur,the aperture controls the exposure.basically the slower the shutter speed the more blur there is, if you want to freeze the action then you need a fast shutter speed (1/500th sec or above),a little experiment you could try is this, set your camera to shutter priority and choose a shutter speed of 1/60th sec, as you move your camera from dark areas to light areas you will notice the aperture changing to give a good exposure,
    the reason for this is that both shutter and aperture let in certain amounts of light onto the sensor,these need to be controlled to get a perfect exposure.cheers martyn

  • steff

    September 28, 2011 03:30 am

    im working on a project and i need to know how aperture adn shutter speed work to cretae motion blur but i just dont get it......... ive been looking at every site imaginable, but i cant seem to find anything, anybody know?

  • nomad

    July 8, 2011 12:58 am

    not quite sure what you mean by blurred as in walking ? if you shoot at a slow speed while panning you will get the feeling of movement from the legs as one leg moves in the opposite direction to the other, try the following ; use a tripod,set the camera to manual,choose a wide F stop (something like F5.6 to blur the background),set the shutter speed to around 1/60th sec,make sure your ISO is as low as it can go (iso 200 or less),
    now get your subject to stand in front of the camera in the spot where they will walk past you,make sure that all the person is in the frame,if not either you move back or they move away from the camera, manually focus on the bag (dont have camera on autofocus),
    get them to briskly walk past ,as they are doing so follow them with the camera (this is called panning),fire off a series of shots as they get to the place where you focused on them, keep the camera panning as you fire off the shots (like you would if you were clay pidgeon shooting), in there somewhere should be a good shot,
    you can also fine tune this method by highering/lowering the shutter speed,the lower the speed the more blur there will be, also you can fine tune the focus point if you have something like a 1.4 prime lens (which will give you a very narrow depth of field),
    lastly because your working with long shutters and wide open apertures its important to not do this in strong sunlight, low light is best or if you have a ND filter you could use that, cheers martyn ps if your not sure about anything just ask,

  • Richard

    July 7, 2011 09:27 pm

    Hi

    I have a challenge whereby I have to create an image of a person (shot from the side) carrying a shoulder bag, where the person is blurred (as if walking), and the bag is in sharp focus. Is this possible through shooting, or is it created in Photoshop?

    Regards

    Richard

  • arundathi

    June 27, 2011 04:30 pm

    wow.. i'm learning photography via dPs.. :-) i tried to click one..

  • Peter Morris

    May 22, 2011 11:12 pm

    There is another way to achieve motion blur, rotate the lens ring when you depress the shutter. It creates some very unusual effects. It too requires a slower shutter speed and practice to get the timing right.

  • Best Exposures Photography

    May 13, 2011 07:18 pm

    My last post didn't show up!

    TEST

    JF

  • abhishek

    May 13, 2011 05:39 pm

    you are right darren..the motion blur concept largely revolves around ISO, shutter speed and aperture. It can also be utilized in night photography..

  • Bill Spanier

    May 13, 2011 09:25 am

    Darren...thanks for the tips. I enjoy them and utilize them with my photography. Very helpful

  • Paul

    May 13, 2011 04:05 am

    Wow, good post........... look at all the responses, I'm still trying to master this technique; which I use on wedding first dance situations.

  • Mark Holmes

    May 13, 2011 02:08 am

    In addition to using a slow shutter, add flash to the exposure set for rear or second curtain. You'll get a sharp subject with a motion blur behind it.

  • jhingcabrera

    May 10, 2011 02:36 pm

    Great article, learned a lot from this website. A good read for hobbyist and Pros alike. Keep up the good work.

  • Carolyn Chentnik

    May 10, 2011 06:30 am

    Managed to get this

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterartshop/5604379513/' title='Day 118' url='http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5266/5604379513_aa6fddb168_z.jpg']

    My Page

  • scott

    May 9, 2011 07:52 pm

    A series of photos with motion (though all not all contain blur).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/sets/72157626496640100/

  • Erik Kerstenbeck

    May 9, 2011 01:43 pm

    Article on CurrentPhotography:

    http://currentphotographer.com/motion-blur-photography-by-erik-kerstenbeck/

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer

    May 9, 2011 01:34 pm

    I like the example of the guy on the stationary bike. A recent motion blur example of my own shows (blurred) an acoustic guitarist performing in a restaurant:

    http://jasoncollinphotography.com/blog/2011/2/21/photography-tip-change-dimensions-with-a-tripod-and-slow-shu.html

    I was actually attempting to photograph the entire room while it was mostly empty (guitarist was just warming up) with a slow shutter speed on a tripod. I noticed the motion blur effect I was getting so I decided to make a shot featuring that on purpose.

    ***Also, I will keep mentioning this in every comment I put on dPS from now on until that unbelievably distracting fade-pop-up asking me to e-mail subscribe to dPS is done away with. Once an e-mail address is entered it should remember that and never bother you again. In reality, such an intrusive gimmick should not be used at all. I cannot believe more people do not complain about this. If you feel the same way I do please comment as well.

  • ScottC

    May 9, 2011 12:18 pm

    A little motion can add a lot to a photo, great reminder.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/4720852956/

  • Caetano

    May 9, 2011 09:03 am

    some i have done during london photo walk http://www.flickr.com/photos/caetanosmc/sets/72157626093947098/

  • Jack

    April 17, 2011 03:33 am

    nice one .... i find another technique here . http://photograpyreview.blogspot.com/2011/04/photography-tip-motion-blur.html

  • amit jung kc

    March 16, 2011 04:36 pm

    wow !!! great information for me thank you all :))

  • Erik Kerstenbeck

    March 2, 2011 08:26 am

    Hi

    Motion blur is always fun to create and especially as it is getting dark. Here is a shot os San Diego's Gaslamp district just after the sun set. It was taken from a small traffic circle giving the impression that I was right in the middle of the road.

    Uptown from Downtown: http://t.co/WpR66fB

    Regards, Erik
    Kerstenbeck Photographic Art

  • Venkatesh

    December 2, 2010 03:24 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/venki-freaks-out/5193614564/' title='Luna Park, Sydney' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/5193614564_08ff2cf53d.jpg']

  • justin noel

    October 14, 2010 12:10 am

    This is amazing I love the work you have done with these photos..I want to be able to get my pictures like you did yours. I amire your talent..

  • Courtney

    August 25, 2010 09:08 am

    Lots of good information here. Wish I had read this before I did my photo project!!!!

  • Courtney

    August 25, 2010 09:05 am

    Lots of good information. Wish I had read some of this before I did my photo class project!!

  • Jeff Griffith

    August 21, 2010 02:39 am

    Such a fantastic article. I believe I have learned more from this one article, than I have learned from searching the web, and experimenting with my own camera. I can hardly until the sun gets low int the sky this evening! You are a great teacher Darren Rowse, and I look forward to getting more involved with your classes and other members of your site... Thank you for all you do.

  • Ganesh

    August 6, 2010 03:28 pm

    Nice Input for beginners

  • prakash

    June 28, 2010 02:11 am

    nice article...
    it helped a lot...... for me....

  • Scott

    April 24, 2010 04:56 am

    Nice article, very well written and thanks for taking the time to write it.[eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottmichaels/3799305541/' title='Fort Pitt Bridge at Night' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2488/3799305541_ede2e0dedb.jpg']

  • Pam

    April 23, 2010 10:03 pm

    Great 'motion blur' advice! With my old film slr I used to take waterfalls with blur, but find I cant do this with my compact digital camera in daylight as they are all over exposed so a filter may help. I also used to like the wider range of dof achieveable with the bigger range of aperture settings on my slr. Do you know of any compacts with a wide range of aperture settings? (Hope I've got the terminology right!)

  • Aldine Yates

    April 16, 2010 02:36 pm

    Hi. Absolutely brilliant site, many thanks. I cannot access flicker in Dubai unfortunately, but love the information. You are obviously passionate about photograpy :)

  • Grant Perry

    April 10, 2010 10:37 am

    Nice job. Great easy instructions. Cheers.

  • tony

    March 31, 2010 03:42 pm

    Another use for motion blur is to get around privacy issues on photos submitted to stock libraries. Most will not accept rights-managed submissions that show recognisable people (without a model release). Taking shots at low speed (using a tripod, of course) should render faces unrecognisable.

  • Lucile

    March 25, 2010 04:03 am

    When I'm panning a moving train do I keep on pressing down on the shutter burron as the train is moving?

  • martyn

    March 9, 2010 10:02 pm

    ND filters are mainly used in daytime to stop the highlights blowing out on long exposures or if you have a bright sky and dark foreground you would use a ND grad to mask the bright sky so your picture is properly exposed,
    In the digital age most people just bracket the shots and merge in PS, you could use them at night but usually there is no need and the result could be that your pics are too dark. cheers martyn

  • john

    March 9, 2010 05:47 am

    Great article! Everything I learned about motion blur, I learned here. Thanks. I have a question. I love shooting motion blur but mostly shoot at night (never tried daytime motion blur). I've heard that neutral density filters help greatly with motion blur and this article even mentions them. But is that mostly for daytime shots or should it be used for nightime shots as well?

  • Kat

    February 10, 2010 01:18 pm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/13882829@N07/4345279330/

  • Kat

    February 10, 2010 12:55 pm

    Queen's Royal College, Trinidad
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/13882829@N07/4345279330/' title='IMG_0264' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2749/4345279330_f2673654e5.jpg']

  • martyn

    January 3, 2010 10:09 pm

    lil miss the quality of camera doesnt matter so much for fast shutter speeds, although a dlsr should give you better picture quality over a point and shoot, the size of the sensor can make a huge difference when blurring the background in camera, for instance using a point and shoot at F2.8 aperture would hardly blur the background but on a dlsr with bigger sensor it is easy to do,
    some point and shoots allow you to use manual settings, so that means the shot above is possible with one, i would say something like F16,10 sec exposure, iso 100 would give similar results,
    lastly the shutter speed exposure is controlled by light when on auto, if its a dark day the shutter speed will be slower to get correct exposure (by going slower it allows more light to access the sensor), the only two ways to get the shutter to go faster is either by upping the iso (the higher the iso the bigger the risk of noise on your pics) ,the other way is lowering the aperture (F stop), the risk from this that the depth of field (bit thats in sharp focus) becomes narrower when you lower the F stop,
    hope that helps a bit, cheers martyn

  • lilmiss

    January 3, 2010 04:01 pm

    so, what camera is best for fast shutter speed camera with a really good picture quality!?

  • Samir Ibrahim

    December 17, 2009 08:10 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/83492337@N00/3841771211/' title='Lightspeed' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2486/3841771211_9e947999cf.jpg']

  • Cecile

    November 19, 2009 06:42 pm

    Everything just clicked into place with this article, i found it so useful, now just want to go try it all out. Thanks!

  • Irshad

    November 1, 2009 07:17 am

    Hi Darren,
    Your articles are really helpful and practicable for new comers like me. It really ecourages people like me as your instructions and explanations are in layman style. Thanks to the patience of the 'real pro' as well. Again, thanks Darren :)[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/29685313@N07/4054346448/[/img]

  • meera

    October 26, 2009 08:51 pm

    hi ..you r very helpful to me...always encouraging ,your tips and all .thank you

  • martyn

    October 25, 2009 10:02 pm

    no probs, i am not a great flickr fan but i did enjoy the master of the decisive moment getting a real slating.
    the comments are well worth reading.cheers martyn
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrerabelo/70458366

  • Iain

    October 25, 2009 08:12 pm

    Cheers Martin!

  • Pigon

    October 24, 2009 01:36 am

    Great tips! ND filters are great but it always bugged me why they are so expensive :)

    Here are 2 of my motion blur photography shots I'd like to share with you:

    Main subject - not moving - the movement is all in the background (passing by bus):
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/piotr_golebiowski/3976944655/

    Example of the "pan and zoom" technique - picture shot from a moving vehicle, the main subject is panned (followed by with the lens) and the lens zoomed in all at the same time:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/piotr_golebiowski/3968293317/

    Take care!

  • martyn

    October 24, 2009 01:10 am

    iain you can add blur after the event with things like photoshop,
    this pic was formed using radial blur tool in photoshop
    http://www.fotothing.com/martynb/photo/2f798aaea5151255cff79e61ecfd70f9/
    barryl you need a prog like photoshop to reduce the size (i think something like 1280 x 1024 pixels is max but you can as little as 800 x 600), thinks like picassa and gimp are free if you dont have photoshop,
    another easy way to resize is upload your pic to photobucket, it gives you the option to resize as you upload it and also has software that allows you to alter your pics once uploaded, then its just a question of right click and save back to your comp . hope this helps,.cheers martyn

  • Hagen

    October 23, 2009 10:54 pm

    Trying again (slow learner), thanks for the request Martyn.

    Panning and long exposure example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4034357083/
    Zoom example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4034366457/
    quick panning at noon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4035134570/

    I've also subsequently added several day-time car images from Gatineau Park

    zoom example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4035384090/
    panning: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4035386854/
    panning: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4035386976/

    The last two are good examples of differences in speed. Both were at the same car speed: 30km/h and both with the same camera settings (f16, 1/30 sec). However since the Maserati (the second shot) was another car length or so closer, I'm panning much faster, giving more apparent "speed"

    Barryl - in whatever program you are using, look for the command "crop". Hopefully that tidbit helps.

    Cheers,
    hagen

  • BarryL

    October 23, 2009 10:21 pm

    Mot sure if this is the right place, but how does one reduce the size of a photo that was taken. I want to use it as a background on my desktop, but it way to large . New to digital. Thanks to all.

  • Iain

    October 23, 2009 06:20 pm

    Any tips for creating motion blur using a compact digital with no aperture or shutter speed priorities, only pre-defined scene settings, ISO changing and EV compensation?
    Cheers, Iain

  • Raffix Alias

    October 23, 2009 01:13 pm

    Thanks Darren for your tips!!! :)

  • martyn

    October 23, 2009 07:39 am

    right click didnt work for me hagen maybe just post the complete link to each pic would be good , that way i can just right click and open in new tab.cheers nomad

  • MIchael

    October 23, 2009 03:39 am

    I think that I will start playing with the long exposure a little, having recently bagged a triumph, (for me) at our local Carnival in Dunmow, Essex.

    Thanks again for the great tips

    Michael

    [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoonie-eu/3934591395/[/img]

  • Hagen

    October 23, 2009 02:12 am

    Hmm, that didn't work as planned. Right click on each image to go to the flickr page or flickr.com/hagenhohn/

  • Hagen

    October 23, 2009 02:11 am

    As passed on to me by Harry Nowell, there are 3 types of motion: blur, frozen and implied. You've mostly got blur here and there is several other ways to capture: 1. move the camera either to introduce the motion or to pan the subject, 2. zoom in/out.

    Even on a very sunlit day, setting the camera at 1/30 or 1/15 of a second and moving the camera can introduce nice blur without over exposure. 1/3 of a second takes even less motion of the camera.

    Panning and long exposure example: [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4034357083/[/img]
    Zoom example: [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4034366457/[/img]
    quick panning at noon: [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/hagenhohn/4035134570/[/img]

  • Paul Drumm

    October 23, 2009 02:05 am

    Thanks Darren for another useful post! I had lots of fun trying to capture motion while in Paris last year.

    Here are my two favorite shots:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/drummp2/2944762304/in/set-72157612434970409/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/drummp2/2943899137/in/set-72157612434970409/

  • Aamer

    October 20, 2009 12:37 pm

    My motion blur example of the marathon runners

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=run&w=8886642%40N02&m=tags

  • Eric

    October 20, 2009 08:03 am

    Another great technique for creative blur is to use a zoom lens and rotate in or out during exposure. I've done quite a few of these hand held with very cool results. As with other blurring techniques shutter speed needs to be slowed down but it's surprising how even at 1/2 a second you can create dramatic effects from mundane subjects like a bush. I now take my ND filters everywhere. Took these yesterday. No post processing...right off the card. Sony Alpha 700 with a 24-250 tele. x6nd with a polarizer on top because it was bright out. In other words the light was bad. Shutter speeds were all over the place. Fun to play with. www.pb-ranch.com/blur.

  • Joe

    October 19, 2009 08:58 am

    I've subscribed to a few photograghy news letters and Digital Photograghy School (Darren Rowse) is the only one I still read and do research from as well as learn any thing from, thank you! I can spend as much time as I want reading,researching and learning without anything or one trying to sell me anything! Wow! I have to actually search for that, thank you. Don't ever stop, the world of photograghy would suffer.
    You are a child of the universe,no less than the trees and the stars and you compliment that greatly...
    Peace be with You brother
    Rev. Joe
    Caretakers of the Holy Garden

  • Phottix Journal | Steve

    October 19, 2009 08:43 am

    All great ideas. Getting a crisp image when trying to capture motion blur can be extremely difficult. Make sure you have a big memory card and a lot of time to practice.

  • martyn

    October 18, 2009 11:49 pm

    thanks for your comments, heres a couple more
    http://www.nomadphoto.co.uk/mexican%20dance/slides/DSC_7693r.html
    http://www.nomadphoto.co.uk/02.04.09/slides/DSC_6886r.html
    i left the exif data in to show the camera settings,cheers martyn

  • Mario

    October 18, 2009 11:13 pm

    @martyn

    Beautiful work.

  • Mario

    October 18, 2009 11:11 pm

    Here are some that I did a while ago.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/streetghost/3068505344/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/streetghost/3243145200/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/streetghost/2710481615/

  • sbunting108

    October 18, 2009 07:57 am

    Great tips I knew all them before but you have drilled them further into my brain and given me a reminder to try some motion blur photography!

  • CoolClicks (Mouli)

    September 9, 2009 08:20 pm

    Check my picture, shot during a race event... 600CC bike on its full speed...

    From Road Race (Processed)

  • Joe

    August 26, 2009 01:26 am

    This is just AWESOME. I've been looking for a good resource to learn about different techniques etc. I'm completely new to anything other than simply point-shoot photography...I've tried other things before but never had success and really was discouraged. This site is exactly what I've been looking for. GREAT STUFF! Thanks!

  • martyn

    May 19, 2009 07:18 am

    i specialise in dance movement, always looking for new ideas and tips,heres a few of my favourites.cheers martyn
    http://www.nomadphoto.co.uk/30.09.08/slides/DSC_3978r.html
    http://www.nomadphoto.co.uk/05.03.08/slides/DSC_4705r.html
    http://www.nomadphoto.co.uk/26.11.07/slides/El%20Matador.html

  • Darren Rowse

    March 26, 2009 10:37 am

    Markal - as I said in my email to you I've removed the image and apologize. I don't know how it happened as we work hard to keep images used on this site CC licensed. The process we use to get images from Flickr stops us from using all rights reserved images - so I'm confused how this happened.

    Any chance you changed your licence sine this was originally published in 2007? That's the only explanation I can think of.

  • Tammy Wight

    March 1, 2009 03:26 am

    Your tips have helped me tremendously, I've learned more one on one, than I did when I took photojournalism. They were not in depth enough with some of this stuff. Thank you very much know it is very appreciated!!

    Tammy <3 :-)

  • Sendy

    February 13, 2009 01:12 am

    it was a great post....and this paper really help me when i took some photos in my schools's basketball competion,,,thx..

  • Sime

    January 25, 2009 02:30 am

    markal - I'm sure Darren will have an explanation, I know for a fact he only ever uses photos that are CC - I'll alert him to your post, please accept my apologies.

    Sime

  • markal

    January 24, 2009 10:28 pm

    Since my photograph is identified on Flickr as "all rights reserved" and not a CC license, don't you think it might have been nice if you had asked me before using my photo on your site? I thought that was the polite thing to do.

  • Kevin

    January 24, 2009 06:38 am

    Motion photography has always interested me. I think after reading this I'll experiment with this some between work.

  • Maureen

    January 22, 2009 03:22 am

    Question: I have been shooting my son's basketball games inside the Gymnasium. I've been shooting with a Nikon 70 - 200 mm, 2.8. The problem is that all my action shots are blurred, I want the players to be in focus. Also, I have been dealing with the yellow tint that is in all the photos. I have been working with the white balance in that area. Could you help by telling me how to achieve a more clear action shot where the players are NOT blurred.

    I appreciate any advise,

    Maureen

  • Nancy

    January 6, 2009 09:10 am

    omg! thank you so much!!
    this paper is huge and its due tomorrow
    thanxs!

  • Darren

    January 5, 2009 10:00 am

    I did Nancy - Darren Rowse is my name.

  • Nancy

    January 5, 2009 07:52 am

    i would like to know who wrote this blog so i could cite it correctly for my paper :)

  • bucky

    October 23, 2008 11:38 am

    well i have to say that i am new to this camera buisness, but i have a question, i am looking to purchase a video camera, i want to be able to slow things down, (slomo) after i shoot them, but i also want to do this shutter thing, im sure i cant do both on one thing but what is a good camera or good advice to buy. i dont want something super high speed to slow down bullets, i would like it to still be practical... any advice would help, email me at eat_it_its_good_for_you@hotmail.com ... thanks

  • Jinky

    October 18, 2008 05:59 am

    hi, i want to manually change the settings of my speed shutter, but I don't know how, I'm using sony dsc t50, can you show me how to modify it? I want to capture fast movements like games in badminton...
    thank you so much.

  • maya

    December 6, 2007 06:19 am

    this was good review.. now i need to try it again

  • sal colpitts

    September 6, 2007 04:48 am

    i love photography

  • Tom

    September 4, 2007 02:40 am

    There some great examples of motion blur pics taken by moving the camera rather than the subject in the "cameratoss" group on Flickr - literally taken by throwing the camera!: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/cameratoss

  • goshort

    September 3, 2007 12:56 am

    human mind needs something different. to catch shots normally is a general practice. but panning, blur etc does a different approach and look and above all experimentation becomes the theme. thank u for introducing to a new approach which is more exciting than normal photo-taking.

  • Paul @ http://www.photographyvoter.com

    September 1, 2007 11:59 pm

    Great article on a really fun subject. You can get some really great shots of moving traffic at night, here's my efforts.. http://www.flickr.com/photos/50277096@N00/268109264/

    Seen at www.photographyvoter.com

  • Brian Auer

    September 1, 2007 03:51 pm

    You can also move the camera to freeze (mostly) a moving subject while blurring the surroundings.

  • Sunset

    August 31, 2007 11:37 am

    Hi Klew I am interested in the sun glasses trick. Can you post on here so I can try it too. thanks

  • Pernod

    August 30, 2007 09:36 pm

    I think theres one very important rule for capturing motion blur that hasn't been mentioned...

    Focus on the subjects eyes.

    If your trying to capture movement, often the thing that can separate it from an average shot to a fantastic shot is capturing the eyes in focus. For eg. My favorite 'crowd' shot has a protest marching by (with motion blur), and a police man in the middle with eyes perfectly still.

    Likewise, heres one I captured a week or so ago... the face being in focus makes the photo 'just work' despite everything else moving. http://flickr.com/photos/heenan/1197094606/

    Motion blur is very powerful for conveying atmosphere, but don't loose sight of some of the other tips on this site at the same time :-)

  • J. Sanders

    August 30, 2007 08:21 pm

    Nice article. I tried last week something on Times square. But it was in the middle of the day. This caused overexposure. I Think at least an ND filter was realy needed.

  • Darren

    August 30, 2007 07:29 am

    Svetlyak 40wt - not at this point - we will do some translation versions at some point but not yet. Thanks for the offer though.

  • klew

    August 30, 2007 07:13 am

    I've often used the sunglasses trick, especially when on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Lots of people don't know what their camera can do, and learned some new techniques that trip. How about the sensor "light sensitivity" level? It sometimes appears as "EV" settings (plus or minus). Does adjusting that down help with getting motion blur without overexposing?

  • AC

    August 30, 2007 05:37 am

    Really cool snaps. I'll have to try these out soon ^_^

  • Svetlyak 40wt

    August 30, 2007 05:05 am

    Hi, Darren. Do you want to publish your articles under any Creative Commons license? I want to translate some articles in russian.

  • Rebecca

    August 30, 2007 02:46 am

    Fantastic! I just experimented with motion blur last weekend and was mostly unhappy with the results! This comes at a perfect time for me! ;-) Thanks!

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