Move Your Camera to Create Motion Blur

Move Your Camera to Create Motion Blur


Here is another quick post from the our Breaking Rules of Photography series of posts – this time on moving your camera during exposure.

One of the most common tips that are given in photography tutorials is to ‘secure your camera’.

Usually the method is by attaching your camera to a tripod or monopod to avoid camera shake – however purposeful camera shake can actually give an image a sense of movement, excitement and energy. It can also result in shots with a more ‘candid’ or ‘voyeuristic’ feel.

You might want to do this simply by selecting a shutter speed that is slightly slower than normal and moving your camera during the exposure. In fact with even just slightly slower shutter speed than normal just trying to handhold your camera while taking your shot will probably give it the effect that you’re looking for.

In a sense, panning is an example of this – as is camera tossing…. (not for the faint hearted).

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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+.

Some Older Comments

  • erica September 2, 2011 12:03 pm

    Have just bought A Nikon D5000 dont know how to use it yet, could some one please tell me the( M )settings for Panning??
    thank you

  • Mei Teng August 28, 2009 06:44 pm

    Nice blur effect in the photo illustration. I must give this a try.

  • Jim Ryan January 1, 2009 08:51 am

    In reference to "Camera Tossing" in the article about moving your camera to create motion... Has anyone tried a more secure and less dangerous method of securing your DSL to a bungie cord and letting it fly? I havent tried it yet but intend to. I'm wondering what the results might look like as compared to the worrysome method of just tossing it up and hoping for a good catch.

  • Shakti Nanda April 17, 2008 07:26 pm

    I mostly use my 2 mega pix mobile phone for taking pictures. i tried the above and it worked grate

  • GIRISH PANCHAL March 6, 2008 05:19 pm

    Pl.tell me about how to do blurre photography, & what`s the setting of camera, I am using Nikon D40X

  • Andrey Yanevich September 6, 2007 05:25 pm

    thanks, Darren! :)

  • Darren September 6, 2007 07:08 am

    Sorry about that Andrey - it's fixed now!

  • Dmitry Kolchev September 6, 2007 07:07 am

    Please, change the image title. This photo doesn't belong to Johnny Blood. This shot has been made by my fiend. His name is Andrew. Thank you.

  • Andrey Yanevich September 6, 2007 12:03 am

    Chris Coyier: Yes, it's not a Johnny Blood photo because of this photo is mine :) I already sent a message to Darren Rowse about this mistake and hope he correct this mistake soon,
    Andrey (aka klevo! @ flickr)

  • Luca September 5, 2007 05:24 pm

    Nice idea, in fact sometimes make a blur shot create a great image, greater than a sharp one. Unfortunatly, my camera has not manual focus zoom, so i can't make that kind of photos that i would like to do... :-(

  • 10668844 September 5, 2007 01:03 am

    A helpful post, thank you.

    Even though it is not digital, I still enjoy using a Lomo to take interesting motion shots.

  • Brian Auer September 4, 2007 05:06 pm

    Taking pictures from a moving car is also a lot of fun -- especially if it's dark outside and there are lots of lights around.

  • xlt September 4, 2007 04:17 pm

    Yeah, i use this technique sometimes. Other possibility is to use zoom when taking photo (with slow shutter speed).

  • Chris Coyier September 4, 2007 10:40 am

    Cool technique =)

    Just wanted to point out I don't think that's a Johnny Blood photo (even those his photos are also amazing!).