Motion Blur Exercise – Mike W

Another 100 or so attempts at trying to capture the effect of motion blur (camera movement). These two are the best I was able to do, in my opinion, though I’m still not where I’d like to be.

Date23 Feb 2010
CameraNikon D300
LensTamron 17-50mm  f2.8
Liveview FocusNo
Mirror UpNo
Remote ShutterNo
f22 2.0 sec Manual Focus Spot Meter Vertical Pan
f22 2.0 sec Manual Focus Spot Meter Vertical Pan

0 thoughts on “Motion Blur Exercise – Mike W”

  1. Thanks, Ed. I actually did pretty much what you suggest. I tried 3 different subjects; hand-held and tripod; .5 sec to 4 sec; vertical pan up, down, up and down, zoom in, zoom out. Not all techniques on all subjects, but tried most on the tulips. As you said, there’s a lot to try/learn with this technique. I appreciate the time you take to teach us! – Mike W

  2. Getting there. It does take lots of tries. I’d suggest doing tests in groups of 5-10 tries. Within each group try radically different camera motion than you used for the other groups – but all generally the same within a group (keep notes as to what the general motion was like for each group – unless your memory is better than mine). When you’ve done at least 10 really different motion types, look at the results on your PC and – the best that I can say is “learn from the experience”. Doing lots of shots all with just vertical pan, for example, isn’t the most effective a learning tool. Go REALLY CRAZY with some & you may be surprised.
    Motions to try – smooth motion throughout the time the shutter is open (start moving even before you release the shutter and pan the entire time) vs. release, pause, pan vs. release, pan, pause (where the fraction of the shutter open time that you pause is a variable) should all be tried as panning options. With *each* of these panning options, for growing subjects like your tulips, you should try panning from low to high and from high to low – they each give a distinctly different look due to on the direction the blur goes – and whether it appear at the top or bottom of your tulip. Blur at the bottom and tulip at the top looks more like “growing” than vice versa. Also, panning the tulips vertical vs. horizontal for all of the above is worthwhile to try. If you take the camera off the tripod, try for an “S” curve, or pan toward the flowers (or away). In all of these motion cases try it three different way – a little motion, medium amount, big movement. Then of course there’s the fundamental parameter for all of this – the actual shutter speed.
    A tip for both this version of camera motion and the multiple exposure type – Before shooting with some planned motion type, look through your viewfinder at BOTH extremes of the motion. The idea here is to ensure that you neither 1) cut off something important nor 2) introduce some distracting element (often a blown out highlight at the top if you’re panning outdoors and the sky/sun is an issue). As I mentioned in an earlier motion lesson, composition is just as important in these images as with normal images (composition in this case meaning a) what is in the frame and b) where things are placed in the frame).
    If you try all of the combinations/permutations suggested above it will keep you busy for a while – maybe longer than the tulips last 😉

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