Week 2 – Capturing Motion

This week’s assignment was all about the different ways to capture motion. There are basically 5 different methods:

  • Slow shutter – Using a slow shutter speed (and tripod) allows any moving object to become blurred while all of the stationary objects remain in focus.
  • Fast shutter – Utilizing a fast shutter speed enables you to freeze a moving object with little or no blur.
  • Panning – Using a slightly slower shutter speed (say around 1/15 sec, or so), and following the object’s motion by panning with the camera allows the object to stay in focus while the background is blurred.
  • Ghosting – Much easier to do in low light, adjust the f-stop and shutter speed for the correct exposure in that light, but then turn on the flash. Front curtain flash (when the flash fires as the shutter opens, the default setting) causes there to be blur in front of the object. Rear curtain flash (when the flash fires just before the shutter closes) causes blur behind the object.
  • Intentional blur – Could be really anything, intentionally shaking the camera, open up the shutter for a long exposure and move the camera around, or zoom the lens in or out during the exposure.

Our assignment this week was to come up with four shots of each type. And then of those, pick our best three (or our best of each type). I ran out of time so I don’t have an intentional blur that I am very happy with. But here are some of the others that I liked with descriptions below the gallery.

[galleria transition=”fade” height=”340″ width=”512″ autoplay=”true” type=”dots”]

Image 1: Fast shutter

Captured these geese down at Alki just as they were coming in for a landing. The shutter speed was 1/400 of a second with an f-stop of 5.6.

Image 2: Another fast shutter

Went to the Sounders’ match early and caught some of the pre-match warm up. Shutter speed was 1/3200 sec also at f/5.6.

Images 3 & 4: Ghosting

I did two different versions of flour falling from a sifter – one using rear curtain and one with front curtain flash. In the rear curtain shot (Image 3), you can see on the right side where the blur is trailing behind the bigger chunks of falling flour. Exposure was 1/13 sec at f/5.6. Whereas in the front curtain flash (Image 4), the blur is in front of the falling flour, which makes it look like it is rising instead of falling through the frame. Exposure was 1/8 sec at f/13.

Images 5 & 6: Panning

Here are a couple panning shots of some low flying geese. Both were shot with an exposure of 1/15 sec at f/22.


  1. Laurie Lavrack

    You have your own website now. Sweet! My favorite is the 2nd shot of the geese. Looks like you are taking a good class now. What was week one’s assignment?

    • Thanks! Week one was pretty wide open. Just set everything to manual and go shoot. You can get to all of the previous posts by navigating to the home page. I only included one shot from that assignment. But there’s also another post from my whale watching trip near Victoria, BC last year.

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