Monday, July 9, 2012
Create Intentional Blurs
Intentional blurs have a number of uses and require some essential photographic ingredients
Freezing a dramatic moment in time results in a photo with impact. Many award winning sports images come to mind. There's a very famous B&W shot of Muhammad Ali swinging his gloved fist across his body fiercely looking down on his fallen opponent. This frozen moment lasted but a fraction of a second and was expertly recorded. High ISO's, lots of light, lenses with wide apertures, are just some of the necessary ingredients you'll need. But in today's world of instant and fast everything, I encourage you to take a step back in time, mellow out, and slow down the pace - let the motion be more poetic and fluid.
As with freezing a moment in time, intentional blurs require necessary photographic ingredients. Low ISO settings are a good start. If your lowest ISO doesn't allow a slow enough shutter speed, add neutral density filters. A polarizer also helps reduce the amount of light. Depending on the effect you wish to create, a zoom lens may be a necessity to create radial lines that appear when zooming the lens during the exposure. It's better if ambient light levels are low to shoot with slower shutter speeds.
In the images of the bicyclist, there's a significant difference in the depicted motion. The one that shows the frozen moment in time looks as if he could be standing still balancing the bicycle in place. There's no dynamic to it. It was made at 1/500th of a second as he rode past me. The fast shutter speed froze every aspect of motion. On the other hand, the panned shot portrays greater action and movement. It was made at 1/4 of a second while I panned the camera with the rider. Motion is shown in the tires, his feet, legs and background. I did use a tripod with the panning knob very loose for both shots. I didn't want to introduce potential up and down movement as a result of hand holding the camera.
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