Motion Blur: My First Creativity Exercise

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For those in the photography world that don’t know, (but many of you already know), there are TONS & TONS of photography related blogs/websites out there!  Many of which I follow on a daily basis.  One of which is called Clickinmoms,yes I know, I’m not a mom…yet…but aspiring moms can be photographers too! (hehe)  Anyway, my New Years Resolution to myself was to join their forum and become a lifetime member and it was the BEST DECISION ever!!!  There are loads of information, videos, & links, there are workshops you can take, and the best of all, the SUPPORT you get from others is amazing!  Everyone is learning, doesn’t matter if you are a Pro or a newbie with a point and shoot.  It is a place where you can have others critique your work and give you feedback, or a space to just share what you are doing, and best of all, just ask questions about anything and everything!

As I was perusing through the forum one night I stumbled upon a few posts labeled Creativity Exercise, each with a number attached to it.  Along this journey of mine, I have been so focused on making sure my settings were correct, my exposure was perfect and so worried about getting it right each time in camera that I was missing out on the chance to be creative!  I have already had the opportunity to assistant in 2 weddings this year (with no pressure attached–meaning I can just shoot away and if the main photographer likes some of my pictures she can/will use them!)  Fantastic, right?…I get to build my portfolio without the stress of the bride & groom killing me!  This was my opportunity to shoot outside the box, be creative, find my own style, play with the light, my shutter speed, & my depth of field…but I had been too focused on doing the wrong things, getting in the way of guests, and being intrusive that I was hesitate to try.

So that ends today!  I’m hoping to do this weekly, but life does get in the way, so monthly might be more realistic!

This is where I am going pick a different technique and practice my skills, so when it comes time to use them in a high-pressure, stressful situation, I’ll be able to utilize them effectively!!  That’s the plan at least!

So before this becomes to long of a post, I want to show you my first technique.  MOTION BLUR!  I coach track in the spring and what better way to practice motion blur than on moving children!

So there are two times of Motion Blur you can shoot:

1.  The subject can be blurred and the background is in focus.  (For example, someone running, cars moving down a highway…(Example) *most popular and easier; keep focused on the background, tripods can/should be used if shutter speed gets to low.


2.  The background is blurred and your subject is in focus.  (A couple dancing while people move (blurred) around them) *the key is to track your subject while it’s moving to keep them in focus and the background blurry  (in my case, the runner on the track).

Both give a neat effect when done right; just think of things around you that move!  Rides at the fair, cars on the road, water flowing, & moving children!!  One thing to keep in mind is your settings:  to capture movement you want a slow shutter speed (I started with 1/30 and make adjustments from there.  *I shoot in manual which allows me to customize my settings depending on the environment).  Remember too, when using a slower shutter speed you have to adjust your aperture to capture correct exposure… a smaller opening is key, or higher number, for example F11 or F13.

My Creations:

1.  200, 1/40, F16

2.   200, 1/15, F13

Now it’s your turn!  Happy Shooting!

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