Saturday, February 16, 2008

Conveying motion

Ok, here is one of my favorite pictures of my son Sawyer. You'll be hard-pressed to get this photo shooting in 'auto'. The basic idea is that you want to use a slow shutter-speed and track the subject with the camera, this will give you a relatively sharp subject with a motion blurred background. You'll probably need to try this shot 4-6 times to get 'just the right shot'. Here are some more details on how I got his shot:
  • Shooting mode: Tv - this let me choose the shutter-speed (slow) and the camera selected the correct aperture automatically.
  • Shutter-speed: 1/20th of a second. After experimenting, I found this shutter-speed gave me the best combination of 'subject in focus' and motion blur inthe background.
  • Focal length: 30mm. You want to use a pretty wide lens - this allows you to be closer to the subject. The closer to the subject the more motion you will generate tracking the subject -- and the more motion blur you will create.
  • Exposure compensation (EC): I dialed-in -1 stop of exposure compensation. The woods were dark and the meter wanted to try and make them 'bright'. EC told them camera to under-exposure by 1 stop.
  • white balance: I set the white-balance to 'shade' because I was in the shade.
  • No flash.
  • ISO 100
  • Shooting mode: single shot (continuous shooting would have been a good idea.)
  • Camera: Canon 5D
  • Lens: Canon 17-40 L f4

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