Category Archives: 03b- Shutter speeds

Photographing movement-shutter speeds

The aim of this exercise was to use my camera’s shutter speeds to photograph movement. This required a subject (rather unsurprisingly) that moves. I chose to photograph someone riding a bike at a beach side setting. While the background does contain a few structures in the distance I still consider it simple enough not to detract from the subject of the photograph.

I set the camera on a  tripod and took a series of shots, adjusting the shutter speed each time, as the bicycle rider cycled back and forth. I selected Shutter priority on my camera to ensure that the camera would select a suitable aperture for each shot.

I started with a shutter speed of 1/400.

1. 55mm, F5.6, ISO 100 1/400

At this shutter speed there is little sense of movement. Each spoke in the bicycle wheel is visible and the cyclist appears static.

2. 55mm, F9, ISO 100, 1/200

With the shutter speed set to 1/200 there is no immediate sense of movement in the photograph. Again, the spokes in the wheels of the bicycle are visible. However, when you look closely there is a a little blurring around the cyclist’s foot as he pedals. This was the slowest shutter speed I used which rendered the subject relatively sharp.

As the shutter speed gets slower there is some very obvious blurring both with the cyclist and bicycle.

3. 55mm, F11, ISO 100, 1/125

4. 55mm, F14, ISO 100, 1/80

5. 55mm, F16, ISO 100, 1/60

6. 55mm, F20, ISO 100, 1/40

The blurring increased as I slowed the shutter speed down from 1/125 to 1/80, then from 1/60 to 1/40 of a second. However, the back ground in each image has still remained fairly sharp.

7. 55mm, F22, ISO 100, 1/20

In this image the 1/20 s shutter speed has recorded motion blur with both the bicycle and the rider. It gives the impression of movement and speed.

8. 55mm, F32, ISO 100, 1/15

The image taken with a 1/15 s shutter speed has recorded the subject with a high degree of motion blur. While this image does relay the idea of movement it also appears somewhat abstract.

Using a slower shutter speed was effective in producing images with motion blur which I believe gives the impressions of movement and speed.

I will continue to experiment with shutter speeds in the next exercise.  I will also continue to photograph the cyclist at the beach side setting while panning with different shutter speeds.