Motion Studies Part 2

Setting up for dangerous stunt–Thanks to one of my students Tabatha King who shared this with me. I’m manually focusing on the doll in this picture. The aperture set at f22 should give me plenty of depth-of-field providing I don’t vary the distance of the doll from my arm too much. You may have to experiment on some settings like focal length, shutter speeds and how fast you are spinning around.

An imagination is important.

I wrack my brains a lot on how best to show what the camera sees when we make certain choices of aperture versus shutter–the ho-hum basics, I know.

My trial and error approach can cause me to literally fall on my face if I’m not careful.

I can stand powerpoint lectures in small doses myself.

Besides, whenever I turn down the lights in the classroom, I can count on losing a small number to text messaging, Farmville, Facebook, websurfing and sleep. (in no particular order)

Who am I to compete against that? The web is more addicting than crack cocaine.

If you’re bored, and there’s nothing interesting to make pictures of, try this.

You’ll need:

  • your camera with some sort of wide angle lens (anything shorter in focal length than 35mm)
  • a doll with a long fabric like a scarf or anything interesting
  • lots of room to spin


Points to consider

Besides the Dramamine or motion sickness medication, your success will depend a lot on

  • how consistent you are when you’re spinning yourself around
  • the shutter speed
  • the focal length of your lens, longer lenses exaggerate the blur, short requires more motion
  • when your release the shutter. As you approach a background that’s lit different from the doll, it stands out more. Try to aim for that.
  • consider wearing long sleeves with a dark color. If you’re pale like I am, your complexion will draw the attention away from your subject that you’re spinning around

Try to change one variable at a time as you experiment.

That’s it. Have fun. If you can’t hack this sort of spinning, get on a merry-go-round or carousel with your camera and try this.

Let me know in comments if you think I’ve been smoking too much crack for coming up with something like this. Related posts: