Tag Archives: motion

Low light action photography Part 1

Even at a shutter speed of 1/800 sec, Indonesian badminton player Taufik Hidayat's racquet registers as a blur. Badminton, the fastest racquet sport, is one of the toughest to shoot because no flash is allowed and the gyms are usually not very bright. I used a Canon 40D, a 85mm 1.2 L lens, ISO 1600 at the U.S. Open 2 years ago.

Now that DSLRs are in the hands of more and more 1st-time camera owners, I’ve noticed this question come up a lot.

I’ve tried to photograph my son’s basketball games, but all my pictures are blurry. How do I get better pictures with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel?

Continue reading Low light action photography Part 1

Studying Motion at Milestone Mx1


Edgar Lano used a zoom set at 100mm and an exposure of 1/60 sec @ f20, ISO 400 to pan this youngster

In the all-important basic lesson about studying motion and shutter speeds, we met at a Milestone Mx—a dirt bike riding track.

Stopping action is simply using a fast shutter speed, timing when to release the shutter and picking a peak action moment.


Peak action captured by Esmeralda at a place like Milestone Mx requires careful selection of camera angles to eliminate cluttered backgrounds and distractions like powerlines. ISO 100 1/500 sec @ f5.6.

Panning is a little trickier.

But Milestone Mx is excellent not just because the dirt bike riders love the attention, but there are varying levels of skills.

The more skillful ones will actually "hotdog it" or show off for folks with cameras

The riders  just go around and around the track in the same direction pretty much predictably along the same path.

That means my lots of chances great for practicing.

Continue reading Studying Motion at Milestone Mx1

More spinning to create illusion of speed


Doesn't this look like Diego Corona was really moving when he took this picture? And doesn't it appear like Kodi, his model was hanging on for dear life? Well, the camera does deceive. Diego's exposure was 1/8 sec @ f25

Our 2nd attempt to see who would toss their cookies first, worked out better because the photo gods smiled on us.

For our purposes we didn’t want so much light.

With the sun out, even at our lowest ISO setting, the lowest shutter speed we could shoot at was 1/30 sec @ f22.

(I know, I know I could have used a neutral density filter to give me the shutter speed I need. But I didn’t have enough to go around for my students)

The shutter speed itself isn’t the problem.

We were finding that to get a good blur, we had to really, really spin our subject fast. Needless to say, not everyone is cut out to be an astronaut.

On our 2nd attempt, I felt we needed to minimize the vertical movement of the camera.


Giving Rob a hand by stabilizing his tripod-mounted camera as we spin his lovely wife Thelma.

So some of us used a superclamp and others used a tripod for vertical stability.
Continue reading More spinning to create illusion of speed

Spinning to create illusion of speed

Spinning–Normally, this picture taken at 1/30 sec at f16 would have a whole lot depth-of-field especially since it was shot with a 17mm lens. The idea was to just have my subject Melissa sharp and the background blurred due to the motion of spinning her. For better results? I would use some sort of clamp to immobilize my camera in the vertical axis.

Imagination is something I lack.

Once in a while though, I surprise myself.

Most folks learn better if they actively do instead of sit passively and listen to their instructor go on and on in a darkened room.

Snore. I am more sensitive to this because among my favorite job descriptions is this one :

A professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep

Every semester that I teach this Introduction to Digital Photography class, I am finding more and more ways to make my students use their cameras in class.

I’m having them use their cameras not because the beauty surrounding my classroom location is so inspiring but mostly it’s to teach them hands-on some concepts.

You can see for yourself the beauty I’m immersed in when you look at the pictures. Continue reading Spinning to create illusion of speed