Foto Focus – Creating Motion

If you want to create movement in a photograph you need to make use of a combination of methods. These include panning, as in tracking the movement of your subject, choice of shutter speed and to a degree aperture. What shutter speed you use will depend on the speed your subject is moving, or the speed of the moving parts that will create the movement.  Shutter speed is your main variable, it controls the amount of visible blur. Panning allows you to create a point of focus in your subject which is always or most often desirable, and will also blur the background. Aperture needs to be adjusted to give you the correct exposure at the shutter speed selected and smaller apertures will separate your now blurred subject from the background if there is insufficient motion blur to do this. The name of the game is experimentation, set your camera to manual, set your shutter release on motor drive, set your lens focus on manual, pre focus on a point at which you anticipate your subject moving through, set your aperture that it will give enough depth of focus to give you a margin of error. Adjust your shutter speed with each pass your subject makes remembering to adjust aperture or ISO at the same time. Adjust settings to suit and repeat, repeat, repeat.

Caption: Downhill racer, shutter speed was 1:160th of a sec, aperture f9.0 the technique used was panning to create focus in the excited faces. The snow splashing upward is blurred to indicate more movement than there might have been.