MOTION IS A LITTLE SOMETHING THAT I STARTED EXPERIMENTING WITH last year.    When I say that I started experimenting, what I really mean is that I dabbled with some panning, got lucky a few times with  a person in motion; and then there was the rodeo.

Most of my experiences with panning have been standing out on the side of the road shooting cars as they go by.   In order to do this, I shoot in shutter priority mode and let the camera decide on the aperture.   Depending on the speed of the object you are shooting, anywhere from 1/15 to 1/30 will work well.    Also, if you are shooting an auto focus lens, turn that off.  Although you can get some good shots using auto focus, it’s a crap shoot.   Manually focus to the area where you will be releasing the shutter and then that’s one thing less you have to worry about.

Don’t think that you have to stay with 90 degree angles either. You can obtain a great panning shot at smaller angles.

THEN COMES THE SUBJECT OF SHOOTING PEOPLE in motion.   This is not something that I have really experimented with a lot and most of what I have done has found its way into the recycle bin. Needless to say, I don’t consider myself to be one qualified to  give advice on this subject.  However, if I were to give one piece of advice, I would say to keep at it until you figure it out. I’m still trying.  I’ve had some luck using both aperture priority and shutter priority but luck is the appropriate word.

I HAD MY BEST LUCK SHOOTING MOTION while at the Bonner County Rodeo in Sandpoint, Idaho last August.   My best motion shots came after dark underneath the minimal stadium lighting that was available.  Because it was necessary for me to shoot between 1/80 and 1/120 in order to get the type of shots I wanted coupled with the stadium lighting being less than, shall we say “sufficient”,  it was necessary for me to make some adaptations.  In order to accomplish this, I set the ISO speed on my camera up to 3200.   I would have liked to have had it higher but at the time,  I didn’t know my camera could actually perform at that level.  Of course, that’s an entirely different story altogether.    That being said, I managed to get some fantastic motion shots.

Did you know how many different directions a Brahma (sometimes referred to as Bremer) Bull can twist all at the same time??

HERE IS THE COOLEST LESSON I LEARNED ABOUT MOTION that night.  (Totally by accident I might mention)  I have seen this done by photographers using a telephoto lens by lowering the focal length as the shutter is being depressed.  I however, found that this could also be done by moving very rapidly forward or as in this case, moving backward.   I didn’t even realize that the shot was going to come out like it did.  All I know was this bull spotted me standing on the edge of the chute and I became a target.  I managed to snap off a couple of shots as I was retreating further into the chute and this is what came out.

I’m not certain that this is something that I am going to do fairly regularly. I would like to keep at it until I figure out what works where and what doesn’t. I think that in my paradigm, motion is going to be something that fits into what it is I’m really shooting.

It sure is cool when it comes out right though!!


6 responses

  1. It’s fun to experiment.

    January 3, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    • Yes it is!! 😀

      January 5, 2012 at 12:19 AM

  2. Mike, this is a fantastic post and I really appreciate your tips. Its nice to be able to build on another photographer’s experience. Your examples really show the results of your hard work. Keep it up. These kinds of “This is what I tried and this is what seemed to work best” posts are very helpful to the rest of us “Learners”

    January 4, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    • Thanks for your support and your kind comments Tim. Until recently, I have not been comfortable enough in my own skin to think that I could come in here and give “lessons”. I agree with you though that we all learn from each other and the realization of that magic point broke through the facade. We all have something we can learn from each other.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:21 AM

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