Monday, July 7, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Motion

Enjoy this week's "Instuctor's Tip" by award winning nature photographer Russ Burden:

Depicting movement in a still image has challenged photographers
since the advent of photography. After all, we’re shooting “stills,”
not “motions.” In order to portray motion, some sort of blurring and
movement of the subject needs to occur. If we think of fast moving
objects, words like, “It happened so fast it’s all a blur,” come to
mind. Ironically though, we’re taught that blurry photographs are not
good ones. So how can we successfully marry the concept of blur and

SLOW SHUTTER: Use a slow shutter speed to emphasize motion. The speed
of the motion dictates what shutter speed is needed. Digital
photography has made this so easy as you receive immediate feedback
as to whether or not the proper shutter speed was chosen.

STATIONARY/ BLUR COMBO: A very powerful way to portray movement is to
integrate both action and stillness in the same image. Look for
situations where key elements of the composition remain motionless
while others show lots of action. The classic example that comes to
mind is a train entering a station. A slow shutter will portray the
movement of the train, yet the people waiting for it to arrive remain

DASHBOARD EVENING: Get yourself to a city at dusk. The reason for
this specific time is there’s a good balance of both ambient and
artificial light. Rest the camera on your dashboard and point it out
the windshield. Drive around with the shutter open. Ideally you’ll
want a shutter speed of a few seconds. The longer the shutter is
open, the more streaks you’ll pick up from headlights, taillights,
and buildings.

- Russ

The photo(s) in this post were taken by Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

I'm enjoying all the helpful tips. We can all learn something new. :)

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