Monday, December 1, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Create Intentional Motion

Enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. The photo(s) in this post were taken by Russ.

Create Intentional Motion
Freezing a dramatic moment in time lends itself to creating a photo with impact. Many award winning sports images come to mind. There’s a very famous B&W shot of Muhammad Ali swinging his gloved fist across his body fiercely looking down on his fallen opponent. This frozen moment lasted only a fraction of a second and was expertly recorded. High ISO settings, lots of light, lenses with wide apertures, are just some of the necessary ingredients you’ll need. But in today’s world of instant and fast everything, I encourage you to take a step back in time, mellow out, and slow down the pace - let the motion show.

As with freezing a moment in time, creating intentional blurs requires necessary photographic ingredients. Low ISO settings are a good start combined with neutral density filters. A polarizer also helps reduce the amount of light. Depending on the effect you wish to create, a zoom lens may be a necessity. It’s better if the ambient light is not intense as it will allow you to shoot with slower shutter speeds.

The accompanying photo is a straight forward zoom shot of lights in an amusement park. With a 70-210mm lens I set my camera to fire a two second exposure. I began the zoom at the 70mm setting and slowly zoomed the lens to the 200mm setting. I timed it so when I was all the way out, the word THUNDER would record with some sharpness.


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.

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