Control motion in your photography with your SHUTTER SPEED

In photography, adjusting your shutter speed is a fantastic way to add creativity to your photos. Of course, you should aim to set your shutter speed high enough to stop motion blur when taking portraits, landscapes, and photos of Fluffy. However, there is a time and place for slowing your shutter to add a sense of movement and speed.

Below I will show a few examples using my son and his two favorite activities; playing with monster trucks and riding his dirt bike. In the 1/1250th shot, there is no detectable movement. The tires on the colliding trucks are still.

Shutter Speed: 1/1250th

Here, in the 1/320th shot below, you see some motion in Benny’s hands as he lunges forward and in the trucks tires. It appears as if the tires are rotating. At this shutter speed, Benny rocketed his trucks fast enough for movement to be detected at 1/320th of a second!

Shutter Speed: 1/320th

In the shot below, at a snail’s pace 1/50th of a second, you can clearly see the wheel spin of the truck, as well as the motion blur caused by the panning of the camera. This is a fantastic shutter speed to use if you want to catch your children riding their bicycles, playing with the trucks, or anything with movement.

Shutter Speed: 1/50th

After playing in the house, we went outside. Again, another fantastic opportunity to slow the shutter down and capture some movement with fall foliage leaving streaks of color in the background. The first frame, I prefer the 1/800th shot where motion is frozen. The branches pointing down to him, the alley in the background, and the colors make this a nice shot without the movement.

Left Image: 1/800th – Right Image: 1/50th

Below, I LOVE the movement in this shot compared to the static, 1/800th of a second shot. The slower shutter shot is the clear winner here.

Left Image: 1/800th – Right Image: 1/50th

Again, in my opinion, the slower shutter, concentration on his face, and the locked up rear tire add style and pop to this image. As a father, capturing this shot, I’ll remember him giggle, and quickly asking me “did you see me sliding, daddy!?” for years to come!

Left Image: 1/800th – Right Image: 1/50th

If you’d like to watch the video I made breaking these shots down, watch the video below.

Follow this link to my Instagram for more examples:

Thank you,

Ryan Branscum


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