Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Effectively Using Deliberate Motion Blur

Let's face it, we are at times limited by creating art within a two dimensional medium. Sometimes photos can feel a bit 'lifeless', especially when what we photographed was moving. I've already discussed the technique of panning, which is a tremendous way to add life to your photos (read that tutorial here:

But conditions do not always warrant a full pan. Sometimes we just want to show that things were moving when we captured the scene. Doing so is really rather simple. It just requires you to really focus on technique.

First, slow your shutter down to somewhere near 1/25th of a second. Your shutter speed will vary depending on how much movement you want to show. I personally like when the majority of the scene is sharp and just a small part of the photo has motion blur on it. Once you've selected your desired shutter speed, be sure to think about holding still when you press the shutter. Remember, this shutter speed is most likely slower than you normally shoot. So just be aware.

Below are some examples where I've utilized deliberate motion blur:

My son was playing the Wii and I really liked how his hands were moving. So I selected 1/30th for my shutter speed and waited for him to "hit the ball".

Same concept below. This was shortly after Santa brought he Wii.

Later that same night :)

After writing this post, I realize that I need to do this more!

Good luck! Keep documenting!



  1. I love your photos, how wonderful to have them. Your grandma in the pants photos looks like she was having a great day. You can see her personality coming out. I bet she was a funny. Thank you for sharing.

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