Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge Week Eight: Motion
My children are constantly in motion.
I’m on a mission to record the memories we make, to forever freeze life’s fleeting moments; photographing everything from special occasions to the ordinary little details that fill our every day.
Like twirling in the grass on a warm summer afternoon.
Capturing those moments can be quite tricky when you’re photographing moving subjects like my four active children.
Freezing Your Subject
Freezing a moving subject while shooting in manual mode is best done in bright light. If your subject is coming directly toward you, a shutter speed of 1/250 sec should be sufficient. If your subject is moving from left to right or up and down, a shutter speed of at least 1/500 sec or 1/1000 sec will work just fine.
Simply select your shutter speed, then adjust your aperture until your camera’s light meter indicates a proper exposure and fire away. You’ll want to make the most of your shoot by taking as many shots as possible.
I had a blast shooting my 14-year old daughter, Alyssa. She was such a graceful jumper. I just loved watching her braids flop around in the air.
Our resident athlete – my 16-year old son, Andre – had so much fun with his shoot; striking a pose and flexing his muscles with nary a protest.
I can’t help but laugh at the expression on Andre’s face.
Though Maya’s face was partly covered in shadow, I absolutely love this shot. Her jump looks effortless and the non-chalant “I’m such an awesome jumper” look on her face totally captures her spunky spirit.
It almost looks as if she’s worshiping the sun.
I had so much fun shooting these jumps with my kids. They had a great time and their individual personalities really shined through. If you’d like to learn how to make your jumps look effortless and unique, head on over to Selfie Magic and read Elena’s great post overflowing with jumping tips and pics.
Panning Moving Subjects
Panning is described as the “act of following something moving with the camera so the moving person or object appears in focus while the world around it shows movement.”
In order to achieve the panning effects in the following photos, I used my camera’s shutter priority mode and brought my shutter speed down to 1/40 sec. My camera automatically adjusted the aperture for proper exposure so I fired at will. Over and over again.
Unfortunately these shots didn’t turn out as spectacularly as I had hoped, but I learned quite a bit while shooting them. For instance, I found it a lot more freeing to shoot without a tripod. Following my moving subject while holding my camera steady was a bit of a challenge, but turning my body along with my camera made a big difference and produced more fluid results. Following my subject before clicking the shutter button and after the shots were taken really helped with fluidity as well. And finally, shooting in continuous shutter mode made a world of a difference. Why? More shots to choose from.
Spinning with Your Subject
My 2-year old daughter, Alana, loves spinning so when I found a great tutorial on creating a spinning panning effect, I knew I just had to give it a try. Unfortunately, the photos I took while spinning with Alana didn’t work out. Who knew that toddlers had a difficult time looking up at cameras while spinning in midair? Thankfully, Curious George stepped in and saved the day. He was a great subject to work with; smiling while looking into the camera the entire time!
To create the spinning panning effect in this photo, I shot in shutter priority mode with a shutter speed of 1/25 sec. My camera did the work for me once again, choosing my aperture so all I had to worry about was firing and spinning away. I held my subject in one hand, braced my camera against my chest with my free hand and clicked away in continuous shutter mode. I’m really happy with the results and can’t wait to try this with my toddler when she’s a little older.
Capturing a subject in motion can be so much fun. With a little bit of practice, anyone can achieve these effects so grab your camera and have some fun!