How to freeze the movement in your photos, and make magic!

My stubborn boy. He is typical of his age: not given to narcissism for the sake of the camera; he will make a fabulous photo-bomber when he’s old enough to be strategic about his ludicrous facial expressions and goofy grins. But give him a project and he will apply himself. “I want to try and make fairies. Will you help me?” And so he stood, in a shady corner of the garden, blowing dandelion clocks. Imagination held hostage for a few moments as he checked the camera to see if we had caught them. My patient boy.

To freeze movement and capture so many seeds in this shot I needed a fast shutter speed. To make sure the seeds stood out against the background I used a wide aperture. My settings are below. I’ve seen better versions of this photo, and I’m still trying to perfect it.  What I really need is a darker background, with less detail in it, and maybe further away. This will allow the wide aperture to give me a shallower depth of field, making the seeds stand out more clearly against a blurred backdrop. I also had my drive set to take multiple shots with one click. You wouldn’t believe how many contained no fairies at all.

  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter speed 1/800
  • Zoom 50.0mm
  • ISO 1600

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