Better photos: How to capture and freeze movement

Take better photos: capture movement

You would not believe the painful process of getting our girl onto wheels. From the tricycle tantrums of her terrible two’s, to the self-doubt of roller-skating, she wanted every speedy gadget, but freaked out when it came to the actual movement. Thankfully she has left those days behind, and insisted this week on testing out her birthday heelies on a skate to the park.

The Bug too has had his fair share of bike-related meltdowns, but after weeks of enforced hibernation for the wheels it only took a few wobbles to get going again.

To get this shot of The Bug I hopped on the roundabout with him, my camera drive set to take multiple shots with one shutter depression, crossed my fingers, and tried not to throw up. He and I stayed still, and my shutter speed was set to 1/20 of a second, which is how the camera picked up the movement of the background behind him. It’s a nice effect sometimes, if you can stomach the motion sickness! Much less unsettling is using a fast shutter speed to freeze the action:

SAMSUNG CSCThe sunglasses are a permanent fixture right now in an attempt to keep pollen out of her poor itchy eyes. Having grown out of eczema, my daughter is now a hayfever sufferer.

ShadowsBoth shots were taken with a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second, giving a nice sharp image despite the movement of the swing.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

40 thoughts on “Better photos: How to capture and freeze movement”

  1. Ohh you are getting so clever at all this now, amazing shot of the bug on the roundabout. I’m starting a night school course in Sept, I can’t wait. Mich x

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    • Thanks Jaime, I’m finding the trick is to rest my camera on something to keep it steady when I have the shutter open for longer. That and my kids are getting better at not blinking!

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  2. Well done, a wonderful photograph with the motion blur. I shall definitely be trying this out with The Boy.

    Thanks for linking up to Project 365.

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  3. Great shots! I think just getting your children in them is an achievement as my little boys run off, or don’t keep still. : )

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  4. Wow I love the roundabout picture! Looks like you had a great time πŸ™‚ #betterphotosproject #project365 xx

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  5. Very clever I might have to try this one out! How lovely to see the sun shinning and their smiles having fun at the park. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

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  6. I love your first shot, you’ve capured the movement so well I can only look at it for second before I feel dizzy. As a hayfever sufferer I feel for your daughter Spring and Summer sunshine come with sneezes πŸ™ I keep hoping I’ll grow out of mine, maybe this year as it a multipul of 7 for me, it’ll be the year, fingers crossed.

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    • I truly believe there’s something in that. My eczema went in cycles of 7-ish years, and GG grew out of awful childhood eczema when she was nearly 8. If it’s not one thing it’s another, eh?

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  7. Great photos, I hope the sunglasses help with the hayfever, I’m a glasses wearer and find it helps with my hayfever a lot! #Project365

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  8. These are fab shots! I must try that with my camera, if I can work out how to change the settings LOL. Congratulations on your MADs Finalist Category!

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  9. Great photos, especially love the swing shadow one.
    I am currently experimenting with my new camera and having fun. πŸ™‚ xx

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  10. I feel sick just looking at the first picture and then worse when you started talking about…I’m not that dedicated! Anyway otherwise great photos πŸ™‚

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  11. Oh wow Helen I love that first photo of Bug, great motion skills. I have no idea how you managed to stay on the roundabout though, they always make me feel so ropey! Great photo of GG too, sorry to hear about her hayfever. Sadly eczema, asthma and hayfever are all in the same family – we have them here too. Great news she’s grown out of her eczema though πŸ™‚

    Well done on being a MAD finalist x

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    • Thank you! You do have to adjust the light settings (or let the camera do it), especially on a bright day, but it’s worth experimenting with.

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  12. What a fantastic shot go the bug. I am trying to learning how to use my new slr camera in manual mode. I never can get it focused on Buba and keep him still and the rest moving like this. He is always blurry too. You are talented. Both pictures are lovely.

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  13. I love the roundabout shot, next on my birthday list, a new camera so I can take some decent shots!!

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  14. Awesome pictures! I love the blurred background on the first one you can tell you are on a roundabout πŸ™‚ I would love to be able to get shots like that.

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    • Thank you! You could totally do it. The trick with a slow shutter speed is to make sure your camera is completely still (I had it resting on the roundabout in front of me). I was lucky that the Bug stayed very still for the length of exposure I set (and it doesn’t need to be too long when you’re moving like that). But I also had the camera set to take multiple shots – this was the best of around 20 that I took in that moment. Give it a go!

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  15. These photos are excellent. We met briefly at Blog On as I was very impressed by your camera and artistic pics of the wine! I still think (no actually I know) that my photography skills do leave a lot to be desired, however, seeing shots like these of yours have inspired me.
    I very may well take that photography course yet! When there are more hours in the day, naturally!

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    • Ahh Kerrie, seriously, pop back in my Archives to sometime around August 2011. I guarantee you’ll see just how easy it is to go from terrible to passable. And yes, doing the course makes all the difference. Lovely to meet you on Sunday x

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