When I first started shooting, I always wondered how to create those great images you see of a car completely still, but the area around the car looked like it was actually in motion. As time went on and I learned more, I figured out I could create motion in my photography with a slower shutter speed and a bit of panning. Well that same technique can and should be applied to certain action photography.

In the Adorama sponsored video below, Corey Rich shows you how using a slower shutter speed can help you capture a mountain biker in motion, creating a much more dramatic action still image.

Motion in Action Photography 01

Motion in Action Photography 02

Motion in Action Photography 03

Technique

To achieve the look of motion in the image you need to use a slower shutter speed, yet stay focused on the mountain bike rider. Corey uses a bit of panning with his body from left to right and the fast continuous shooting mode on his D4s to take multiple images and ultimately picks the best one from the set of images.

As you can see above the images, the one with the slower shutter speed is much more appealing than the one with a high shutter speed. This is fairly simple, yet creates a much more interesting image to the eye.

Thoughts

It’s subtle techniques like this, that can help you stand out in the crowd of photographers. While many novice photographers would opt for the fast 1/1000 of a second shutter speed to freeze the mountain biker in motion, using a slower shutter speed with a bit of panning is going to create much more compelling images.

Don’t just limit this technique to action sports, you can use it in commercial photography or even at weddings.  I have used it before to isolate and highlight a bride and groom on a crazy dance floor –  it showed the motion of the dance floor, yet the still and calm of the couple.

Via: Adorama TV/Images via screencaps

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