September 29, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Speed can be a difficult thing to convey on film, let alone capture with any quality in a still. But there are ways to do it. My favourite is the "tracking shot". This is useful to convey the speed of the moving object but juxtaposing it against the static-ness of the surroundings.

By using a medium shutter-speed (~80-100/1), which you can learn more about in my Back To Basics class, and keeping the moving subject in the centre of the frame whilst the shutter is open (i.e. tracking the subject throughout the exposure), the subject remains in focus and sharp, whilst all the static background becomes blurred as the camera moves over it during the exposure.

In the below shot, taken during a race at the Goodwood Revival 2016, you can see that the 1935 BMW R12 Motorbike is kept perfectly sharp, but feels like it is travelling very fast (which it was), because the crowd, the stewards, and the hoarding is all being "whooshed" past. A very simple, but very effective technique for conveying the speed of a moving subject in a still.




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