Sunday 5 July 2009

Pick of the Pix Series, Sloooowww Motion

Specs: 1/15s, 31.0mm, f/18.0, ISO: 1600

Another favourite image, this was taken at the 2007 World Champs Trials in December 2006 in Taupo. I used a very slow shutter speed of 1/15s with both the camera and the trialists moving during the exposure. If the camera had been held still then the background would have been sharp because of the very high f stop of f/18.0 creating a large depth of field (objects close and far away being in focus). With a sharp background, the image wouldn't have had as good a feel. The high f stop was a convenient way to slow the shutter speed down, although a better way would have been to set the camera at a low ISO, eg ISO 100. Another reason the image works well for me is having Brad Wickman's face reasonably sharp, giving the viewer something to focus on. Generally I find that "slow motion" images like this are best when at least one face is sharp.

The following photos were taken at 1/30th of a second (a little faster) but with flash on. Note how the long shutter speed gives lots of movement but the flash firing during the exposure freezes a part of the action.

Flash usually operates at about the equivalent of 1/250th of a second so is an interesting combination to use with a very slow shutter speed. This flash effect only works well in an environment with lots of light (as above). If there is a low light situation (like the test image below) then you miss out on the movement as the flash time effectively determines the exposure. I've learned this by slowing the exposure down to even 1/25th of a second and the flash exposure still gives a relatively sharp image. so, try this with plenty of light if you want the effect.

Specs: 1/25s, 17.0mm, f/6.3, ISO: 800