When thinking about motion we’re usually thinking about shutter speed, as our perception of motion in a photograph is most controlled by this setting. The question is what do you want to do? The answer to this depends on your subject matter and the message you wish to communicate with your image.
• Freeze the moment: Preserving all detail by stopping the action and preventing all blur.
• Motion blur: Showcase movement in a still image through the blurring of objects of motion relative to sharp static objects.
The Edinburgh Fringe is a fantastic opportunity for photography, as well as a great event for the arts in general. Every year I like to go along to see a few shows and just take in the ambience, as the city is alive with enthusiasm and activity as performers vie for attention from the ever flowing crowd.
With such a hectic event there is always going to be movement, but it can be hard to find one particular thing to focus on. However when I saw this living statue I could immediately visualise the image in my head: in an environment where everything is always moving the juxtaposition provided by a completely still object will provide a good focus.
It was too busy to set up a full sized tripod safely, but fortunately I had a Joby Gorilla Tripod. I highly recommend* getting one as a light and versatile alternative tripod you can carry and use everywhere.
– This is a genuine recommendation based on personal use, not a paid promotion. If I did receive a request for promotion I would make that clear in the post.
– In the event someone would like me to try their product please contact email@example.com
– To all the Glaswegians in my audience: enjoy the giggle at the name. Feel free to email me with amusing suggestions for a product tagline.
I went for a centre weighted composition to show the crowds moving around her, and as she was taller than the rest of the crowd I framed the shot low and wide to emphasise her height.
With the shutter at 1/15s the walking crowd blurred nicely while still retaining their human appearance. I wanted anonymity and a sense of motion in the crowd, but I didn’t want full on motion ghosts. I waited until I had a nice dispersal of people all the way across the frame and then captured the shot using a cable release to avoid camera shake.
I am quite happy with how the image turned out, my only issue being the couple who stopped to watch her and so didn’t blur with the rest of the crowd. Still I think the image captures the spirit of the moment: the crowds parting round her as if she wasn’t there, a fixed point in a flowing river of humanity.