Project 2: It’s about time ~ Exercise 1 Photographs of Movement

In the first post based on this exercise I wrote about some professional photographers work capturing movement. I’ve been doing my best to have a go at capturing some shots of movement or motion using my own camera across the past few weeks.

I’ll be honest the results aren’t spectacular, they reveal that I am still very much learning about practical photography. But it was fun to give these tasks a go, and I learnt more about my camera, ways to use it as I went.

I began this practical exercise trying to capture passers by walking or running in a local park. I focussed on a bench, and then played around with shutter speeds, ultimately ending up using the BULB setting to capture some movement. The results are below:

 

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On the one hand the blurred effect captures a sense of motion which I think is semi-effective. But this wasn’t really what I had hoped to achieve, I had hoped for a crisper, perhaps more static short showing the person frozen in a stance of running or walking. I think to do that I would’ve needed to have a very fast shutter speed, say 1/1000 rather than the BULB setting which was the lowest I could get the shutter to operate at.

My next series of photographs ( or more accurately, experiments) involved trying to capture rainfall. It wasn’t something I’d initially planned but we had a sudden rain storm in the week and the tripod was near my back door so I took a chance and had a go. I played around again with shutter speeds, alternating between fast to slow to try and find a happy middle ground.

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I started off trying to capture rain falling on and impacting the foxglove plant (see image above), but quickly found this wasn’t very dramatic and didn’t capture the speed of the rainfall very well. So I shifted my focus, partly to the rain drops forming splashes in puddles on the ground.

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I think this image is a little bit better at capturing the rainfall, there a good splash captured in the middle of the picture, but it’s still a bit of an odd view/angle so not too great compositionally. I then tried to adjust my focal point again, this time focussing on the rain falling on a table in our garden. I wanted to see if this might be more effective, compositionally and in terms of capturing the movement.

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In the image left, the rain is captured as it falls as well as some of the impact movement as it hits the table. It’s a slight improvement, but still wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped to achieve so I kept trying.

 

 

 

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I zoomed in further cropping out some of the table and chairs to focus more on the movement happening directly on the surface of the table. Whilst I don’t like the cropping (it seems a bit harsh), what I do prefer is the capture of the splashes and impact of the rain. It’s an improvement in terms of capture of motion, but it’s a little odd composition wise.

 

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In the picture opposite I played around with high shutter speeds, and the results are interesting. The rain starts to look a little like fireworks, and you can see the movement between the droplets of rain hitting each other as well as the table. Again though it’s a severe angle/cropped look.

 

 

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I’ve included the image (left), because although it’s simple and the focal point is really just one splash point on the edge of a table, I think it’s a bit more effective. Again it’s not perfect, it’s quite a blurred splash, but it’s somewhat successful.

 

 

My final attempt at capturing another form of motion involved baking. It was probably a little over ambitious. However after doing so I feel I’m much more familiar with different functions on the camera so there’s no harm in that!

I wanted to capture shifting flour/icing sugar, in two ways, the first in motion, the second a frozen image of the flour falling. I had been inspired by a post on a blog  about cooking and photography called, Playful Cooking. Now looking back at the original post I can see what makes their photographs more effective, the lower light levels help the flour stand out, two the dark background helps with contrast, three a wider focus area, with the bowl in full view elongates the view.  I’m a little embarrassed to show my result because, compositionally it’s poorly managed, the light levels are too high, the effect of motion isn’t fantastic. But let’s be honest I’m still learning so here we go…

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The first two images above, where shot using the following settings:

f/3.2 – ISO – 100 – 1/8 Shutter Speed. This did allow for a capture of some sense of the motion of shifting and the flour moving away from the sieve. But I think the let down is composition. The bowl isn’t visible in the shot, and in the background is a black cable which really draws the eye to it!

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The final two images (see above), are perhaps a little better compositionally, with the bowl in view and the sieve clearly in focus. I was trying to capture or freeze the flour as it was falling. As you can see this wasn’t really the result I got in the end. The high ISO (3200) makes the images really grainy which I don’t think looks particularly good.

I used the following settings:

f 2.8 – ISO – 3200 – 1/1000 Shutter speed.

Whilst these taking these photographs was fun, I think the overall results a poor. I think the photographs speak for themselves, saying clearly I need some more practice and a developed understanding of how the camera I use works!

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