Experimenting with Motion Blur

Vertical motion blur on aspen trees, 1/13 second @ f/22.
Vertical motion blur on aspen trees, 1/13 second @ f/22.

By Sastry Karra and Frank Gallagher

Motion blur is the intentional use of a streaking effect in a photo. This can be done in several ways.  One technique is panning, following a rapidly moving subject with your camera so that the subject is reasonably sharp, but the background is streaky. This conveys a sense of movement and speed. So does its opposite: keeping the camera steady while the subject moves across the frame. Doing a long exposure shot of star trails, clouds, a waterfall, the waves on a beach, or a highway at night is another kind of motion blur. The water or clouds become silky. The stars or car lights become colorful lines, winding through the image, leading the eye. A third technique is zoom blur, where the camera is stationary but you zoom in during the exposure. A fourth involves purposeful camera movement—horizontal, vertical, or circular—to create interesting patterns, textures, shapes. In this article, we focus on the latter two techniques, zoom blur and purposeful camera movement.

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Weekly Wow! Week of October 19, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Motion Blur of Trees and Bushes, Grand Marais, Minnesota” © Frieda Fast
Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Motion Blur of Trees and Bushes, Grand Marais, Minnesota” © Frieda Fast

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, October 19, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

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