motion blur

How to motion-blur

Shooting at night with a fast lens is so much fun. I took this photograph with the same lens I talked about yesterday - the Canon 24mm f/1.4.

I didn't have the tripod with me that night but I wanted to get a slight motion blur of the passing train. The rule of thumb I apply for motion blur is to shoot with the same shutter-speed than the moving subject is passing by in mph...hmmm - I hope you are very confused now because I would be. Here is what I mean:

I your subject moves with a speed of 20mph, you shoot it with a shutter-speed of 1/20th. You obviously need to guess the speed if you do not have a radar gun with you but that shouldn't be too hard. The train in the photograph was not driving by in full-speed but was rather breaking to stop at the station.

Exif Info:

  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

  • Exposure Time: 0.05s (1/20)

  • Aperture: f/2

  • ISO: 3200

  • Focal Length: 24mm

The Dumpster Pod

You should always carry a tripod when shooting night-scenes like the one below. Well, let's be realistic, carrying a heavy, sturdy tripod while walking through a city like New York sucks but luckily there are some "natural" tripods available (almost) wherever you go.

I was using some dumpsters to keep my camera steady - you can see parts of them in the lower left corner (shouldn't tell you that, I know).
It's not the perfect solution but for a 1/2 second exposure like this it was quite convenient. Alternatively, I could have used a higher ISO instead to shorten the shutter speed but I wanted the motion blur and light-trails of the passing cars in the frame.

Exif Info:

  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

  • Exposure Time: 0.5s (1/2)

  • Aperture: f/4

  • ISO: 100

  • Focal Length: 24mm


The Dumpsterpod