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How To Photograph a Moving Object

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If you are looking to photograph a moving object, you'd soon come to realize it is harder than it first seems. In this infograghic we will explain the precise steps and camera settings to help you catch that great moving shot. 

1. Shutter Speed - The main camera setting you need to take notice of when shooting moving objects is the shutter speed. This is done by putting your camera on shutter priority and looking through your rear viewfinder, pressing your shutter button half way down, than look along the edges of the inner screen for a number that resembles either a fraction such as 1/125.

2. Set your camera for a correct, regular exposure for the environment and light. Set your dynamic focus, instead of “single shot,” to keep the camera focusing as you keep the shutter release halfway depressed.

3. Shoot a few shots as the moving object passes. Take a few shots as the moving object pass by, while also panning. To slow things down a little, decrease the shutter speed to 1/160, narrow the aperture to f/10 to keep the exposure about the same. This will also gave the photos a little more depth of field.

4. Shoot again and try to capture a sense of motion. Your goal might be to get the subject in perfect focus, but even if it’s slightly blurred, it can still be an acceptable photo. Sometimes when objects move to various parts of your lens, they’re slightly distorted, so when you take a shot with a lot of motion in it, it’s natural that your image isn’t entirely in focus

5. Create different effects with movement in your pictures. Use a point-and-shoot camera, set it for a night (tripod) photo, handheld the camera and shoot the moving object. Stand at an angle so that the moving object would be moving away from you and tried to be as still as possible. Camera should be as steady as possible because it automatically set the shutter speed to nearly 1/5th of a second —the result would be a fun image of a moving object that appears more or less stationary.


How to Photograph Moving Objects with SLR

Moving water

• When photographing water slow down the movement.
• Always start with a shutter speed of 1/8th of a second. Take a few test shots, look at the results then slow down from there, trying 1/4, 1/2 and so forth until you see the result you want.
• If you want to freeze motion like a water drop, then start with a much faster shutter speed of 1/160th of a second, check the results then change it to a faster fraction if needed.

Moving people

• When photographing moving people start at 1/125th of a second for walkers if you want to capture them in sharp focus.
• If on the other hand the aim is to blur the person walking then set a slower shutter speed starting your experiment with 1/30 second.
• If you are photographing people running and you want to capture the person in sharp focus, then begin with a shutter speed of 1/ 250 sec and adjust from there.
• To blur a running person start with 1/60th of a second. Use similar camera settings when photographing children on the move.

Moving car

• To capture a racing car in sharp focus start with 1/1300 sec.
• To blur a moving car travelling at 30 mph set a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second.
• If the car is travelling at 70 mph then setting a speed of 1/250th of a second will result in moderate movement or blur.

Shutter speed settings for panning

• Panning is another way to show intentional movement.
• Panning with the moving object will result in background blur while the object itself stays in sharp focus.
• For panning start with 1/60th of a second shutter speed.
• If you are a beginner then don’t go any slower than 1/60th of a second.
• Panning at 1/60th of a second is much easier than panning at a slower speed of 1/4th of a second.
Panning with Animals
• 1/60 second is a perfect camera setting for panning with a horse. When you pan with a horse, you'll still see movement in the animal’s legs or the jockies up and down movement.

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