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How to Photograph Slow-Moving Subjects with Your Canon EOS 6D

Here are some techniques to photograph subjects that move slower, such as horses, runners, and bicyclists with your EOS 6D. When you freeze the motion of subjects like these, the end result is kind of boring. When you photograph slow-moving subjects like runners or cyclists, you can use blur creatively to capture a compelling photograph of your subject. This technique also works great for photographing birds in flight.

To photograph slow-moving objects:

  1. Attach a telephoto zoom lens to your camera.

    You can do this technique with a lens with a shorter focal length of 50mm. However a longer focal length compresses the background. Consider using a 70–200mm lens when photographing slow-moving subjects.

  2. Point the camera where your subject will be when you take the picture and zoom in.

  3. Press the AF button and then rotate the Main dial to switch to AI Servo autofocus mode.

    After the camera locks focus, your camera updates focus continually as your subject moves toward you.

  4. Press the AF Point Selection button and then use the Multi-controller to switch to a single autofocus point in the center of the frame.

    When you use multiple autofocus points, the camera may inadvertently focus on an object other than the one you want to photograph.

  5. Press the Mode Lock, rotate the shooting Mode dial to Tv (switch to Shutter Priority mode), press the Shutter button, and then rotate the Main dial to select a shutter speed of 1/30 second or slower.

    This shutter speed is a good starting point, but don’t be afraid to choose a slower shutter speed.

  6. Spread your legs slightly and move your elbows to the side of your body.

    This stabilizes the camera, which is important when you’re shooting at a slow shutter speed.

  7. Pivot from the waist toward the area from which your subject will be coming.

  8. When your subject comes into view, press the shutter button halfway to achieve focus.

    A green dot appears in the right side of your viewfinder when you achieve focus. When you shoot in AI Servo autofocus mode, the camera updates focus as your subject moves.

  9. Pan the camera with your subject and then press the shutter button when your subject is at the desired spot.

    Remember to follow through.

When you use this technique, certain parts of your subject are in relatively sharp focus, but body parts, such as a runner’s arms and legs, are a blur of motion.

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