Creating Motion Blur - dummies

By Jonathan Streetman

If you’re shooting a long sporting event, a good way to break up the monotony of making the same photograph all day long is to slow down the shutter speed and create a little motion blur. If done correctly, a little blur can help your photographs illustrate just how fast the athletes (or racecars or whatever) are moving.

Follow these steps and you can easily strengthen your haul of images at any given event:

1Choose which mode you want to shoot in.

Since Sports mode automatically wants to freeze motion, this is not a good option for motion blur. Instead, choose Shutter Priority or Manual mode.

2Slow down the shutter speed to 1/125 second or even slower.

It will take quite a bit of playing around with to find the right shutter speed for just the right amount of blur you want.

3Frame up the photo the way you are going to want it, anticipating where the action is going to be.

This is where your knowledge of the sport can help you anticipate where the action is going to be next.

4Press the shutter halfway down to autofocus on your subject.

You should hear a beep and see either a flashing box or a dot inside your viewfinder indicating the subject that the camera has chosen to focus on.

5Press the shutter release all the way down to take the photo.

Review the photo you just took and decide if it has enough or too much blur in it. Compensate the shutter speed accordingly and repeat Steps 1-5 to your heart’s content.