piano-in-motion.jpgMo-tion [moh-shuh n] – The motion or process of moving or changing place or position.
Pho-tog-ra-phy [fur-tog-ruh-fee] – The process or art of producing images of objects or sensitized surfaces by the chemical motion of light or of other forms of radiant energy, as x-rays, gamma rays, or cosmic rays.

Motion photography is the field of photography in which photos are taken of objects or subjects in motion or with the photographer in motion. This type of photography is not as difficult as you may think. It does take time, dedication, and a steady hand to capture the perfect image. Motion photography is much easier for amateurs today because of digital point-and-shoot (P&S) and Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras.

Here are a few tips on practicing motion photography.

Motion photography is not only the process of capturing still pictures of objects in motion. To capture this image of two athletes in competition required a steady hand (preferably a mono or tripod), and a high-speed shutter setting with at least 400-speed film.

granthillactionphoto.jpgPhoto Credit – Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images
Example…Still image of Orlando Magic Player Grant Hill in motion

Motion photography is also taking pictures of the subject while in motion and allowing the camera to capture the motion. To take a picture like this, you need to again steady the camera and use a slower shutter speed setting so that the film receives a longer exposure to the light.

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Example…Traffic in motion

It does not take the use of expensive camera equipment to take pictures of this caliber.

The first tool that you will need is patience. Without patience, you will rarely capture the picture you really want. It’s impressive to capture a subject such as the two basketball players and have the image in perfect focus and contrast without any blur. It is also just as impressive to capture a picture with motion. A picture with streaks of motion can have great depth and tell it’s own story.

The second tool you need is a camera with an adjustable shutter speed. There are a multitude of cameras on the market from P&S to SLRs with adjustable shutter control. The price range on these cameras can vary widely and are dependent on the features of the camera.

Another motion image that looks very impressive is when you capture your subject in motion and the subject is clear and in focus while creating a blurred background.
You will have to experiment with your camera’s shutter speed to capture the perfect picture.

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Example…Subject in Motion with Blurred Background
This technique is called panning.

This photo is taken with a faster shutter speed and panning or following the car as it passes. To achieve this style of photography, steady your camera with a tripod or mono- pod and follow the car or subject with your camera while holding down the shutter release button. Using a point-and-shoot camera provides an advantage, by allowing you to see the image through the viewfinder while taking the picture. Most SLR cameras, when you press the shutter release, the reflex mirror will block your view.

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How the Corvette was photographed

The opposite of this type of motion photography would be to capture a picture with the subject in motion and the back ground still. To capture a photo with this quality requires you to again place the camera on a tripod of steadying device and slowing the shutter speed.
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Example…Subject in Motion with Still Background

Pictures of this style and quality take dedication and practice. The easy part about taking motion photos is that you can do it nearly anywhere. Go to the mall, park, or downtown and take plenty of pictures. Invest in a few large storage media cards for your camera and keep your photos. It’s great to watch your progress from a novice to a photo-taking professional.

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