Exercise: Panning with different shutter speeds

Panning (1/100, 1/60, 1/40, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/8, 1/5, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1 sec)

Another series of comparative photographs. This time I attempted to follow the movement of the key object in the photograph (not always with success). Results are similar to the last set of pictures in that the slower shutter speeds lead to a blurring of the picture. The longer the shutter speed the greater the blur. However with this exercise we also pan with the moving object (the bulb) which creates a different dynamic. The panning means that the object is sharper against the background. The blurring of the background and the sharpness of the images works together to give a greater sense of movement. Pictures at the start of the series (here the first row) seem to freeze motion at both levels. Movement is suggested by the angle of the wire and bulb, not by the blurring.

In the second row and some of the third, the background blurs but the bulb remains sharp, which separates the background from the bulb. The sense of movement in these pictures is then added to. The signs of movement double. Yet the bulb is still obvious at the “centre” of the picture. From 1/4 onwards the bulb also has motion blur but not so much as to lead to the abstraction and almost multiple exposures of 1/2 and 1 sec. This gives it a sense of swinging.

Picking an object which swings through an arc made this project more difficult. It was harder to predict the motion and removed the panning from a simple turning to back and forth motions, that further confused the slower pictures. Looking at the images afterwards I also think that the focus is too soft.  However the exercise suggested and gave me a chance to experiment with another tool for images. I think all these speeds of shutter have their purposes. It depends on your intention. How do you see the picture? what do you wish to show? Is it the object and surroundings, static still? Do you want to see an object in motion? How much motion? Or is it just motion that is the subject.

Of the two series which pictures do I prefer? In this series I think I like the faster speed pictures such as 1/25, the odd angle of the wire and bulb gives it a certain oddness. I think the area of the view isn’t as fussy as some of the others with the eye been pulled to the left by other parts of the building…the wall. the fairy lights. Just the plants, pictures, bulb and corner. In the shutter speed exercise I think my favourite is 1/40. The figure is in a strong position. The density and position of the legs but also the motion…the blur of the face adds to the mystery/menace?. I also like the images taken at 1/6 and 0.8. too. The transformation to other.


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Filed under Exercise, May 2011

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