Capturing motion in photography - Hanoi, Vietnam

Capturing motion in photography

People rarely ask how I take such amazing street photography, and the same can be said for how often I promote my photography (also rarely).

I figured I should, so to start off with lets talk about motion.

The photo above was taken on the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam, on a Ricoh GRiii. If I remember correctly the shutter speed was around 1/120th, perhaps a little faster.

What do you think?

Personally I find a little bit of motion in a photograph brings the scene alive, and I’m sure you will too in your own photography.

Most photographers use a faster shutter which won’t capture motion. Auto won’t either unless you’re shooting in low light and the camera needs the slower shutter to allow enough light.

Capturing motion really is as simple as a slower shutter, either in full manual or regular shutter priority mode – whatever works for you.

In the photo above, all I did was set a slow shutter, focus on the buildings, and take a few shots to make sure I had a decent result with the positioning of the motorbikes.

Usually I pre-focus with the back button – this helps take multiple photos without the focus re-adjusting and screwing up the end result.

Easy!

Capturing motion in photography by tracking a subject

Taking the skill to the next level is also really easy, and a fun technique to learn – tracking a moving object or subject as it goes by.

It’s a style of photography great for sports, animals, or street photography (which is my preferred style).

Let’s consider the following photo, taken in Scarborough, Perth, Australia, in which I tracked the subject (car) as it went by:

Capturing motion with the Ricoh GRiii
Capturing motion with the Ricoh GRiii

Usually I would hang around and take a few similar shots and compositions, but credit to me – I nailed this first time. Obviously I had luck with the first passing car…!

I pretty much always start with a shutter of 1/60th of a second for this style of shot, so consider that your go to setting.

I’ve even managed to take motion photography like this from a moving vehicle with great success, so it really is easy to master!

What makes this technique so easy to learn is the abundance of moving objects in our day to day lives.

All you need to do is stand on the side of a busy road or somewhere where bicycles or joggers often go by, and camp like you would in Call of Duty.

Click. Click. Click.

Once you’ve mastered the technique (I’ll give you 30 mins!) you can begin to improve your skill by considering background, and even foreground.

Cars and bicycles are so obvious, so what other motion can you capture?

How could I have taken this photograph better?

Constructive criticism is a photographers best tool for learning and approving, even for us pros.

It’s also worth criticising your own photos and wondering how they could’ve been done better.

I think for this photograph, a lower angle may’ve worked better. Even from lying on the pavement and having more blurred grey tarmac in the foreground.

What do you think?


Let me know how you get on with your motion photography!

Insta: mr.28mm

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