The fifth exercise was designed to explore the relationship between shutter speed and apparent motion in the resultant image whilst panning a moving object. The moving object was at home this weekend, so made a number of passes on a bicycle whilst I took pictures at a range of shutter speeds between 1/1000th second and ¼ second with the camera set in Tv mode. The slowest shutter speed I have shown here is 1/350sec and this I treated as the baseline where the object and background showed no signs of motion blur.
The bike turned out to be a good choice as it offered a range of different movements to observe – the rotation of the tyre, the rotation of the spokes and the movement of the bike itself as it passed along in front of the background. AT 1/350sec the tyre tread was visible as were the spokes, and the background was sharp. At 1/180sec the tyre treads were starting to lose definition and the spokes were starting to blur, although the background remained sharp. At 1/90sec the spokes were more blurred and the background also started to show lack of definition and this became progressively more pronounced at 1/60sec and 1/45sec as would be expected. The image taken at 1/45sec was the first that really started to show the effects of speeds and was the most pleasing of the images to my eye – although significantly blurred, it did really capture the speed of the bike along the track and I preferred the more pronounced effect to the images taken at faster shutter speeds where the blur was less significant. 1/10sec and 1/6sec were seriously streaked and not that pleasant to look at, although the image taken at the slowest shutter speed I used, 1/4sec, was the most streaked and was actually my second favourite due to it’s rather abstract qualities whilst still being clear what the subject was and showing its speed.
This was an interesting exercise to carry out and I saw three distinct phases in the sequence that I shot. The initial phase of ‘frozen motion’ offered little and was dull, whereas the ‘sweet spot’ for the sequence was around 1/45sec where there was enough blur to impart interest and make it a more dynamic image. The final phase, and one that surprised me, was the slowest speed tested in that although it was completely blurred, I found it a very pleasing effect.
Canon 5D MkII
Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS at 62mm. ISO800