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Creative Camera Movement Part 2

bikeLast time we looked at the basics of shooting creative movement.  This time we can look at specific scenarios that are the most popular subjects for creative movement, such as water, wind and techniques such as panning the camera for an even more dynamic effect.  Certain subjects work well for creative movement, but the best thing to do is to keep your eyes open.

Moving water looks stunning in photographs and the longer the shutter is open, the more fluid the water looks.  Waterfalls are ideal for these kinds of images although lakes, rivers, streams, seas, oceans and even water from your tap can be just as effective.   You should put your camera on to a tripod to shoot water because you want some parts of the photograph to remain static (especially features like rocks, that really add to the image).
Use filters such as a polarizer to reduce reflections in the water and to bring out the sky, but also use a neutral density filter if it is too bright.  On an overly sunny day, too much light means that the camera will not want to give you a slow shutter speed so a ND filter will block some light out giving you the chance to choose a 1/15th shutter speed or lower to capture the water moving.
Wind is more ambiguous than water so it’s hard to photograph (it is invisible after all!).  You need to pick an area of landscape that will show the effect of wind like some bushes, trees, tall grass and set up your camera on a tripod.  Make sure that there actually is some wind about and once it sets in, use a ND filter and chose a slow shutter speed and take the photograph.
Remember that fields of grass, for example, on their own don’t mean much so you need a static object in the photograph.  Pick a focal point in the image like a rock or a tree, and people will be able to distinguish that the movement is in fact caused by the weather.
Photographing clouds will take longer to photograph, meaning you will need to use a tripod and you will need a shutter speed of a few second.  Either us a neutral density filter to get a decent speed in the day or wait till the sunsets – you will also get some beautiful colours at this time of day like rich oranges or purples.
Panning is a technique that’s hit or miss, but gives some amazing effects.  You must experiment to get comfortable with the technique so pick a panning subject you can keep working with, like say your pet or some passing cars.

Hold the camera in your hand and choose a slower shutter speed (you can start with 1/30th) then follow the moving object in the direction they are moving in.  Remember you need to press the shutter and start panning at the same time for this to be effective!
The result is a blurred subject and also a lured background.  Experiment with different techniques, with various shutter speeds to find the best result for you.  The overall effect is quite dramatic and nothing will be in focus but it’s still a great way to capture the sense of movement and drama.

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