Blurred Motion Sequence

Objective: Create unified matrix formed from a series of photographs which emphasize blurred motion.
Goal: Use blurred motion with a clear purpose in mind to achieve a clear result, in which the blur really expresses dynamicism.

Experiment with slow shutter speeds while photographing people in motion. If you’re outside, you’ll find this assignment easiest on a gray, overcast day (or even at night!), since you won’t want much light. Be sure to set your camera to the HIGHEST resolution setting. (If you don’t know how to do this, look it up in the camera’s manual.) Be sure to turn OFF your flash.

You may want to try shooting in one of these ways:

  1. Aim your camera so your subject is moving into the frame. Begin following your subject’s motion and then release the shutter. Keep moving with the subject as the shutter opens and closes. This will produce a blurred background with your subject more or less “frozen.”
  2. Mount your camera on a tripod or find some other way to hold it very steady. Aim so your subject is moving into the frame and release the shutter. This will produce a steady background with your subject moving across the frame as a blur. If you use a long enough exposure time, figures will appear ghostly or disappear entirely.
  3. Aim your camera so that your subject is moving across the frame. As the subject moves into the frame, move your camera against the subject’s path of motion, releasing the shutter as you pan across the subject. As a variation, try moving your camera toward the subject or in a rotation as you release the shutter. Experiment! Be inventive!

Possible subjects include runners; almost any sports activity; moving vehicles (especially at night!); a group of people jumping or in motion (like during passing time); twirling, swinging, dancing. Your subject should contrast with the background (light on dark, dark on light, complimentary colors, etc.) Although your images will document a human activity, movement or action is the real subject matter. Your images may not reveal the character or personality of the people involved, but should suggest human vitality and creativity.

Make at least forty related images and submit your twenty best, pasted into a the provided template. Click here to download the template. (You’ll need to use the “Paste Into” Command, CTR+Shift+V.)

Your assignment is to create a series of at least 20 related blurred motion images.

You may only manipulate your images by cropping, contrast, or color – you may NOT use blur filters. Resize proportionally: Do NOT stretch your images to fit the size of the boxes on the template.