2020 WEEK 39: Objects in Motion

This week we’ll be attempting to capture the concept of motion in our photos. In other words, capturing the feeling of motion in an otherwise static scene. Potential subjects include animals or children running, playing or dancing; flying birds; people or cars moving in a street scene; weather such as rain or snow; or for those of you who are limited by COVID-19 restrictions, think of kinetic toys, bouncing or rolling balls, etc. The resulting photograph should have some blur indicating motion with some in-focus elements to contrast with the elements in motion.

Hoverbird by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero
Hoverbird by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

In terms of technique, you will need a shutter speed slow enough to achieve blur of the objects in motion, but the specific shutter speed will be relative to the speed of your subject. For example, I took the photo of a hummingbird (above) with a shutter speed of 1/500 which was fast enough for me to handhold my camera and capture the hummingbird’s body in focus, but the wings were moving much, much faster and appear blurred.

Of course, most objects don’t move as quickly as a hummingbird’s wings, so you might find a tripod to be helpful. The example below was taken with a shutter speed of 0.5 sec. The floor of the stage and some of the feet are in sharp focus and yet the moving dancers create an interesting blur pattern. While you probably won’t have a dance recital to take photos of, you can use the same technique of anyone dancing either indoors or outside.

Dance Recital by Sam Cox
Dance Recital by Sam Cox

If you need to work with smaller subjects due to space constraints, consider toys, games or anything you do with tools and/or your hands such as chopping vegetables, sewing or knitting, writing a letter or to-do list, etc. The photo below is an example of something we’re all familiar with, but instead of a static photo the blur of the third and fourth dominoes shows the motion of the falling domino.

the domino effect by Kurt:S
the domino effect by Kurt:S

One other technique you might want to try this week is panning. This creates an image where your subject (or most of it) is in focus and the rest of the image has motion blur. Obviously you will need to move your camera for this technique, but with the subject in focus this technique fits within the parameters of this challenge. (We have had a few panning challenges in the past if you would like to explore more examples of this technique.)

Panning Motion by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero
Panning Motion by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

To recap this week’s challenge:

  • Take a photo that shows the concept of motion. Your photo should include some blurred objects (indicating motion) and some sharp (static) areas.
  • Post your photo during the week of Sunday, September 20 and Saturday, September 26.
  • Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo:  #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About thedigitaljeanie

I’m a self-taught photographer and way back when I used to love taking photos, but I allowed a business that I started in 2004 to take over my life and my photographic repertoire was reduced to quick product shots and how-to tutorials. When I joined the PhotoChallenge in December 2015, I was looking to rekindle my creativity and bring some joy back into my photography. I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back. I believe that photography can change the way we see and interact with the world around us. Some people may think that I hide behind the camera, but I feel that I experience the world in a much more intimate way when I am creating a composition in my viewfinder. In those moments distractions disappear, my mind focuses and I am fully present. It is just me and my camera capturing a moment in time that might otherwise go unnoticed. My background is as varied as the photos that I take. I’ve trained and worked as a software engineer, a massage therapist, an English teacher in Vietnam, a photo restoration artist (which is how I learned Photoshop) and for the past twelve years I have run a small software business with my husband where I have been published in numerous books and magazines, appeared on PBS television, created designs for fabric, quilts and machine embroidery and won awards for some of my quilts. It should come as no surprise that I am intensely curious about life and love to learn new things. I am blessed to live in the beautiful state of Colorado, USA in the Rocky Mountain foothills outside of Fort Collins with my husband and cat. You can find me online at: Photos: flickr.com/photos/the-digital-jeanie/ Day job: KaleidoscopeCollections.com Facebook: facebook.com/jeaniesa

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