There are different ways of capturing a nice motion blur effect. One way is when the photographer gets the motion blur effect on the background by keeping the subject mostly in focus. It works great when the whole subject is in motion.
Subject Focus, Blurred Background
Another way is whereby the photographer brings out motion in the subject by keeping the surrounding static. It can also work well when only one part of the subject is in motion.
Background Focus, Blurred Subject
The following are some of the essential tips for achieving some cool motion blur effects.
Motion Blur Effect Tips
1. Have a clear view of the surroundings
As a photographer, you should always concentrate on your surroundings. Be keen to observe your background and ensure that there is nothing that will interfere with your picture in any way whatsoever.
2. Be alert while taking the shots
Since many objects are usually hard to shoot while in motion, it is advisable that you are sharp and alert when taking a shot. You should also be able to anticipate the next step, ensure that the settings are correct, and you must be aware of what’s going on around you.
3. Decide first where you want the motion blur effect
Use your photographic flare to decide ahead of time what you want the motion blur effect to be on. This will depending on the situation, type of effect you are going for and what you want to be in focus. To perform the first type of motion blur effect, you need to track your subject with the camera to apply motion blur in the background. Alternatively, you can keep the camera still to blur the subject.
4. Trace the moving subject
Before you press the shutter, start trace tracking the subject and don’t quit until you take the shot. This is very important when you want to capture sharp objects. Instead of using the LCD display, you can also use the cameras viewfinder for a more precise and accurate motion blur effect. This can help you hone in on the area you want to be in sharp focus.
5. Use the shutter speed priority mode
The shutter speed helps a lot when it comes to motion blur effects since it depends on the shutter speed. Try starting with a shutter speed of about 1/200th of a second to keep the subject in focus and bring out the motion in the backdrop. Then gradually slow it down depending on the subjects speed and the results.
6. Use a low ISO
When you want to snap a perfect motion blur effect, always ensure that you set the ISO to the lowest possible setting, within the range of 200 to 400. You should also set the focus to Servo or S-AF. This enables the camera to focus whether your finger is on the button or not. It will also save you time because it can track the fast moving objects by taking the place of the time you would have spent focusing before you take a shot.
7. Ensure that the focus point is away from the center
Most of the time you don’t want your subject smack in the middle of the picture. However, if you do use the center as your focal point, be sure not to lose sight of the overall composition of the photograph. This will really help give your picture a professional look. Alternatively, when you find this too hard, you can use the center as the focus point and then crop it at the time of post processing using special effects software.