A Sense of Movement

Rachel and Richard were another couple that chose the grand surroundings of One, Whitehall Place for their big day. I grabbed this shot of Rachel and her bridesmaids making their way up the spectacular staircase.

I like the composition of the image, especially Rachel’s expression, but the look I was really aiming for was a ’sense of movement’. If the whole image was sharp then it would have been ok, but there’s something else, an urgency maybe, that is illustrated by the blurring to everything but Rachel.

For this look I use a shutter speed that is far slower than usual – 1/13th of a second in this case, and pan the camera as the subject moves. This is the tricky bit. Holding a camera still at a 1/13th of a second is hard enough. Keeping a moving subject in exactly the same position in the viewfinder at that speed is one of those frustrating tasks that just tends to come with practice. But with all my practice, do I nail each image on the first attempt? No, sadly not. My ‘hit rate’ still struggles to beat 50% unfortunately, but when it works I really like the results.

Here’s another foray into the slow-speed world after the ceremony:

So what happens when instead of panning the camera we let the subject move?

Here’s another low shutter speed image but this time I’ve not any attempt to pan with the walkers, preferring to concentrate on the elderly chap. Now they’re a little blurred and the background is sharp. And no, on this occasion it wasn’t taken at a wedding....

How about a little of both? In this image from Cannizaro House everything’s a little blurred! But I still prefer it to a 100% sharp version.