8:12 On The Go

This week's assignment was about taking photos of things that are in motion (<--- pdf for lesson here), which can be very difficult. I am sure we have all gotten photos like this of babies, dogs, athletes or even your family eating Thanksgiving dinner:

Note that my friend who is holding the baby is not blurry. The baby, on the other hand, is moving just enough to be a little blurred, which ruined an otherwise good photo.

So how do we get it so the subject is not blurry and the action is frozen? There are a few things you can do. You can adjust your shutter speed so that it is faster (If you have a point and shoot, use the "sport" setting, which is the icon of the running man). This, as we learned in lesson two (the one with the water on the glass) can decrease our lighting. So, we may need to bump up the ISO or lower the f/stop. Remember the Exposure Triangle?

Our Assignment this week was to do one or more of the following:

1. Use a fast shutter speed outdoors to photograph your moving subject
2. Experiment with panning
3. Embrace a little blur indoors
3. Take action - practice your skills at a sporting event
4. Take a portrait of your pet-in-motion

Here are a couple examples. I chose number 1 and kind of, but not really number 4. I just noticed there are two number 3s, which doesn't matter since I did not really practice either of them.

The first photo of Lucy was taken with a shutter speed of 1/250, an aperture of f/5.3 and an ISO of about 3200.

The second photo was taken with a shutter speed of 1/800. The suggested setting is at least 1/640 outdoors and at least 1/250 indoors. As you can see, it freezes the action enough to catch me in midair and catch that little bit of sand being kicked up. Isn't that fun? The ISO in this photo is 640 and the aperture is f/8.0. The only thing that needs work now is that the photo is exposed on the background instead of the subject, which makes the subject's face dark. That is one thing the lesson suggests, is using Manual Mode, so you can expose the light to the subject's face rather than the background. 

What have I learned? I have an easier time "stopping the action" when I am outside, since there is more light and it is easier to up the shutter speed without compromising your light. When indoors, it is hard to get a good balance. I am definitely getting more comfortable with upping my ISO, which I was not really using when I started taking photos with my new camera. I thought I had to slow DOWN the shutter to get enough light, when instead I should speed it up and raise the ISO.

Join us next week when we talk about Portraits. Don't forget to link up with Kate

Have you ever tried taking action photos?


  1. I need this advice because my daughter is ALWAYS moving!!!

  2. A million years ago when I was taking a photography class, I remember having an assignment that involved motion and it was a lot of fun. I found it's a lot easier to do with an SLR than it is with a point-and-shoot. Especially one that doesn't have that little sports setting.

  3. My crappy, out-dated point & shoot is HORRIBLE at action shots, even on the sport setting. I really need an upgrade, badly. Maybe at Christmas.

    That pic of you jumping is really cool - you got some great air!!


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!