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Chapter 4 Assignments

The mechanics of motion

For this first assignment, you need to find some action. Try to explore the relationship between the speed of an object and its direction of travel. Use the same shutter speed to record your subject moving toward you and across your view. Compare the difference made by the direction of travel.

Wide vs. telephoto

Just as with the first assignment, the idea is to photograph subjects moving in different directions, but this time use a wide-angle lens and then a telephoto. Take note of the fact that when using a telephoto lens, you will have to use a faster shutter speed in order to capture a subject moving at the same speed.

Getting a feel for the focus modes

In this chapter, we discussed two AF modes that you can use for action or sports photography: AI Servo and AI Focus. Starting with AI Servo mode, find a moving subject and get familiar with the way the mode works. Change from Automatic point selection to Manual point selection and try again. Now repeat the process using the AI Focus mode.

Anticipating the spot using manual focus

For this assignment, you will need to find a subject that you know will cross a specific line that you can pre-focus on. A street with moderate traffic works well. Focus on a spot that the cars will travel across (don’t forget to set your lens for manual focus). To do this right, you need to set the drive mode on the camera to Continuous. When a car approaches the spot, start shooting. Try shooting in three- or four-frame bursts.

Following the action

Panning is a great way to show motion. To begin, find a subject that will move across your path at a steady speed and practice following it in your viewfinder from side to side. Now, with the camera in Tv mode, set your shutter speed to 1/30 of a second (try to pre-focus on the spot where you think they will be traveling). Now pan along with the subject, and shoot as it moves across your view. Experiment with different shutter speeds and focal lengths.

Feeling the movement

Instead of panning with the motion of your subject, use a stationary camera position and adjust the shutter speed until you get a blurred effect that gives the sense of motion but still allows the subject to be identified. There is a big difference between a slightly blurred photo that looks like you picked the wrong shutter speed and one that looks intentional for the purpose of showing motion.

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