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Motion blur can be a strong tool when composing images. Essentially, you have two different techniques for conveying speed or motion in your image. The first is to choose a shutter speed that creates blur in the movement. The best shutter speed for showing motion depends on the rate at which the subject is moving. A shutter speed of 1/15 to 1/30 of a second generally works well when showing motion with people. Furthermore, using the rule of thirds, consider framing the fast-moving subject in the far right or left third of the frame, allowing visual space for the subject to move through the frame (Figure 4.19).

Another way to convey speed is to use panning techniques. Although difficult to master, by panning your camera at the same speed as your subject, you can freeze your moving subject while blurring the background. This technique is often used for capturing athletes or running wildlife.

Figure 4.19

Figure 4.19 Motion adds life to this frame and creates a sense of urgency as travelers move through the airport.

ISO 1250 • 1/15 sec. • f/4.5 • 16mm lens

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