Photographing Movement: Shutter speeds

Exercise: Shutter Speeds 

This exercise aims to show the effect of different shutter speeds on movement across the frame - in this case, cyclists in Richmond Park. The camera was set up on a tripod with a manual focus set to capture the cyclists as they passed in both directions. I used a 70-200 mm zoom lens set to a focal length of 90mm. In shutter priority mode, the camera automatically adjusted the aperture. Capturing the cyclists mid-frame each time wasn't easy due to their speed so I've cropped the images to centre the cyclists.  I planned to use 10-12 images but as there were quite noticeable differences between shutter speeds I ended up including more than this.

Movement is still frozen at 1/1250 although there is a little blurring of the spokes.

1/4000

At this high shutter speed the cyclist is frozen. The spokes are clearly visible and there is no motion blur.

 1/3200

Dropping down to 1/3200 has no noticeable effect and the cyclist is still frozen. (I left this one in as this guy was one of only a couple that looked at the camera!)

1/1250

At this shutter speed we start to see a little motion blur, particularly the spokes, although they are still clearly visible. There is very little blur of the cyclist or the frame of the bike. 

1/1000

At 1/1000th of a second we can see a little less of the spokes as they are becoming more blurred.  

1/800

1/500

1/320

1/160

Blurring is now strong and it is hard to make out the spokes. Colours are starting to appear more prominent.

1/100

The spokes have now blurred out and have disappeared completely. The cyclist and bike are now appearing to stretch a little.

1/60

Darker moving parts are starting to disappear; coloured parts less so. 

1/50

As above, dark parts are less visible but the red frame and the orange jacket stand out. 

1/40

As above, some darker parts have now disappeared altogether. This is perhaps my favourite image as, although the movement is very blurred, you can still clearly see that it's a cyclist  moving through the frame. You can also still make out the cyclist's hands and facial features.

1/25

1/20

Here it is very apparent that coloured parts are still picked up by the camera wheras darker, less reflective parts have disappeared altogether,

1/15

The cyclists coloured clothing and helmet is all we can see. 

1/13

At this slow shutter speed the cyclist has virtually disappeared altogether.