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.


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


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!)


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. 


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





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


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


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


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


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.



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


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


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