Written by Josh McCullough
I’m always thrilled when a returning judge graces GGW’s Picture This with his talent, expertise, and energy. Joshua McCullough, whose last stint as a Picture This judge was June 2010, is back once again; without a doubt, he will inspire and motivate a slew of you to come out and play. Josh is the creator of PhytoPhoto, a specialist collection of expertly identified botanical, horticultural and environmental photos; images are supplied to a wide variety of print mediums. His work is magnificent…..Fran Sorin
Subject for this month: SHOW THE MOTION
Motion blur caused by long exposures, or more precisely exposures not short enough to still motion, are often thought of as the enemy of the photographer but may in fact be used for a variety of purposes- everyone is familiar with the look of a waterfall or other moving water source left exposed for enough time to blend the coursing water into a pleasing “mist”. Other opportunities include the dynamic interest added by the sense of motion, highlighting static elements such as a bench or wall in contrast to the motion surrounding them, showing action with the course of a motion trail, or in much longer exposures often measured in minutes or hours, the motion trail of stars or to exclude from showing the surging crowd at a public space.
To accomplish these long exposures the easiest thing to do is simply wait for low light, often near or even after dark and put the camera on a tripod or use the built in images stabilization. If working with the wind even a tenth of a second can show significant motion. For other situations lower the recorded light by first adjusting the camera to the lowest ISO setting (usually 25, 50 or 100), clamping down the aperture to the smallest setting (often f/32 though much lower in compacts) if this will not affect the image negatively and lastly, employing neutral density filters to cut the incoming light (typically a 2 to 10 f-stop reduction but available to much higher levels). Try a second or two or ten, either adjusting the camera or waiting for it to be dark enough for its automatic exposure to pick these longer times. Play with night time mode/slow synchro or first/second curtain flash if you are feeling more devious.
Here are a few examples…
Water flowing over a period of time. In the first six second exposure the Darmera are better shown as isolated within the mass of moving water.