TIP TUESDAY: Freezing Motion

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed. Thankfully, nobody fell down and bumped her head. The girls really enjoyed this activity plus I got nice action photos too. If you’re wondering why I had three girls in the photo, I spent Saturday with Sophia and my two nieces. I took them to The Mind Museum. The photos are here.

Capturing a photo with subjects jumping is about freezing motion . Here are some tips on how to freeze motion and successfully capture jump shots:

1. Use a fast shutter speed. Shutter speed is one of the variables of the exposure triangle. The other two variables are aperture and ISO. I won’t discuss them here but basically to get a properly exposed photo the camera must use a correct combination of shutter speed, aperture and ISO. If the user sets this, he/she is using manual mode. If the user allows the camera to determine these settings, he/she is using Auto Mode.

Shutter speed is measured in seconds. It refers to how long or how short the opening of the lens is open to let light in.  It ranges from 30 seconds (slow) to 1/4000th of a second (fast). To freeze motion, use a fast shutter speed. There isn’t a formula or fixed shutter speed for different types of activities. It depends on how fast the subject is moving, the light conditions in combination with the  other two variables. But to give you an idea, the shutter speed I used for this photo was 1/320th of a second.

For smartphone cameras, there is no option to manually input aperture, shutter speed and ISO. To successfully capture and freeze subjects in motion with your smartphone camera (without blur), you need lots of light. I don’t have an example for this but I will be sure to share it as soon as I have one. The best way to determine how much light is needed is to try out action shots in different lighting conditions.

2. If there is more than one subject, ask them to jump at the same time at the count of three so you don’t get this:

One subject is in the air while the other two aren’t.

3. Ask the subjects to extend their arms and bend their knees to show more movement in the photo. Compare the movements I captured of the little girl on the left and of Sophia vs the little girl on the right. Do you see what I mean?

4. Take lots of photos and shoot in burst mode or continuous where the camera takes several photos in rapid succession.

5. Subject should jump in place and avoid moving backward or forward. This is to prevent having an out of focus subject.

6. Have lots of fun but ensure that no one gets hurt.

If you missed any of the photography tips and tutorials, you may access them all here.

Just for fun, I took photos of Sophia today. She didn’t complain one bit  with the photo taking. She enjoyed this a lot!

This photo isn’t related to this week’s tip but I am posting it here. Another photo of the girls I took last saturday. I discovered a new location for outdoor portraits. I can’t believe I missed it before.





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