How To Show Motion In Photography? 3 Best Tips And Types

Updated on November 1, 2022 in Photography by

How To Show Motion In Photography? 3 Best Tips And Types

Showing motion in photography can be very tricky. You have to be very precise and know the basics to make sure that motion photography looks artistic while emphasizing the intention.

So, what makes a photograph with motion good and how do you achieve the purpose? Keep reading.

What does motion mean in photography?

Motion in photography is all about capturing the movement. It allows you to preserve the action in brief for a moment. Motion reflects a situation, direction, and event in an image captured within a few seconds from when the shutter button is released. It gives a beautiful panning effect caused by the movement of the subject or the objects around it.

How do you show motion in photography?

The motion in photography is affected majorly by four things that are shutter speed, camera stability, lighting, and the speed of the subject.

1. Shutter speed

Motion In Photography
@Unsplash

Shutter speed is the number one factor that affects motion in photography. It depends on your shutter speed that how fast or slow the motion will be captured in the frame.

You can control your shutter speed and determine how slow or fast it needs to be. However, my best tip to capture motion in photography would be to use a slower shutter speed.

To capture motion photography requires a longer exposure time and slowing the shutter speed lets you get this long exposure.

2. Camera stability

Motion In Photography

You’ll want your camera to be very stable when capturing motion in photography. It would be better if you can use a tripod or any other stable thing to place your camera.

If your camera is not stable, the slow shutter speed will make everything blurry. Even in motion photography, you’ll often want to capture some of the elements crisp and in detail, and it’d be impossible to do that if your camera is moving with longer exposure.

3. Lighting

Motion In Photography

Just like in every other thing in photography, lighting plays a huge role in motion photography. With a slower shutter speed, you’ll be allowing more light to enter the camera lens which might put you at the risk of overexposing your image.

Therefore, it’s important that you take care of the lighting. You may want to capture motion photography in low light, usually during dawn, dusk, or night.

4. Speed of the subject

Motion In Photography

Though the speed of the subject does affect the motion in photography, it is one of the factors that you can’t control. Since most of your motion blur images might be taken in public places, at sports events, or during travel, you do not have much of a say in what should be the speed of your subject or object around you.

However, you may control the speed when shooting in the studio for the shots like flipping hair or some other kind of athletic action.

But I’d highly recommend letting your subject be at the natural speed and you work on the other things that can be controlled – like the other three factors explained above.

What is motion blur?

Motion In Photography
blur background and stable subject

Motion blur is a type of motion in photography that intentionally blurs an object in motion to add action and interesting visual effect to a photo. It is often used in candid photography, sports photography, and nature photography.

What are the 2 types of motion blur?

Motion In Photography
blur subject and stable background

Motion blur effect can be given in two ways to any photo. It can be created by either blurring the background in motion and keeping the subject still, or by blurring the subject in action and keeping the background still.

What are 3 types of motion in photography?

There are three types of motion in photography that are freeze-frame, motion blur, and visual flow.

1. Freeze frame

Motion In Photography

Freeze-frame is where you simply freeze the frame while the subject is in motion, often suspended in the air. The aim is to capture the motion while keeping the image mostly clear.

2. Motion blur

Motion In Photography

Motion blur is the most common type of motion photography where the object that is in action is blurred out whereas the objects not in motion are shown in detail.

It can intentionally be created by either keeping the background in motion and subject stable or vice versa. The purpose is to create an interesting visual effect in the image.

3. Visual blur

Motion In Photography

In visual flow, the only factors controlled are the lighting, camera stability, and shutter speed. Nothing is done to the scene. The motion of the subject and background are shot as they are without any interference.

The aim here is usually to show the brief moment of the event just the way it could be seen with the naked eyes.

Bonus Read

The motion in photography is added to tell a story, add an interesting factor, capture the moment in action, and create drama. It is one of the most interesting styles of photography that is very popular among travel, wildlife, and sports photographers.

This article revolves around explaining the basics of motion photography and teaching you about what factors affect motion photography and how you can control it.

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