Day 266 – Catching the Action   5 comments

Here’s another wedding reception image. For some of the dance part of the evening, I wanted to use a technique that captures the motion and energy of an active scene. Note that the only post processing on this image was a bit of curves adjustment and a crop. I’m sure this technique is familiar to many, but just in case it’s a bit of a mystery, here’s what I did.

I used a simple approach where I had the flash set to second curtain synchronization, the camera on manual and used a slow shutter speed (settings were ISO 50, f2.2, 100mm, 0.3s).  With second curtain sync, the flash triggers at the end of the exposure rather than the default of triggering at the beginning of an exposure. When this is combined with a slow shutter speed, a moving subject will have a motion blur following them to a point of stillness.

In this image, the subject was not moving in a straight line, so the motion blur is in multiple directions. Also there were coloured strobes adding to the scene and freezing moments (like where her head is up and turned to the left). The technique creates a lot of misses, especially on a dance floor where there are lots of people moving in and out of the frame and flailing limbs appearing unexpectedly in your shot. I tried exposure times varying from 0.3s to 1.6s. The longer exposures tended to capture a bit too much chaos in a very active scene.

I think I came away with a few pretty fun shots that hopefully captured the energy of the evening.

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5 responses to “Day 266 – Catching the Action

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  1. I love this image. I know in situations like this, it takes skill and patience to get a great image, and you did. 🙂 I’m sure your client was happy!

  2. Love the shutter drag/second curtain! I really like how she has her head turned to the left, what a fun capture!

  3. An excellent technique! Thanks for sharing it with us. I have to give this a try now. I like your results. Cheers!

  4. Now that is getting down with it! That’s a cool technique too.

  5. Very well done! Look forward to try this technique out myself too!

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