Relative motion

Capturing motion is different depending on where subject is and how it’s moving relative to the camera.

If a runner is moving from one side of the frame to the other (left to right or right to left), he/she will look like they’re going faster than if they’re coming towards or away from the camera (back to front, front to back) even if the actual speed of the runner is the same in both cases. So it is easier to stop the motion of an object moving straight on or away from the camera. If it’s moving from side to side at the same speed, you’ll have to use a faster shutter speed to stop the action.

Also, any moving object will appear faster the closer to the camera it is. A jet airliner flying at a couple hundred miles per hour thousands of feet high in the sky can look like it’s moving at a snail’s pace but a bicyclist moving at about 20 mph at 10 feet away will look like it’s zipping past at a much faster speed than the plane.

In this photo the of Members of the Astrapi Keravnos Greek dance group are performing traditional dances at the Greek Food Festival at St. Basil’s Church in Stockton. The circular nature of the dance passed about half of group closer to the camera than the others. At 1/30th of the second the closer dancers show significant signs of motion blur. But the dancers that are further away, though still slightly blurred, are much sharper despite the fact that they were moving at about the same speed.

This entry was posted in Sports, Techniques, Tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives