Sunday, 28 April 2013

Capturing emotion and motion

One of the things everyone wants to capture when on safari is an iconic chase or one of the big five running.

While sitting in the safari vehicle waiting for it to happen I decided I would write about capturing emotion, and motion... tips that can apply to any photography situation, not just while on an African Safari.

Capturing Emotion and Feeling
photo taken with a Nikon D7000 and a Sigma 150-500mm

A good photograph stirs up emotions. From your child in the middle of a good laugh with a friend to a feeling of horror over an image of carnage, photographs should make the viewer feel something strongly.

Before you release your shutter, ask yourself what emotion you want your image to evoke. The feeling of amazement at the beauty before you? Do you want to pull at a persons heart strings and photograph mother and child in a moment of tenderness?

Identify with that feeling before you shoot, capture the scene with as many photographs as you can to give you options and your photographs will likely improve.

Capturing Motion
photo taken with a Nikon D7000 and a Sigma 150-500mm

When it comes to motion you have two ways to go... stop the motion or show the motion. If you want to stop the motion you need higher shutter speeds to freeze the moving object. The problem comes when people freeze the motion and then place the subject dead center... it becomes questionable whether the subject was motionless or in full stride.

The tricks with freezing motion are two things... (1) placement of subject and (2) position in which the subject was frozen by the camera. Use a trick to place the subject to one side of the frame and use negative space in front of the moving subject... give the subject room to move inside the photo borders.

If you want to show motion try to slow down the shutter speed a little and pan with the moving subject... If you keep the camera moving with the subject you will keep some of the subject in focus and some with motion blur... when photographing an animal... keep the camera on the head or front shoulders while you pan and the legs and background will be somewhat blurred.