How to shoot movement

[photograph © Dale Morris]

British born wildlife photographer Dale Morris has built a reputation as one of the most widely published photographers in South Africa. His background as a trained naturalist allows him to capture aspects of the natural world that many photographers would miss.  Here are Dale’s thoughts on how to capture movement.

1/ Play with shutter speed

The world is a constant maelstrom of movement and colour, but how does one capture a sense of motion within a single photo frame? The short answer is long exposures. The longer your shutter is open, the more motion blur you will achieve, lending your image a sense of dynamic action and atmosphere.

2/ Use a tripod
At a busy market or in a lively bar, use a tripod to hold your camera steady in low light conditions and go for as long a shutter speed as the lighting conditions allow. Throw in a bit of flash for a ghostly effect.

3/ Shoot star trails
Pointing your camera at the nighttime sky with a super long exposure time will reward you with star trails.

4/ Practise panning
Pan with a moving subject (like a bird or a car or a runner) whilst using a relatively slow shutter speed and you’ll get an action photo with a streaky speed infused background.

5/ Stitch images together
You can also take a series of images with the subject moving through the frame and then stitch them together with panorama software. Your camera may well have this function built in.

My favourite bit of kit:
I am currently in love with my Lowepro Rover Pro backpack. It’s the first bag I have used that’s actually comfortable and very weatherproof. I love the fact that you have a removable shoulder holster type insert for when you don’t want to carry the whole bag with you.

To take a look at some of Dale’s wildlife images, please click here.

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