Motion Mastery

By: pbcmedia

Oct 28 2008

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Creativity, Humor, Motion Studies, Personal, Photography, The Single Life


Focal Length:16mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

I am beginning a new series called “Motion”.  I start with this because it is the only image from many yesterday that sorta but not quite got close to something.

I am no good at taking pictures of humans or objects in motion.  I have decided to learn, dammit.  Once and for all.  Being without a car, I have noticed things going by me more acutely than ever before.  Boing!  (I love that word) I said to myself.  What a perfect time to teach yourself how to use all these settings on your camera and get some images of the world in motion.  It is after all spinning the whole freakin’ day and night.

So, this is my first effort and let me say at the outset, I need any pointers or thoughts on photographing motion that you have.  I can’t carry a tri-pod and the camera too so it’s got to be hand held.  I am definitely not going as fast as the vehicle so panning is tricky.

So, as I begin this quest for Motion Mastery, I invite all tips, suggestions and advice.

Having laid out my intent, let me tell you why I chose this photo.

First things first, I like my trucks to match the autumn tree colors.  It’s a girl thing.

Second, I like the truck to be going in the same direction as the trees.  The distortion of the 17mm wide angle makes the trees look like they are in a hurricane tunnel.  Yes, it’s an imperfection.  But, it made me laugh.

So, that’s why I posted it.  It’s imperfect.  It made me laugh.  I have to have fun as I begin my motion mastery phase of life.

The three M’s is what we call it in my household of one.

I am going to post all of the 3 M submissions on a mobile me gallery as I add to them.  One of the things I love about other blogs, like BonnieLuria’s site and her painter friends is that they show their art in progression, or how it gets to be what it is.   I so appreciate seeing the stages of her creativity and eavesdropping on her friends, their generosity of sharing the blank to the finished canvas makes me return time and again to their blogs.

So, I think this spirit is how I shall bridge two goods: the singularity of imagination and the journey one image can take you on; the world that can be created all by its lonesome stand alone self AND the second good:  the interest I have in process and how someone learns their craft.  Some things lend itself to single viewing and others, like this motion project, a project of teaching myself how to take better motion imagery, seems to be perfect for the multiple image mobile me gallery.  So, condundrum resolved. We move on. I should work for the UN.

©Pat Coakley 2008


9 comments on “Motion Mastery”

  1. Coming past every time a joy!
    How much I love the distortion, matching colours and slight motion blur in the trees, just enough to wonder, if there is one or not and: to really want to look at the print!
    Can you feel the wind going through your hair the way I feel it? It’s giving me a very pleasant shiver.

  2. Wow… really unique…

  3. Hey, Pat. Thanks for your comment earlier. I love your photos at the moment. After several days away from the computer, I’m playing catch up! The asphalt series and that leaf… oh, that leaf. It’s worthy of its own greeting card – so beautiful. As for motion, I think this one is fantastic. I’m not great at motion myself, but sometimes the mistake photos can be great in their own right, with that blur of light. Anyway, I like the fact that you used the word BOING. It reminded me for the first time in a great many years of a band I used to love when I was a budding teen – Oingo BOINGo. Don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them – have a look on You Tube. It’s not exactly the best music in the world, but as it’s Hallowe’en on Friday, here’s a song for you:
    enjoy and please don’t kill me for sending it to you!

  4. I love your “Yellow in Motion”. It’s very, um… real. It looks very much as if I were standing by the side of the road while the truck passed.

  5. The ethereal hovering of that image gives the viewer a sense of a craft, almost hydroplaning across the road.
    Just because you can’t propel yourself in your car, hasn’t prevented you from depicting movement.
    Every time I visit your blog, and the image begins to upload, I have no idea what I’m going to find.

    This reminds me of the juxtaposition of being in a stationery car, while the car next to you is moving and for a brief moment you can’t discern whether it’s you or them that’s moving.

    As you’ve said, there are so many settings on a camera that don’t get used. They’re your paint tubes.

    I really appreciate the mention above and it tickles me to picture you reading others comments and segueing over to their blogs.
    The learning forum here is generous, endless and so very valuable.

  6. Since you’re in the mood to play about with motion. How about practicing panning?

    Since you are shooting digital and don’t have to worry about the cost of film, you can take heaps of experimental photos.

    You don’t have to have your camera on a tripod to pan. Also try panning with shorter exposures like a quarter or an eighth of a second.

    I find that if your using a wide angle lens that I get better results if I don’t look through the viewfinder and I just hold the camera near my face so I can see it and the moving subject at the same time so I can synchronise myself the its movement.

    Panning is a bit of a hit and a miss affair but every now and again you’ll get something that will knock your socks off!

  7. Hey Pat. In speaking about motion, Razz hit it on the nose in saying that it will “knock your socks off.”

    I love digital. It allows you to learn so quickly. Not like the old days where you’d shoot a few rolls, develop them whenever you could, then try like hell to remember what you did to get that one surprisingly great shot. With still digital shots, though, it can get somewhat anti-climactic. You look through the viewfinder, you shoot, and when you review it a second later it’s usually kinda what you were just looking at.

    Add motion, though, and the element of surprise returns. There’s a disconnect between what your eye sees and what the sensor records. It takes me back to the days when I was still hand developing film. I was so excited to view what came out of the can… but that was usually because I forgot what I’d been shooting. I’m always excited to upload them to my computer and open them on a nice big screen to see if they work or not.

    I’m excited to see what you post. I’ll have to add a search function for motion pictures on my blog as well.

  8. O, boy! I’m just fresh back from experimenting as Razz and Chris suggested! More on that later, but this is precisely what I needed to do and digital allows you to experiment without paying for all the failures. Thanks so so much for this advice Razz and Chris!

    Sannekurz, you are a joy yourself! I just looked at some of your youtube movies and marvel that this blogging adventure can deposit such talent right on my doorstep!
    Amber: This is why I can’t wait till you get your camera.
    Epic, I haven’t listened to your youtube music yet but I’m laughing already! Boing. c’mon it’s a great word. I’ll love this group regardless of how they sound.
    BL: “ethereal hovering”…c’mon, along with “Boing” that is now my favorite phrase. Author: Bonnieluria. Once again.

  9. […] Motion Mastery continues and slow shutter speeds is just the least of it. […]

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