Abbreviations you may come across during this post. AFAC~ airy fairy abstract concept. AAFP ~ annoying as F-bomb prompt. CBBP ~ completely bloody barking prompt.
This week has been all about ‘motion’. I haven’t been that successful, and have frozen motion rather than blurred it as blurring usually requires a tripod, slow shutter speed and specialised filters which I haven’t got. Anyway, on with the show!
Day 248 ~ Stream. ~ We will stretch ourselves with new skills and revisit some old ones. Photographing motion can be tricky but, with the right shutter speed and a little patience, it can also be FUN! Adding motion to your image can help tell the story, convey an emotion, or even set the overall mood. Water makes a great subject to practice shutter speeds from streams to streaming water! Tips: Faster shutter speeds will freeze the action and capture the details. Use a SS of 1/250 or higher. With slower shutter speeds, movement is captured as a blur – SS of 1/60 or lower.
Water sounded a bit boring to me.
Day 249 ~ Fowl. Don’t let this word limit you. When I searched what the actual definition of fowl is I found this: “A bird, such as a chicken, duck, or dove that is raised or hunted for food. Or in scientific usage, any of various birds having large heavy bodies, short wings, and legs built for running and scratching the ground. Most fowl nest on the ground. The turkey, pheasant, quail, grouse, partridge, and chicken are fowl.” I am lucky to live near many lakes, rivers, and ponds and all throughout the year we have no shortage of fowl that can be seen on or near them. See if you can find one of these feathered friends in motion today. You may be surprised by how many you see once you consciously watch for them!
Well what an AAFP! What if you don’t live near lakes, rivers and ponds?? What if you’re at work all day, then cooking dinner for visiting family members and don’t have time to get to a lake??? Are all these prompt ladies retired or living off their husband’s salaries?? There was no chance I was going to find a duck swimming about on the streets of Wardley. However, it didn’t stop me photographing a ‘fowl’. Crispy aromatic duck served with pancakes, spring onions, cucumber and hoisin sauce. And yes, it was delicioso!
Day 250 ~ Space ~ I used space to help show movement in this photo. I have space in front of the vehicle so that there is room in the photo for it to travel. I used a technique called panning in attempt to capture the movement. For the perfect panning photo, use a shutter speed between 1/30 and 1/125s. The faster the subject is moving, the higher your shutter speed needs to be. Focus on your moving subject and pan your camera from side to side in tandem with the object as it moves through the frame. This will cause blur in the background giving the illusion of movement. Panning is a lot of fun, give it shot!
And another AAFP. Actually panning is not a lot of fun when you’ve been at work all day, had your dinner, then have 1/2hr to get your shot and you’re rubbish at panning. Phil didn’t fancy driving up and down our street, so we tried with a toy car that rolls forward if you pull the wheels back. I had about 50 goes before Phil headed for the whisky bottle, but it was no good as you’re supposed to have space for it to enter, not space that it’s left! So I sat upstairs looking out of the bedroom window with my pap lens on the camera, and managed to pan a magpie flying across the sky and out into space. It’s not great but it fits the prompt. Just. Not winning at panning.
Day 251 ~ prompt free. ~ Prompt Free Days often bring to mind the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Some days, we feel restricted by the prompt, but on other days, no specific prompt makes us feel lost by having no point of departure. Think about these prompt free days as a check-in as to how this project is changing you. What do you notice that you would have overlooked previously? What small moments in you day now feel bigger and call to be documented? Today is a blank canvas for which all of the other prompts have prepared you. Keep your eyes open and have fun!
When I got home from work and parked the car, I noticed a giant spider and web across 2 of the bushes opposite our house and thought that’d be a good one if I can get the spider to move. Didn’t go quite as planned, although he was travelling his web the slow shutter speed photo’s were a bit of a mess so I froze the action instead. That little black blob on the left is his aim, a nice juicy morsel. Anyway as I was shooting Vinnie came out and nudged the bush, which made the web wobble, which made Spidey shoot off like a bat out of hell and that made me do the same!
Day 252~ Animated. ~ The dictionary definition for animated is “full of life or excitement; lively.” Based on this definition, nothing says animated more than a two year old…and even more so when he is being chased by his auntie! Animation is not contained only in motion, but also in facial expressions and the “mood” conveyed by an image. Today’s photo should be full of excitement. Your subject may be a child; but it might also be a pet, another adult, wildlife…or some other creative subject that you might conjure up. Whatever you choose, show us a photo that is full of life!
Well this is a bit of a failure- ‘today’s photo should be full of excitement’, I don’t have kids to hand, or excitable dogs/deer/ etc. Winnie is definitely animated and excited, but not until about 9.30pm when it’s dark outside and she can leap about like a loony chasing moths. Lord Vincent is not really animated or excited about much at all, but he does love to rolly polly on the patio when the sun is out and will roll over several times and have his belly tickled too. Might not be exciting to anyone else but it is to us.
Day 253 ~ Underneath. ~ How do you like to show motion? Knowing the best shutter speed is important. Remember that slow shutter speeds cause blur and fast shutter speeds stop the motion. I tend to go for a fast shutter speed, and to stop the motion. Standing underneath my brother in law as he takes a swing on the rope that we found on our walk, I managed to get a great angle to show his enjoyment. What will you find to photograph from underneath?
AAFP the third. I don’t really go about ‘showing motion’. I’m not a sports photographer or one to be shooting motor vehicles. Sigh. If I’m photographing birds or cats I stop the motion, if I can. I took my iPhone with me on a walk this morning but the only thing I could think to shoot was the stormy clouds above me.
Day 254 ~ Discovery. ~ Capturing wildlife on camera can be difficult. They are constantly in motion and you have to be quick! My little buddy was scurrying about quite ferociously and begging me for peanuts. When he discovered the cache I had left, I managed to capture him in motion munching on his treats. His little body was either trembling in anticipation for his tasty snack or because another squirrel was running about and threatening to take it from him. (I am in the habit of causing “squirrel wars” with my peanut snacks!) In order to capture wildlife in action it is best to use a high shutter speed and multiple high speed shots!
Ah Mrs.Cocktail ~ Dress, let me down with an AFAC. Why didn’t you just call it ‘wildlife’? Do all the prompt ladies live in the Great American Outback, where the deer and the buffalo roam?? There’s precious little wildlife in urban Gateshead I have to say, other than dicky birds, and I’ve done a couple of those in other prompts. Luckily 10 minutes driving brings me to the Washington Wetland Centre where they have some Asian Shortclawed Otters, so Phil and I went off for a mini-outing and we got to see them swimming about. This one discovered a fish in the water, I think the keepers throw some dead ones in while the otters are asleep for them to discover when they get up. Anyway the blighters move so fast and even with a fast shutter speed I had a lot of misses. This one isn’t quite as sharp as I’d like but it fits the ‘discovery’ bit.
So another week done, and ‘motion’ is over. Not quite as onerous as double-exposure week was, but still a bit of a struggle. As usual I’ve learned some stuff, and I’m adding doing otter photography to my practice, I’d like to get some good ‘motion’ shots of them. Onwards then dear reader, onwards to the sodding selfie week. Deep joy. 🥴