Digital Imaging: Motion – Freeze & Blur

I learned a lot from this practice and got some ideas for some future photo shoots as well. It made me really think about how to be more creative with my use of shutter speed, either by capturing movement or by creating a more abstract feeling by showing the motion.

Frozen Motion

alexismoser_cranberryjuiceblackCranberry Juice on Black Background – Frozen Motion

January 24, 2017; 17:44 MST; Sugar City, Idaho; 75.00 mm; 1/200 sec; f/5; ISO 100; Shutter priority; NIKON D3400; Tripod used

For this image I set up a studio of sorts in our living room. I used a stool on the coffee table with a piece of black velvet draped over it. I like velvet better than regular fabric because it has a deeper color to it and if the light does reflect on it it adds a rippling look. I set up a studio light behind and to the right side of the the glass. I then set up with a tripod to get the focus set and then had my dad pour the cranberry juice into the glass while I shot the image. We found that the most dynamic images came when we poured quickly and from a higher elevation. It also made a bit of a mess when it poured over a couple of times.


alexismoser_bluewaterdropBlue Water Drop – Frozen Motion

January 24, 2017; 18:08 MST; Sugar City, Idaho; 100.00 mm; 1/200 sec; f/5.6; ISO 100; Shutter priority; NIKON D3400; Tripod used

After doing the rich images of the cranberry juice on a black background I thought it would be fun to make some contrasting images on a white background with water and blue food dye. The background is just a large poster paper that is tapped to the top of the stool, a really cheap but professional backdrop. This is from a drop of food dye being dropped from about a foot or more so that it mixes quickly and pushes farther down in the glass. I used the same light as before but I also attached a flash to the camera but pointing straight up (away from the camera) so that it only triggered the other light without throwing the light straight at the object.


alexismoser_bluewaterswirlBlue Water Swirl – Frozen Motion

January 24, 2017; 18:10 MST; Sugar City, Idaho; 135.00 mm; 1/200 sec; f/6; ISO 100; Shutter priority; NIKON D3400

After doing single drop images we decided to try stirring the water and then dropping the food dye in. This is an image from above without a tripod. You can see the layers of the food dye spinning off.


alexismoser_bluewaterribbonsBlue Water Ribbons – Frozen Motion

January 24, 2017; 18:10 MST; Sugar City, Idaho; 100.00 mm; 1/200 sec; f/5.6; ISO 100; Shutter priority; NIKON D3400

This is an image of the food dye being dropped into the spinning water from the side. One of my favorite parts is that it looks like ribbons being pulled off. I did retouch to remove a few colored droplets from the top of the glass. I felt like they were distracting and I wanted the image to be very minimalist.


Blurred Motion

alexismoser_spinningglobeSpinning Globe – Blurred Motion

January 24, 2017; 10:49 MST; Sugar City, Idaho; 65.00 mm; 1/80 sec; f/5; ISO 800; Shutter priority; NIKON D3400; Tripod Used

This is a globe that I found in my mom’s classroom. I set it up with a black mounting board behind it and red felt around the base of it. I set up a steady light to the left side of the globe and had my mom spin it while I took the images. I used a tripod to steady this shot.


alexismoser_warbetweenbrothersWar Between Brothers– Blurred Motion

January 22, 2017; 18:40 MST; Porter Park, Rexburg, Idaho; 65.00 mm; 1/6 sec; f/5.3; ISO 200; Shutter priority; NIKON D70

I really wanted to try doing some Star Wars themed photos with motion. So I bought some light up light sabers and rounded up some friends to be my models. We actually went to the park at 4:30 p.m. but there was still too much light to really see the colors of the sabers. It was overcast and lightly snowing. They kindly waited outside with me for about 45 minutes before the lighting was good enough to really start shooting. This ended up being kind of fun because by then they had a layer of snow on their clothes and in their hair. I was leaning against a tree to steady myself for the slower shutter speed while giving myself the mobility to move around to capture them while they fake fought with the sabers. Probably the most challenging part about this shoot was getting enough of the shot clear that you could tell what they were doing while still capturing the movement.


alexismoser_christmasexcitementChristmas Excitement – Blurred Motion

January 24, 2017; 16:58 MST; Sugar City, Idaho; 105.00 mm; 1/30 sec; f/5.6; ISO 125; Shutter priority; NIKON D3400; Tripod Used

For this image I put the background and the image on the floor with the tripod and camera over it. While the shutter was open I would then adjust the lens length. I found that this was most successful for me if I zoomed in rather than zooming out.


alexismoser_fallingfeathersFalling Feathers – Blurred Motion

January 24, 2017; 16:34 MST; Sugar City, Idaho; 50.00 mm; 1/.4 sec; f/11; ISO 100; Shutter priority; NIKON D3400; Tripod Used

I found some really colorful feathers and thought that they would make a fun blurred image. I staged some feathers at the bottom the paper that I was using as the backdrop and focused on those. Then while the shutter was open we dropped feathers a little behind the fathers already on the table. I used a light to the left for this shot.



12 thoughts on “Digital Imaging: Motion – Freeze & Blur

  1. Pingback: Student Highlights: W17 Comm 300 – Motion | Caryn Esplin | Fine Art Photography

  2. Your photos are amazing!! I actually did the wine glass with blue food coloring as well, but your images turned out beautiful! The colors turned out great! I’m so excited to see more of your work! The amount of blur is perfect and your freeze motion is on point!

    • Thank you. I really liked your basketball shots for this project. The aperture with the frozen motion takes serious skill.

    • It is kind of funny but that is the one that I probably planned the least and it is one of my favorites too. I had done a lot from the side and my dad is actually the one who suggested that I tried coming from up above because he thought it looked cool when he was watching it. 🙂

    • I probably did the food coloring 3 or 4 times and the cranberry juice 4 or 5 times. I hope I am detailed enough in my blog that it helps. 🙂 I love looking at everyone else’s’ pictures for ideas and I have been blessed with a lot of great mentors too.

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