I have a confession to make

I love things in motion to the point of distraction. I think that it is because of all the years that I spent with my camera permanently attached to a tripod with the lens locked to f/22 and hyperfocal focused trying to get the perfectly sharp "toes to stars" landscapes. Maybe it’s that I see the world and everything in it as being in constant flow that makes me want to show that mysterious swoosh of life. Where I used to be a sharpness junkie I’m now a blur freak. But like all things: when it helps tell the story not just as a blanket technique for the sake of technique.

Maybe I’m just wrong in the head but I have come to love not having my subject totally sharp when it’s moving. It often feels not only more dynamic but more organic to have something blurred in the frame that shows the movement. There’s a fine line between not sharp enough and not blurred enough. I try to find and dance in that line.

I had to cover the 5A state track meet the other week and let me tell ya – if there is a place where you can show motion then that’s it. Hurdles are almost as easy to shoot as straight, read as boring, running: use a high shutter speed, keep the person in focus and when they get to the top of their jump "click!".  Yawn! Did that before. A lot. Next! So since assess is so easy at these events it’s possible to find different angles on the action so I did.


Technicals: Nikon D200 ISO 100 @ 1/60th, Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8 set to f/11, focal length 20mm with polarizing filter to help reduce my shutter speed.

That’s a good example of when I want to make motion liquid. I also like the happy accidents that feed my fuzz hunger. A while ago the wife and I went to a friends dance performance and before she went on I did some photos just to play around. So after making some initial photos I took a few more but pretty much totally botched it. I think that my thumb spun the shutter dial and like a doofus I didn’t check my settings before making more photos. However the resulting frame was more than I would have expected or maybe even hoped for.


Technicals: Nikon D200 ISO 800 @ 1/8th sec, Nikon AF 85mm f/1.4 set to f/1.4

To me that’s the best frame of the whole event. It transcended a literal recording of the dancing and instead makes  a more emotional/spiritual impression of what I saw. Isn’t that what we try to do: show not what we saw with our eyes but what we saw with our hearts and minds?

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