Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 3 August 2015

Photography Motion Blur

It has been a dry start to winter, but last week we finally had some good rain and it has got into the wheatbelt where it is desperately needed. Here is a pic I took under an umbrella down at our harbour area.

I have just spent a fabulous weekend with the Photography Group of Bunbury at a workshop with renowned Australian photographer Nick Melidonis. One thing I learnt is there is still a lot to learn. Actually as technologies change there will always be something new to learn in photography. But as Nick says - "don't be overwhelmed".

One of the practical exercises we played around with was "motion blur" using A1 Servo (this is the Canon terminology) AF-C if you have a Nikon.
Here is a link to Digital Photography School with an explanation for you - One shot VS A1 Servo

Set you shutter speed (TV on Canon) to at least 1/2000th of a second. 
Let your camera adjust your ISO to suit your conditions. 
Select your largest aperture ie F5/6 
Focus where your subject is going to move into - give it room. 
Half press your shuttter speed to focus. 
Then set camera to A1 Servo - your focus will stay on your moving subject. 
Change your "drive" to multiple shots - ie camera will take multiple shots when you press the shutter button. 
Allow room for your subject to move into. You can always crop later. 
 Swivel at the hips as you "track" or "pan with" the moving subject.

Have a willing subject so you can practice! We played around with different shutter speeds as you can see in the examples below. The first shot is at 1/2000th of a second (the action is stopped), the second shot is at 1/30th of a second (the background is blurred because I am tracking the moving subject.
Have fun!

A good place to practise might be at sporting games or by a roadside. The image below was taken at 1/15th of a second. 

The image below was taken at a polocrosse competition at Murchison when we were on holidays recently. Fast and furious action and great to watch! I've just been told there is a Club only about half an hour away where there will be a comp at the end of October. I think I will have to go and watch and take more photos. 

The shutter speed was 1/100th of a second. Nick suggested that I should have perhaps used a slower shutter speed and panned with the moving horses to blur the background. 

There is however a way to do this in post-processing through working with layers in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. If you have used "layers" I hope you will understand my sketchy instructions.

Open up your image. Make a "duplicate layer" to work on. 
Click - "filter" - "blur" - "motion blur"
Moving the "pixels distance" slider will increase or decrease the amount of blur. OK
Then add a "mask" and using an "black adjustment brush" paint the horses and riders back in leaving the background blurred.

 In a way I am of two minds with the result. When I took the shot I wanted to show there were people watching, and in a way I think I have lost that.  I wonder what you think. The bottom example below has not so much blur. 

A friend commented -
"IMHO as a horse person there is enough suggestion of movement with the "blur" of the horses lower legs and the position of the riders - the original is much more indicative of the sport and true to life."

Just for something different, I also played around with changing the original image to "sepia" in the Lightroom program. I rather like the effect.

I hope this little post has given you some ideas to play around with. Just remember - have fun! 

Here is a link to the Polocrosse Association of Western Australia - PAWA

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday

Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday


  1. Oh, what a useful and fun post. My 'action' shots are usually just blurred - subject and background! Have a great week, Jill.

  2. Hello Jill, sounds like an awesome photography workshop. Your action photos are fabulous! Thanks for the helpful tips!
    Enjoy your new week!

  3. Hi Jill! I'd love to take photography classes like you are as I know I'd learn so much. Action shots are difficult for me to get right. Your tips were a good beginning!

  4. I love the images of the horses!

  5. Great shots!
    Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/08/orchids-variety-in-bloom.html

  6. I have pondered PhotoShop but decided I like the simple editing tools so I won't be creating any works of art like here. I will say I like the polo players in sepia better than the colour.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Jill.

  7. Interesting and thanks for the settings. I do like the polo picture in the sepia, I think it works better somehow.

  8. Thanks for sharing this Jill. I need to do a photography course badly. I am attending two workshops at the upcoming Problogger event next week, so maybe that will inspire me to get more into my photography. Love the blurry images - they look great.

  9. Well that was fun and very interesting. I wish that we had some kind of photography classes here. They have them in the big city, but driving in the evening some 60 miles round trip on the Interstate is not something that I can do. I hope that the wheatbelts will get all of the rain they need, my we sure have had plenty of rain here this season. hugs your way~

  10. Wonderful shots and tips!

  11. I love playing around with the camera and you certainly caught on to this...great images.

  12. Thanks for the fabulous tips, Jill - more please! Love your polocross pics - I think I like the sepia one best of all, but would be hard pressed to choose if I had to.

  13. You are WAY far ahead of me Jill! Your photos are always amazing and I love visiting a different season when I visit you.

  14. Love your interesting experiments of your photos. Love the horses and the sepia works well. I think I would have cut a bit out of the left hand side of the shot.

  15. Super fun photos! Wonderful ability! Loved seeing these photos and reading about how to do it!

  16. I like the 2nd one best, for no particular reason - although the sepia looks great too. I am always overwhelmed by photographic technique advancements, but you make it sound almost easy!!


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