Daily Photo – Crit Motion Blur

Here’s another shot from the ATT Crit in Austin earlier in the summer. This is during the final race, after the sun had already gone down. There simply wasn’t enough light to work with, even at the extremes: max ISO, almost wide open, slow shutter speed. Not exactly ideal for a sports event.


  • Shutter: 1/60
  • Aperture: f/2.0
  • ISO: 6400
  • Camera: Canon EOS 1d mIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM


Composition and Processing

  • Due to the shutter limitations, I had been trying panning shots. But after a while I kind of got bored with that and decided to reverse things: blurred subject and static background. I liked the way these fans had lined up on the construction barricade across the street, and thought the extra light from the walkway would help highlight the riders. I could have taken this shot against a simpler background, but having the fans in there made the shot less one-dimensional.
  • The motion blur itself was a bit tricky: I needed just the right amount of blur to imply motion, but not so much you couldn’t identify what it was. On top of that, I didn’t want to obscure the fans too much. 1/60 turned out to be the right shutter speed, but it took a lot of shots to get a lone cyclist in just the right position in the frame.
  • I tilted the shot to the right to increase the feeling of action and speed (downhill, essentially). That’s a pretty straigtforward technique. Fortunately I had enough room to do it without losing too much of the cyclist.

September 12 2008 11:24 pm | Photography

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply