Life from this Lens {July}

Capturing Motion


Funny Story

Ok ... so ... funny story ...

Spoiler alert: I shot the wrong theme.  #oops

July was absolutely INSANE.  We flew back from Florida just barely in time to celebratethe 4th (our neighborhood does an amazing dinner in the street and this year it included a bike parade, which the photo above is from).  In the following days, I went to work and then flew back across the country to Washington D.C. to participate in a super cool experience ... that is a whole other conversation in itself!  Needless to say, I've been busy helping influence national policy in regards to early childhood health, education, and wellness.  SO COOL! 


I flew back home late on my son Gavin's 8th birthday, so we did a lot of celebrating to make up for my absence.  Thankfully, I had taken his annual 7-11 photo (because his birthday is July 11 ... 7/11) before I left for my trip, so we didn't have to miss that tradition.  

Once home, I worked a fair amount so that I could play catch up from being gone, and then we left again for our favorite week of the year in Central Oregon.  This year is a little different though because we decided to make it a work-cation.  We devoted some time to a few maintenance projects around the cabin where we always stay (it belongs to some long time family friends, and we are so blessed to use it often, so we wanted to do some upkeep).  We've stripped and stained the deck, trimmed a ton of trees, and created a new rock pathway around the cabin.  It's been a ton of work, but it looks fantastic!

And so, it's been such a great week!  This place is just our favorite, and it's been really fun to pour into it.  All of that being said, my photography project has really fallen to the wayside this month.  

Here comes the funny part ... all month I thought that I was supposed to be shooting with a long lens.  LOL, turns out that I was supposed to be capturing motion.  OOOOOOPS!!! HAHAHAHA #thatmonthyoushotthewrongtheme

WELL, thankfully my kids are usually moving pretty fast, so I can fill in a few motion photos.  

HAHA!  Here are a few motion {ish} shots that I just happened to take.  They aren't amazing.  Oh well.  I'll do better with our theme in August.  

To look to a photographer who DID know this month's theme, check out Kelly's post.

Kids are always moving

I mean, if you are a parent to young children, you know that they just always move.  It was the thing that first caused me to buy a DSLR when Tyler was 3 weeks old.  My point & shoot just couldn't capture his cuteness in time.

Phone cameras are amazing these days.  However, if you have children, you won't regret buying a DSLR camera that will give you the shutter speed that an average phone camera can't yet compete with.  With some basic knowledge, you will be able to capture some priceless, real-life expressions that you'd likely miss with a phone alone.

Or, step back and capture the beauty of their surroundings.  Forget perfect and just capture them moving!


Shutter Speed


Let's touch on a few photography basics.  Common sense would say that if you increase your shutter speed (so that it snaps photos faster), you will automatically be able to capture motion pictures.  That is a great idea ... if you take into account LIGHT.  Speed is only as good as the light that backs it.  You can snap that shutter as fast as it will move, but if there is not enough of a light source to illuminate your subject, your photo will be underexposed.  For this face painting shot, I could shoot at 1/400 shutter speed as long as I widened my aperture to f/2.8.  I had to compromise focal depth a little bit, but the subject in motion (her hand and paintbrush) are in focus because they are in one plane and my shutter snapped faster than they were moving.  


The slower that you shoot, the longer the sensor is exposed to light.  While more light can enter your lens, you need to make sure that you have enough light in the area to take your photo.  If a subject is moving, you need to have a fast enough shutter speed to keep up with it while also allowing in enough light to illuminate your image.

It becomes a tricky game.  The image below was shot at extremely low light.  I wanted to capture the motion of the firework, but I knew I had to sacrifice something in order to expose the photo correctly.  Aperture had to give, so I had to let the blur speak for itself and use a slower shutter speed to capture our neighbor Henry in focus while he watched the show.



It's tempting to holler at them to look and smile.  Believe me, I do it ALL THE TIME.  But my favorite photos are often the ones where I resisted the temptation and just let them move and play freely.


Motion Doesn't Have to be Fast

We tend to think of motion as quick moving subjects.  However, sometimes the best way to shoot motion is to capture the moment right before the actual movement.  The viewer still knows that movement was about to occur.  There is still a feeling of motion even though the subject is temporarily still enough to take the photo.


Throw back

Since we are talking about motion, I can't help but toss in one sports shot.  The sport we do in our family is Gymnastics.  I love this one from February at a meet.  If the motion theme would have been during the winter months, you would have seen this type of photo throughout my entire post!  


In the spirit of PLAY, I'm cutting this post very short because we are busy playing with friends.  Happy Summer everybody!