22 Aug 2012

Motion Blur - another good reason to shoot after dark!

Motion blur is a really easy effect to achieve, as long as you have a good tripod and a lot of patience.

You also need a good working knowledge of your cameras settings as the "auto" setting just simply won't get the effect right most of the time.

The simplest is to go to fully manual, default ISO, small aperture (I used f10 for the pic above) and then experiment for the right amount of time for best effect. If the exposure time is too long it will be overexposed and if it is too short it will be underexposed plus there won't be much motion blur. This is what the LCD screen is for so use it.

Do not be afraid to experiment! Keep at it until you get what you are after, this is where the patience part comes in, because sometimes the optimal light, or other conditions, will be gone before you get what you want requiring you to try again another time until you get it right. The more you practice the better you will get at nailing it all down in a shorter time. Or as Gary Player said: "The more I practice the luckier I get!"

A good tripod is a must, you simply cannot do this hand held. I use a Velbon Sherpa 603R carbon fibre tripod and can highly recommend it for quality and price.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 22mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod with VR off, f/10, 13.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.


  1. An easy effect to achieve... when you know what you're doin'! :-)

    More seriously, this is a pretty good image, my friend. (Still on the road, keeping comments to a minimum... back in full force in a month)


    1. Great to hear from you Roger! I look forward to having you back in the web-o-sphere soon. :^)

      And happy you like the pic. A lot of people seem to think this sort of thing needs a lot of special skill and an expensive camera, when in truth it is not so difficult and can be done with just about any camera with a few manual controls.

      Have a great day!