Challenge #39: Motion Blur

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I had this spur-of-the-moment bright idea for a challenge, knowing full well I didn’t have the right equipment with me to tackle it properly!!

However, the opportunity to try to capture some nice motion-blur photos was too compelling, and I decided to give it a go.

We were away in London for the weekend, and visiting the bustling Natural History Museum, and with crowds of people and static displays, I decided to take a chance.

Challenge #39 was all about capturing the hustle and bustle of people

One way to achieve motion blur is by slowing the shutter speed right down so that movement is… well… blurred. I had no tripod or remote control on me, and couldn’t find a good place to balance the camera and set the timer going (which is a bit hit-and-miss anyway, because it’s impossible to figure out how and where people are going to move).

For the majority of things I photograph, it’s important to capture motion and movement sharply, so this was a big deviation from my usual photographic style.

Techie Details:
Camera: Canon 5D Mk III
Lens: 50mm f1.4


I usually won’t drop below 1/80 sec hand-held with the 50mm lens (I keep my shutter speed much higher than this for my unwieldy 70-200mm f2.8!), and any photographer will tell you it’s a daft idea to even consider hand-holding below 1/60 sec.

So the fact I thought I’d give 1/5 sec a try is absolutely crazy.

But I’m always up for a challenge.

I haven’t tried this motion blur technique in years, and really just wanted to try it out again while the opportunity presented itself, so I rooted my elbows down on a solid surface, detached Little Whirlwind’s hands from the back of my coat/arm/leg/head, took a deep breath and held it while I released the shutter.


It’s clear the photos aren’t as sharp as I’d like them to be, but I was surprised with the results!  Given more time, I’d have waited and watched a bit more for people moving into the gaps.

That said, I’m now keen to give this another go (with the correct equipment)!!

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