With summer fast approaching (and a couple of 90° days here in Northern California), our Lowepro team began to contemplate the heat. More specifically, that blurry effect you see above blacktop on hot days. That got us thinking, what type of blur do our Lowepro Storytellers experience when shooting? We reckoned they could come up with some blurry images that knock the socks off heat above blacktop. Enjoy our Storyteller interpretations of Blur!
You know the feeling when you have to get-the-shot no matter what? This image was one of those moments. During a sunset surf the colors turned from stunning golden hues to vibrant shades of purple and pink, and knew I had to try and capture it. I ran out of the water to the car for the camera, and by the time I was back the sun had set and colors faded. I practically fell backwards as I tried to capture the last light and my friend, not noticing water drops on the lens. But in the end this ‘mistake’ created a blur effect that I think works. Sometimes you just need to go with your gut and try to get the best shot you can.
I love me some beautiful bokeh, but what moves me more is literally M O V E M E N T. Motion blur creates a whimsy emotion that can otherwise be hard to capture or express in a photograph. Taken at a recent wedding, this goofy group was down for anything.
It’s great to have a nice sharp and crispy image. For me, it’s even better to have a sharp subject and show motion in the same frame. Here my friend, Charles Mencel, is finishing the details on a longboard he shaped. Slowing the shutter speed down on my Canon 5D and opening the aperture wide, I had enough light to make a well exposed image, as well as show the movement as he sanded down the rails.
This is the men’s elite pack running through Central Park during the 2017 United NYC Half Marathon. Sambu led the pack here, but Lilesa ended up winning with a time of 1:00:04. Thats a 4:35 mile. Here, I decided to emphasize the motion of the runners and separate the leader from the pack by using a panning technique, which is definitely far more difficult when capturing elite runners traveling at this type of speed.
Although I was been born and raised in Colorado, I absolutely love the water. Last summer, I spent a full month driving up and down Oregon and Washington’s coastline, loving every minute of it. Everyday was a new adventure. Clouds were never really an issue, but one thing I began to realize, and found a need to work around, was the occasional lack of color.
On this particular evening, I was photographing in Pacific City, OR and had just shot Cape Kiwanda with no real results. As I was hiking back to my car the thought struck me, “Make a foreground out of what you have, work with it.” With that, I ran out knee deep in the receding tide and began working on creating a leading line with the waves as they came in, aiming for a short enough shutter to still retain texture in the water, yet long enough to blur. The end result was one I really liked.
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 16-35mm
Shutter: 1.6 second
When I’m traveling, one of my favorite times to go out and take photos is after a rain at dusk, or even in the middle of one. Something magical happens in the streets when everyone is running for cover in the rain and I get to stand and watch. This was taken near the end of a monsoon in Kathmandu, Nepal.
This image of Havasu Falls was photographed near the village of Supai in the Grand Canyon. I arrived into the valley via horseback and left via helicopter (it’s a long story). By slowing down the shutter to 1.3 seconds, I was able to capture the blur of the waterfalls.
f/11; 1.3 seconds; ISO 50; 35mm lens
For this month’s mission I wanted to show an image with some kind of motion blur. This was a challenge as none of my toys actually move in my images. I often create movement with other elements in my images though, in this case the dirt and debris flying past Ant-Man. This is a practical effect that simply involved me standing off-camera throwing dirt into the scene. The shutter speed I chose had to be one that was fast enough to maintain dirt & debris detail while also allowing a slight motion blur to imply Ant-Man and Captain America’s shield traveling at a high rate of speed.
A flowing river passes by this Fasciated Tiger Heron as it patiently waits for its next meal. These birds sit so still that I was able to use an unusually slow shutter speed to capture this image. More than 2 seconds!
Canon EOS 7D
Shutter speed: 3.2 sec
Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x
The most common way that I use blur in my imagery is through blurring out objects in the foreground. I like that using shallow depth of field creates a cinematic feeling. This image was taken of model Faith Picozzi and styled by Madeline Harmon of Chuck’s Vintage in Los Angeles, CA. The concept was to use the foliage to create pops of color and to create a feeling of voyeurism, like the model was almost caught in the moment.
Canon 5D Mark III
24-70mm f/2.8 II
To shoot this double-page-spread program cover for a massive motorcycle rally, we recruited local playboy/chicken rancher, Bernie Loewen, to get his motor running along the back roads of British Columbia. Meanwhile, I tethered a 600WS Elinchron mono block and battery, along with my camera and my left leg to a low-bed trailer to create this Easy Rider shot. I had to rely on my assistant to shout out when the bumps were coming up so I didn’t smash my hand into the pavement as we rode over them.
Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: 17-40mm (wide open)
ISO: 400, f 4.5, Shutter: 1/125
I hadn’t noticed how orange the smoke was from the fire burning inside our little shack until I captured this photo. It was my first time seeing the Northern Lights and, even though I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes, I didn’t want to stop playing with my shutter speed and camera settings. I ended up turning my tripod towards the shack and captured a final photo with the motion blur of the fire, the Northern Lights and even a shooting star. It felt like the perfect way to capture our unforgettable night!
This picture-perfect scene was taken just steps away from the house where our bride grew up. I chose to shoot this image with my 24mm tilt-shift lens to add a painterly effect to the river and literally focus the viewer’s eye towards the couple. The bride’s radiant smile does the rest 🙂
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Borobudur is set on a mountaintop in the Central Java area of Indonesia, amidst volcanoes and lush forest. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, with over 500 Buddha statues scattered around the site. Climbing to the top of 95-foot high pyramid is like a pilgrimage in itself, providing an inner peace and enlightenment. The ascent can be difficult, but there are several terraces to explore along the way, each one giving a different perspective.
One moment you’re a child, next you’re a fully grown adult sitting on the sidelines of life. Life creeps up on you, it moves quick and gentle. Life sometimes could be told as one big happy blur.
When shooting landscapes I often have another camera with longer lens in my bag. I use it to hand hold shots in case wildlife appears or I want to catch a detail of the moment. On this occasion, I was shooting sunrise at Vermillion Lakes in Banff with my wide angle on the tripod. I wanted to catch some details from the moment and, unusually, decided to shoot wide open at 2.8. I like how the shallow depth of field creates a little mystery and adds to the atmosphere of the moment.
Nikkor 70-200 2.8 lens at 122mm
I do a lot of composite involving sports and, as a result, most of my work needs some elements of blur to help convey a sense of movement. This image is a great example as the original image is a panning shot of the biker, which intentionally blurred the road and the wheels in camera. In Photoshop, I replaced the background with some mountains I shot in Whistler, BC and added some blur to them so that the overall image would be cohesive.
EXIF – Original Image
I love playing with light, color and texture. Working with long exposures allows me to do just that. In this case, I wanted to emphasize the beautiful colors of the scene while creating a sense of movement in the image. I used a 3 minute exposure during sunset along the beautiful Mendocino coastline, letting the clouds and crashing waves paint in the scene.
Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 3 minutes
No filters, one exposure