One of the hardest jobs for a photographer is shooting moving targets. Not only is it hard to catch them in the frame, but it’s also hard to keep the image from blurring. It’s a lot more challenging than taking photos of food. Thankfully, there are a few tricks of the trade that you can learn. So let’s learn how to capture moving targets without motion blur.
If you have a digital camera you can use the AF-C mode, which is continuous autofocus. This will enable your camera to focus on the moving object whether it’s far or near, and very quickly – thus giving you an opportunity to capture the image in the frame without worrying about the issue of motion blur.
Try Dynamic Mode
Most digital cameras today have another autofocus mode called Dynamic mode. This mode will also help control the image captured even if you’re moving, in addition to the subject moving. If you’re tracking a bird or a motorcycle, and you’re in a car or other moving machine, then you can focus on getting your frame right while the camera does the work to eliminate blur.
Take the Photo from a Distance
It’s much easier to focus on a moving object if you’re not up close to it, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, you can get the image you want in the frame easier, though you may miss some detail. Secondly, it won’t be likely to blur since the camera isn’t being forced to focus differently, on what’s close and what’s far.
Shutter and Aperture
It’s vital to get these two elements right. The aperture is the opening of the lens and is literally the camera hole and how big you open it. On your camera, it’s listed as f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8 and so forth. The larger the hole, the more light gets in. The shutter speed you choose depends on a lot of maths, including the distance you are from the subject, the direction of the motion, and other factors. In reality, you just have to practice to get this right. Try different speeds on different shots and compare your results.
You’ll need to experiment with the white balance on your particular camera. Learn how to set WB manually to ensure that it’s accurate and works best. The reason this is important is that if the WB is not set right (and it might be right on Auto), then the focus of the picture in your frame might not look as sharp as it should.
You may need to set your camera to manual mode to avoid any type of flash with motion pictures. Flash slows down things, so you want to avoid that if at all possible. This brings us back to why learning aperture is so important, you want to avoid using flash and let in the right amount of light in other ways.
If you want to take professional moving images without blur, it will take some practice. As you practice and look at the results, take notes so that you know what worked and what didn’t. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.