The movement in photography

The movement in photography

Hello dear photo hunter,

In this article we will talk about movement in photography: the movements made by the camera with your hands moving from one direction to the other, the shutter speed of your camera or movement of your model. The movement is important in photography, it will come to energize your image and offer a sense of reading.

The purpose of moving photo is to get graphic images, it’s good to incorporate one or a few into your series. They will not always make sense, but will be very pleasing to the eye, when you are in town or doing photos with a model it’s interesting to observe the movement around and interpret in your own way by decreasing the shutter speed.

Here is the summary

-The camera settings
-Movements with the camera
-Movements of a model

The camera settings

I started to get interested in the movement by making street photos, it was dark I had not so much lights around me, so I decreased the shutter speed for my sensor receives enough light. The photos were not very clear and left streaks of light, which was rather pretty visually, doing several tests I realized that these trails could be controlled under certain conditions.

You should know that the motion picture is quite difficult to achieve because it's pretty random when you see your photos on Lightroom you will not be sure to have a beautiful one. However, luck sometimes gives us some nice things, and by trying you'll understand how to make it successful! When you make a motion picture, do not hesitate to look regularly at the pictures on the camera’s screen to see if there is at least one in the lot that captures your attention.

Regarding the settings keep a good aperture, decrease the shutter speed under 1 / 60 little by little until 1s, then make movements with the camera to get streaks of light, or keep it firmly in your hands to capture the movement of passersby on the street or cars, you can handle the exposure with the ISO. Depending on the camera and the type of light you will have different trails, for example with hard lights you will have hard trails, and with a soft light, fluid trails.

If you take pictures in broad daylight it will not work, choose places in the shade and in the evening with the lights of the city or with a flashlight.

Movements with the camera

The following photos were taken at the end of the day with a low speeds. When you are at low speed everything seems unreal, the lights and the colors intertwine, the goal is to create shapes and have balanced images in terms of nuances, lights, forms.

I made left to right or top to bottom movements, if there are strong differences between the beginning and the end of the shot you will get some sort of overprint, which means that two pictures are mixed together.

1 / 30: With this speed it is already possible to have blur on the image, for this it’s necessary to make a fast movement from left to right with the camera.

1 / 4: A slow speed, you see the blurred trees and a trail of purple color to create a gradient with the white of the sky.

1 / 2: In this photo you can see that we are starting to don't understand what's going on, but the colors blend very well.

1s: Here the shutter speed is very slow, the purple has become pink, and it is completely printed on the mountain. I find the result rather pleasant, I strongly encourage you to try when you are outdoors.

Movement of a model

With Malika we wanted to take moving pictures under a tunnel and I tested several trigger speeds.

1 / 125: Here it’s a high enough speed, so we will freeze the movement, it’s clear that the more your subject to a fast movement, the more you have to raise the shutter speed if you want your subject sharp.


1 / 60: This is the limit to freeze your model, you see in the picture, Malika is rather clear and the bike in the background is moving.

1 / 8: It starts to become interesting, it’s difficult to discern the face but the movement is nice because we understand what is happening.


1 / 2: If you go this low, I advise you to take a tripod or hold the camera in your hands and press it on your chest. Normally at this speed it’s difficult to get pretty pictures, that's why I decided to ask the model not to move, but rather to wait for someone to pass at that moment in front to trigger.


It was a short article but I don’t think I need to express more things about it, feel free to show me what you did in terms of movement by sharing your blog-website in the comments!

The next article will be about a shoot I made recently and I would like to share the techniques I used.